Eventually, this cold winter will pass and before you know it, everyone will want to go back outdoors again and enjoy a barbecue. It’s the perfect time to launch your condiment so your product is placed at every tableside, barbecue grill and oven when it’s time to have a cookout. Condiments are essential for a cookout but it can be difficult to market them because there are so many choices and the categories are just as complex as sauces. You’ll need to get a few things out of the way before you launch your product physically. A risk assessment is required so you know the costs and benefits of your marketing campaign. Then you need to plan the budget and then you will be ready to plan the physical launch party. It’s exciting but it’s hard work, so let’s jump in.
The risks involved
Downside or ‘negative’ risk
The first thing to do is to weigh up the risks that would harm your launch.
- Red, amber green risk grid test. This type of risk assessment is very easy to understand. You have a list of risks that could harm your business/product, and you rank them from green to red in terms of their seriousness. Then you will give them a rank out of 1, 2 or 3 in terms of their likeliness to occur.
- The costs are the number one priority when assessing which kinds of risks would impact you negatively.
- The next most important is reputational risk. You don’t want your condiment to have a contamination threat, which means customers are harmed and entire batches need to be recalled off the shelves.
- People risk. Are you able to push your employees far enough to meet deadlines, or will you risk their mental health becoming anguished?
Upside or ‘positive’ risk
- First and foremost, your sales and profits could skyrocket if all goes well. We would like to expand and make our product ready to export one day as well, surely?
- Risk tolerance varies from company to company, but if you can show that the upside risk of your business outweighs the downsides, you can become more risk accepting or increase your risk appetite.
- Brand awareness. If launched correctly, your brand could become a household name or one its way to becoming one such as Hellmans, Heinz or Kraft.
Planning the budget
The launch of a product doesn’t have to be as costly as the production because you have more expectational control. A product takes a lot of time to create but once you know what you have and what it would be suitable for, i.e. customer usage options, then you can direct your campaign money into a more accurate zone.
The general rule of thumb is that you would use 5% of your annual income to fund your product launch campaign. So if you have an annual turnover of around $500,000 then your budget should be $25,000. You can set a maximum threshold of 10% but just for one year. Done with prudence you can avoid taking a large hit to your revenue if things don’t plan out at launch. Usually, you would make that 10% up, just in the first month after launch anyway.
Once your product has been launched it will still need extra support, possibly for 1-2 years or more. So you should budget for this as well, so your product doesn’t manage to make it to the top of the hill, only to roll back down again.
Physical launch event
Launching your product physically is where the fun really begins for the marketing and sales teams. They get to choose what the event will look like and how it takes place. For one thing, the physical aspect has to be conjoined with the online or electronic launch.
The launch of the product has to be done in a fun and interactive way. For example, these types of giant inflatables are great for marketing and superb at grabbing attention. They can take the shape of your condiment bottle and act as a temporary landmark for all passersby and event-goers. You can even build a little install inside them if you order the cut-out design for a small table or stand to fit in a wedge.
Will there be dancing, music and or a light show? All of this is fluff for some, but it has to add to the event. Make a show of it, hire a DJ, a dance floor and play some of the latest tunes on the singles charts.
You might be attending an exhibition or perhaps launching your own event one night, so you should be careful of what can and can’t be done. Making your own merchandise is a good idea as it’s a momento that anyone attending can take away and remember you by.
Nowadays, there is no excuse for not launching your product online. YouTube streaming allows anyone with a certified channel to live stream an event of launch proportions. Case in point, SpaceX regularly live streams their rocket launches into space.
Will you hire a venue? The hall, catering, seating, tables and press pack all need to be planned for. The budget should encompass any extravagant spending as well such as champagne or hired cars to pick people up from hotels.
Will you have a shortlist of industry experts arriving at your launch or will it be a mixture of press, politicians, industry experts, consultants, employees and or board members? It’s important to get a balance so you are able show the world you are not purely an exclusive brand with big names and celebrities that don’t have anything to do with the industry, just being ushered in for some pop-culture points.
Is your condiment going to be for meats or vegetables, or both? A risk assessment gives a broad picture of what you stand to gain and or lose, so that should be your starting point. After which, begin to plan your budget for the marketing campaign and the physical launch event.