Product Launch and Evaluation
7.3 INTERNAL COMPANY LAUNCH
The internal company launch is made to all who are to work on some aspect of the launch. This is most important because if staff are not enthusiastic, the whole launch can fail.
Even the smallest launch has a certain stress, and a large launch with plant commissioning and new market channel organisation can cause major stress to people in the company. There are constant problems which have to be solved such as time overruns and not enough resources, which mean that people are working long hours at a high level of intellectual and physical effort. The product must be launched to the raw materials buying staff, store persons and the production staff, the accountants and the clerical staff; the quality assurance technicians and the plant engineers, the area sales organisers and the sales people. The people concerned are properly briefed and motivated to produce the best results. These launches will take place at different times during the preparation for the main launch and will be presented in different ways.
The raw materials, production, distribution and quality assurance people are usually presented, at a technical conference, with the details of the:
production method and controls involved,
physical distribution method including predicted shelf life and
storage conditions, and
quality, quantity and timing targets and the allowable variations.
All this information is also presented in print form and on the computer so there is ready access to it during the initial production runs. There are usually discussions about the problems that might occur and about any improvements on yields, quality and costs expected during continuing production. There is also a clear responsibility for the various tasks, the cooperation required and the actions during emergencies.
It is important that there is free discussion during these briefings so that new ideas can develop and everyone is knowledgeable about what is to happen and feel a member of the team.
The sales people must be able to answer questions put to them by customers, be skilled in the merchandising and in-store promotions and understand the sales targets that they have to meet at certain times.
The sales force conference is usually a lively occasion because it is a presentation of the total product and the promotion to be used. The brand name, product name and aesthetic packaging are all presented and the sales people are given a final product proposition which they can use to convince the retailers about the unique benefits of the product, and its improvements over competing products.
The final product proposition includes not only the product description, but also the promotional programme, the list price, the retail margins and suggested retail price, and any introductory offers, discounts and specials. The product needs to be presented with an overwhelming image of success!
The sales communication is also presented at the sales force conference. The sales communication is the sales person's convincing delivery of the product proposition to the buyer. This is related to the type of product and the type of buyer, in particular the selling of consumer products to retailers, and industrial products to food manufacturers and food service operators.
Retailers are interested in the types of consumer promotions to be used and the budgets involved, manufacturers and food service operators in how the product will perform in their processing and cooking, its effect on their end product and the technical help provided.
EXTERNAL LAUNCH TO THE RETAILER & OTHER DISTRIBUTORS
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