Tag Archives: brand

6 Things to Consider When Launching a Product

6 thing to know when launching a new productYou might be working on a product that you believe will be the next big thing in your particular industry. Congratulations! While you may have a great idea, you need more than that to be successful in a highly competitive marketplace. Therefore, here are six things to consider when launching your product:

1. Timing is everything

You want to start early preparing for a product launch, but also be careful about precisely when that launch will be. Analyze your market carefully to determine the right season to release your product to the public.

It sounds silly, but timing is everything. Think about when consumer companies announce a new product (like the iPhone). It’s usually before the Christmas rush, but in enough time for people to understand it and buy it.

2. Good branding is essential

Many consumers are highly visual people, which is why you want to ensure that your packaging and branding is appealing to the eye. Meanwhile, your product’s name should be catchy yet simple to promote good brand recognition.

3. Are you targeting the right consumer base?

Maybe you assumed your product would be best for a particular age group, but quickly discover it’s more well-suited for a different demographic. If this is the case, don’t force your product on a consumer base that doesn’t want or need your product. Roll with it and refocus.

4. How will you market it?

Maybe you will make use of social media marketing or prefer more traditional advertising approaches. Whatever the case, carefully strategize exactly how you plan to get word out about your product before the launch date draws near.

5. What about your competition?

You don’t want to release a product into an overcrowded marketplace unless you have something revolutionary to offer. Make sure you know what competition you’re up against and how you should best handle their competing sales.

6. Don’t forget to be patient

While you might be expecting a highly successful release, remain patient if this isn’t the case. Sometimes, good ideas and products take time to catch on and you need to remind yourself not to grow discouraged in the meantime.

Speaking … or writing … of new products. We know a lot about new products. This year, we’ve launched unified communications, our cloud communications offering called ReadyTalk Hosted Voice. We also launched our new replay feature with a platform, ReadyTalk Illuminate. FoxDen, a ReadyTalk product, continues to innovate and release new features. And we’re not slowing down. In following weeks, you can read from our product managers who make it all come to life. (They’re awesome.)

Why UX Should Talk With Others More

Shouldn’t the user experience … be about the user’s actual experience? A study published in the Oxford Journal Interacting With Computers, find that a UX designer’s goal is to “improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product.” However, sometimes user experience (UX) designers tend to get wrapped up in the design itself, without trying to think like the potential users.

That’s where empathy pays off as a designer and just about any other job, really.

This is why we feel that UX team members should talk with and workshop their features with consumers more frequently to become better designers.

What about “don’t listen to anyone”?

Maybe some designers think that other people’s opinions will negatively influence the process, but they’re mavericks. Feedback is always good, whether you take it or ignore it.

customer marketingCustomers can provide insight into the things they’re using daily that aren’t working. Potential buyers can be “fresh eyes,” people who’ve never seen your product and can provide unbiased opinions. Partner can provide insight into what their clients are saying … without filters.

When marketing professionals think about brand and rebranding, they meet with a variety of people — employees, partners, customers and prospects. They understand the brand experience to all parties with the nuances each person has and then take that information to cement or alter the brand (the heart of it or the reflection of it).

UX testing and listening should include that same group: employees, partners, customers and potential customers.

Employees

Your customer service team will know the biggest issues. They work day-in and day-out with people, helping with the same obstacles over and over. They’ll know your biggest pain points. Sales and account managers might too. As they demo things and explain features, chances are good they’ll run into obstacles with the customer or potential customer. They’ll provide good insight, too.

Customers, potential customers and partners

Yes, users can be finicky and unsure about what they really want, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak with them about their various preferences and ideas. No, they are not designers, which is why you should take these opinions with a grain of salt. Weigh ideas and judge them against good design practices. For example, if someone’s complaining that something’s not easy to use, but their suggestion for fixing it doesn’t seem like the best option then ignore the suggestion. While ignoring the suggestion, think about what made something difficult to use and determine ways to make it easier.

You can’t do your job well without listening to customers, but we would just like to urge to to start listening smarter, rather than not at all.

Cast a wide net

Listening to more than a few users (customers) and prospects will give you trends. The trends are the things to worry most about. For example if you asked 20 people to complete a task and 15 couldn’t using your software, there may be an issue.

Diversity in testing can only help. Of course there’s a target who you’re aiming for, but ideally your software will be easy for anyone to use. Don’t eliminate people based on age, for example.

As part of the testing plans, you can ask for age and computer experience — including in the industry or job you think is your target audience.

Be unbiased or get someone who is

ux should listen moreTesting plans can be difficult. You have to be sure not to lead the person. Also, you’ll have biases on what you think works well and what doesn’t. It takes a special person to rise above them and keep an open mind. If you’re mind’s not open to new thinking, even if it’s different than your own, you’ll have difficulty listening.

Many times, having a neutral UX person assigned to the project will help. They won’t have preconceptions about the product and may have better judgement about real issues and trends. They also may be able to provide guidance on solutions, based on feedback, because they’re a fresh set of eyes themsevles.

Listen before designing

The cyclical process of a UX designer’s work life consists of creating prototypes, testing them out, getting feedback and going back to improve or tailor those features. Instead, we would suggest that you first observe, research and investigate your consumers’ activities, motivations and goals. Then, tailor your designs toward that particular audience.

When you test your features on a control group of consumers, don’t listen to their predictions or suggestions. Instead, focus on the pain points brought up by multiple individuals. This way, you can move past feeling overwhelmed at the numerous, conflicting opinions and get to the heart of the matter.

When you listen smarter, you design smarter.

More ideas on listening

Check out how to engage in active listening.

Get ideas from others.