Product launch checklists are lists listing the action items needed to successfully launch a new product for consumers.

In this article, we will discuss the components of a product launch checklist and its importance to a startup. The checklist can be used for all stages of product development, from conception to launch. It should include information on prioritization, sizing, documentation, and sales. It should also include steps to market and support the product. Product launch checklists can be highly customized for a particular product launch or company.

What is a product launch checklist?

Product launch checklists are lists listing the action items needed to successfully launch a new product for consumers. This checklist provides an overview of key legal and business issues that should be considered when launching a new product to consumers. These issues include: assessing company structure, product development, branding and marketing, disclosure obligations for public corporations, supply chain issues and intellectual property issues, product liability risks, consumer protection issues, and related insurance issues.

A good checklist includes a rough timeline of events and the various activities that need to be performed to launch a new product. Examples include establishing goals, gathering data, and analyzing the results. These activities are flexible and can be used for an in-person event or a web-based product. They should also include the marketing plan and launch strategy since all of these things can change during the course of a successful launch.

In addition to developing a product launch checklist, you should also create a list of features that your new product will offer. A product launch checklist should include all the steps involved in creating and marketing a new product, including research into potential competitors, audience feedback, and customer support. If your product is new to the market, it should include customer service teams, regulatory approvals, and the design and packaging of the product.

The marketing team should be trained in the new product. They should distribute marketing collateral, email customers, and create a landing page. The entire organization should be aware of the launch date, and the launch timeline. Lastly, companies should have a system to track product metrics and dedicate human resources to tracking them. Finally, the team should meet to review the product launch checklist and make any necessary changes. Then, the team should run through a pre-launch checklist to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Why you should have a product launch checklist

If you’re launching a new product, you probably know how important it is to have a plan and a checklist. These are helpful tools for everyday business processes as well as your product launch. You’ll be surprised how many things go wrong during the launch because you didn’t follow your checklist!

Here are some examples of common mistakes that can go wrong during a product launch:

Having a checklist for a product launch can prevent problems before they occur by helping you plan for the smallest details. The checklist can help you communicate the details of the launch with the right people and streamline your efforts. It will also help you stay organized and keep track of all the moving parts that come with the launch. So, why should you have a product launch checklist? Listed below are some reasons why you should use a checklist for your product launch:

A product launch checklist covers all phases of the product launch, from planning to launch. This checklist is helpful for cross-functional teams and departments, and it can help you determine which phase of the launch is critical to your business. If your product launch is a success, it can generate revenue that will allow you to hire more people and develop new products. But if it fails miserably, it could put you out of business. So, a product launch checklist will help you avoid these pitfalls and ensure a successful launch for your customers.

Necessary steps for a product launch checklist

When you are preparing for a new product launch, there are several things to consider. While your launch plan should be detailed, there are also many details that you should not overlook. These steps are crucial to the success of your product launch, so they should be prioritized. You can also use a product launch checklist to keep track of important tasks and ensure they are done properly. Here are the important items to include in your product launch checklist.

First, you should determine the name of the brand, and conduct a trademark clearance as well as a patent clearance.  Then you should apply for the appropriate IP protection. According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, some questions to answer at this stage include:

  • How do I evaluate the market value of my invention?
  • Who are my competitors and what is the size of the market?
  • What is the patentability of my invention and how do I apply for a patent?
  • Should I consider product sales that require more work or licensing and collecting royalties from my IP?

Second, you should create a marketing plan. Using a product launch checklist is one way to organize your marketing plan and track your progress. On marketing aspects, Hubspot has a sample checklist, with different categories, each with a different category of tasks.

  • Learn about ideal customer profile (ICP).
  • Write a positioning statement for the ICP.
  • Pitch your positioning to stakeholders.
  • Plan your go-to-market (GTM) strategy.
  • Protect your GTM with IP strategies
  • Set a goal for the launch.
  • Create promotional content for the ICP.
  • Launch the product.
  • Track product success or failure with data and revise GTM if needed

 Each item will have a person or team member responsible for it. Then, you should include comments to reflect any changes or updates. The best way to create a product launch checklist is to use a template.

Third, you should define a price plan for your new product. The price plan should reflect the value of the product, as well as the pricing options for customers. Depending on the type of product, you may need to change the pricing model. For example, if your product is new, you may want to create a drop-down form field where customers can choose how much to pay for the product.

Lastly, you should create product documentation. This includes guides, releases, FAQs, and more. Documentation should be ready for your launch, as well as any other materials you need to support the new product. Make sure you have a process for preparing new content and run it through a pre-publishing checklist before publishing. You should also have a training program for your sales reps, as well as a technical support team.

Launching a  new product needs careful consideration of legal and business issues. This Checklist gives counsel general guidance on key issues that should be discussed with management when a US-based business plans to launch a new product.

A product launch checklist should include the following: an overview of what the project entails, including a list of features and functions. It should be customized for the type of product and business, as well as the engineering team. In addition to the marketing and sales checklist indicated above, the checklist should also include information about regulatory approvals and certifications.

When planning for a new product launch, the company must decide whether an existing business unit should be responsible for developing the product or if organizational changes are needed to reduce risk and ease the stress caused by new product development. If the company decides it must restructure, it can, create a new division or business unit within the company or form a subsidiary.

Consider these factors when deciding whether to form a new entity:

  • Other financial and cost issues
  • Tax issues.
  • Employment issues
  • Liability issues
  • Regulation issues.
  • Antitrust issues.

IP Issues Are Important

Many software companies ignore IP protection at their peril.  For example, the Verge reported that

Defunct photo app Phhhoto is suing Meta, formerly Facebook, on antitrust grounds, claiming the social media platform feigned interest in working with it, but then copied its features and hid its name from search results, effectively driving it out of business.

Phhhoto’s technology allowed users to capture five frames “in a single point-and-shoot burst,” which could be looped into a short video (a phhhoto) to be shared either on its platform or Instagram. Sound familiar? That’s because, according to Phhhoto, Facebook copied Phhhoto’s main feature and released it on its Instagram platform as Boomerang in 2015, after blocking Phhhoto from Instagram’s API and from being pre-populated in Instagram posts.

“The actions of Facebook and Instagram destroyed Phhhoto as a viable business and ruined the company’s prospects for investment,” Phhhoto says in a complaint filed in US District Court. “Phhhoto failed as a direct result of Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct. But for Facebook’s conduct, Phhhoto was positioned to grow into a social networking giant, similar in size, scope, and shareholder value to other social networking and media companies with which Facebook did not interfere.”

If you don’t want to make the news as Phhhoto did, you need to be IP aware. When launching a new product the company should be aware of the following IP issues.

  • Ensuring it owns IP created by employees or independent contractors
  • Preventing third-party IP infringement by:
  • Clearing and searching copyrights trademarks, and trade secrets that is associated with the new product (see Design Product Labeling & Packaging and Name the New Product);
  • Conducting patent freedom to operate study if the new product incorporates inventions and technologies.
  • Clearing publicity rights, if individuals are identified on packaging for the new products or in marketing materials associated with them.
  • Obtaining IP licenses if needed.
  • Protection of the company’s IP rights with the new product
  • Police infringing conduct by other people after the new product launches.

3. Conducting a Patent Freedom to Operate Study

Counsel should conduct patent freedom of operation study if the new product contains key inventions or technologies. This will allow counsel to determine and assess whether any third-party IP could be infringed by the product.

To be able to study the freedom of operation for a US patent, you need to search for and identification of US patents relevant to the new product. This occurs through risk assessment of infringement posed by identified patents. High-risk patents may be used to obtain an opinion from a specialist attorney patent attorney regarding high-risk patents. Additionally, designing around certain aspects of high-risk patents.

To identify high-risk patents, counsel should conduct a Patent Landscape Study to determine whether the company might seek a Freedom to Operate opinion. Counsel should think about conducting a freedom-to-operate study on patents in key non-US jurisdictions where the company might distribute the new product internationally. This activity should be conducted by counsel early in the new product’s design.

Now Go Launch Your Product!

It is crucial to think about intellectual property issues when launching a product. This will help protect your business and product. Here are some key IP considerations:

  • To ensure that the product is not infringing on any patents, conduct a patent search.
  • To prevent others from using, making, or selling the product, you must file for a patent.
  • Trademark registration is required for logos, names or other branding that are associated with the product. This will prevent others from using similar branding on competing products.
  • To prevent others from using the software, literature or other creative works, copyright registration is required for all software and literature.
  • A freedom to operate analysis is performed, which determines if your product might infringe any patents or other IP rights.
  • Examine any agreements or licenses that might be required to allow third-party IP to be used in the product.
  • Examining contractor and employee agreements will ensure that IP created in the course of their work is assigned to the company.

In addition to patents, you should check for applicable filings to protect copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Work with your legal team to establish confidentiality agreements and protect any valuable trade secrets you have. Also, there may be copyright issues. Fortunately, copyright registration isn’t as expensive as you may think, so make sure you discuss your options with your legal team.

A product launch checklist may include all phases of a product’s lifecycle, including planning, go-to-market, systems, marketing, sales, customer support, and post-launch development. You can also customize a checklist to include everything you need for a product launch. There are several different checklists available, but you can create your own by incorporating the features and activities specific to your product.