Hardenbrook, D. (2011), "The New Launch Plan: 152 Tips, Tactics and Trends from the Most Memorable New Products", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 28 No. 7, pp. 550-550. https://doi.org/10.1108/07363761111181545
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Launching products gets tougher each year. The rapid emergence of Web 2.0 technologies, such as social media and mobile internet, not only enables new alternatives and insights when launching products, but also enables disruption by competitors. Given this context, the authors of The New Product Launch have chosen to focus specifically on the launch phase of new product development and share their insights on recent successful launch campaigns.
Chapter 1 The Ever‐Changing Launch Environment outlines recent developments in the product development environment. Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) have evolved into Business to Everyone (B2E) (pp. 10‐11). The changing behaviors of consumers and the rapidly declining value of traditional media have required all companies to re‐think their marketing strategies.
Chapter 2 The New Launch Plan reviews eight types of product launches, and the authors make the argument that only one type actually works. They call it “Launch the Perfect the Course” (p. 23). The authors define this in phases:
Phase 1: Pre‐Launch or Validation Phase.
Phase II: Soft Launch.
Phase III: Launch.
Phase IV: Post‐Launch or Planning for Continued Success.
Chapters 4‐12 cover additional tips and case studies on how to launch products. Chapter 7 Generating Buzz through Media Coverage provides a current overview of how to manage media during a launch.
Chapter 10 Social Media: Redefining How Consumers Engage with New Products was the most interesting given the relative newness of social media and their use in product marketing. The concept of having a conversation with consumers and influencing the blogging community are relatively new and poses both rewards and risks. Companies are cautioned to take a transparent approach to social media. The case study of the launch of TweetDeck is noteworthy given the fact that it is a social media tool that helps users track social media conversations (pp. 199‐202).
There is one important point the authors fail to discuss, which is the need to have marketing activities related to launch aligned to the overall business and product strategies. Having an integrated marketing plan does not start at product launch but earlier in the product development planning phase, and perhaps more important, in the strategic planning phase. The authors briefly discuss the product development process in chapter 2 (p. 24) but should have related the launch marketing plans back to product development planning where appropriate. For example, the authors mention the need to identify a target market (p. 34) in the marketing plan, which in reality is a topic that should be covered when making the business case for new product development.
The New Launch Plan is full of useful marketing advice, ideas, and case studies that most marketers and advertisers will find interesting and easily applicable to their business. The organization of each chapter will make it a valuable reference. Small‐ and medium‐sized businesses may be challenged implementing some of the ideas mentioned unless they have relevant marketing expertise within their organizations. Perhaps more important, any organization wishing to implement any of the ideas contained in this book should consider how relevant they are to their business strategy and product development.