Why so many new product and service launches fail

Aug 13, 2010

In and of themselves, business ‘launches’ are meaningless. Like the point of impact in a golf or tennis swing, the launch of a new product or service (including yours) is useless without a backswing and a follow-through.

Have you ever tried to make a golf or tennis ball go where you wanted it to without a follow-through? If not, take your sports equipment of choice out to the back yard and try it. Don’t worry, you won’t endanger anyone, because I guarantee you won’t be able to make the ball go far.

Today the business world is flooded with launches of new products, new services, new groups, tribes, communities – and the percentage that end up dead or dying, with no momentum and no hope of viability, is higher than ever.

Why? Mostly because we’ve become adept at structuring the back-swing and point of impact (the planning and launch), but we do little or nothing to ensure follow-through: we don’t pre-plan our follow through for after the launch. We don’t put in place in advance all the really hard stuff – the infrastructure, systems and processes needed to ensure take-up and application of our product or service after we launch.

Instead, we believe that if we get the backswing (preparation), and point of impact (launch) right, the follow-through (ongoing, sustainable viability for our product or service) will…well…it’ll just happen.

It won’t.

Structuring at least a 2-year follow-through program before the launch, and having it ready to roll out immediately is imperative to success.

View your launch date as the starting line, not the finish line, and the chance of success will rise exponentially.