What is a product launch timeline? A product launch timeline lays out the steps needed to get a product to market. Developing a product launch timeline should be a part of your planning process. Also, consider using customer research to create a roadmap. Creating a customer journey chart can help you develop a product launch formula. Once you know what your customer needs, you can start developing your product.
table of content
IP Issues Are Important
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 on Thursday. “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.”
Intellectual property rights are often the most valuable assets of a company in today’s market. Protecting your intellectual property assets and limiting liability for infringing another’s intellectual property rights can be crucial to your company’s success. There is nothing worse than spending significant time and money on developing and launching a product and then finding out that your intellectual property rights have not been protected or that you infringe another’s intellectual property rights.
Product Design Timeline
First, you need to validate your product design with users. The customer journey map below shows how customers can change the future. This chart could be your starting point to create your roadmap.
Protect Your Product Design
Once you have your product design firmed up, you should consider protecting the design and specifications of the product with a provisional patent application. This can be done quickly (1-2 weeks). Provisional patent applications also offer a cheaper first patent filing. For more information on fees, see USPTO Fee Schedule.
A provisional patent application is a U.S.-based national application for a patent that has been filed with the USPTO. This allows you to file without the need for a formal patent claim, declaration, or oath. It is not necessary to comply with any formal requirements for a non-provisional application. Instead, the focus should be on explaining the invention as fully as possible. Provisional patent applications also allow for the establishment of an effective filing date in a later non-provisional application. This allows for the use of the term “Patent Pending”, in conjunction with the description. Provisional patent applications have a 12-month pendency from the filing date. Only exceptional circumstances can extend the 12-month pendency. An applicant must file a non-provisional application for patent priority within 12 months, so make sure you file the utility patent application or the PCT application within one year. Alternatively, you can go straight to a utility patent application (aka non-provisional application) but this may require a month of time.
Top Level View of the Product Launch Timeline
Here’s a checklist for product launches that you can use in your business.
1. Conduct market research: Do test market research by contacting 10 to 15 potential customers. Ask them about their pain points and if they have any suggestions for products to help. Ask them for more information if they mention pain points or wish a product was available.
Once you have spoken to potential or current customers and understood their needs, you can create a buyer persona. This is a profile based on research that describes the target buyer for your product.
2. Create your positioning statement: From your customer interviews, you can create a positioning statement to explain the purpose of the product, its capabilities, and how it differs from other products in the market. Your positioning statement can describe your target audience, name the product category your product falls within, or include proof of your product’s uniqueness.
3. Get Buy-In from stakeholders: Key stakeholders in your company include managers, executives, and even product developers who are responsible for creating the product that you wish to sell to customers.
4. Develop and Protect Your Go-to-Market Strategy: Create the strategy you will use to launch and promote the product. You can research different strategies for going to market, including a funnel strategy or a flywheel strategy. When you are creating your strategy, consider the content you will use at each stage of the buying process. Ensure the exclusivity of your GTM with IP protection as detailed above.
5. Create a media plan: Have a media strategy in place that identifies how, where, and when you will share media with your target audience. Remember that you only get one chance to launch a product. Make the most of the buzz around it.
6. Assign roles to the team: Use project planning tools such as Asana to ensure that everyone on the team knows their responsibilities and when they must complete them. You should assign specific responsibilities to your team members so that there are no duplicate efforts.
7. Take into account bonuses: Encourage people to test your product, a special offer can be a great way to do so. You can offer an early adopter a bonus, but you need to know what it will be.
8. Select a date for the launch: Pick an auspicious date for launch and make sure your entire team is available to answer phone calls, ship products quickly, or resolve any unexpected problems that might arise.
9. Communicate details about the launch to stakeholders: You should ask them to take action, such as emailing customers or sharing content on social networks, among others.
10. Ramp up your support team: Your customer service representatives should be aware of the date and time for launch. Also, ensure that your customer service team knows the date and time of the launch.
11. Your launch goal should be clear: For example, your product launch goal may be to increase awareness, sell products, or just create a brand new name.
12. Make promotional content: Create Blog posts, tutorials, and landing pages, as well as written posts and images on social media, which could all be used to promote your launch.
13. Prepare a press release: As journalists get bombarded with information, your press release should grab the attention of everyone who reads it.
14. Reach out to important journalists: For noteworthy press members, reach out to them with details about the launch and its uniqueness and offer them advance information to entice them to write about your product.
15. Get a Breather: Spend at least a few days testing before your launch, you should test the product as well as the process of adding it to your shopping cart and completing the checkout in a process as simple as possible.
16. In-house launch: Launching your product internally is a great way to verify that everything works.
17. Communicate with the outside world: Create as much buzz as possible. You should reach out to family members and encourage employees to share your launch with their friends.
18. Engage Audience with Social media: Create buzz among your social media followers by sharing posts about upcoming releases to get people excited about the potential benefits.
19. Be prepared to fulfill orders: test your shopping carts and check your supply inventory.
20. Send your press release a few days before the launch
21. Make sure the IP is covered and launch your product, you don’t want to be surprised with unauthorized copies of your product popping up like bunnies without recourse.
Options for a product launch timeline
A successful launch will ensure that all contributing activities and tasks are carried out on time. For example, an email marketing plan must be sent by a certain date, sales personnel must complete outreach by a certain date, and leadership should share the product’s launch on social media by a certain date. Defining an actionable goal for each phase can help everyone involved meet deadlines and make sure that every aspect of the launch process is done in a timely manner.
The following options can help you create a successful product launch timeline.
- The option of licensing or purchasing the patent. Licensing is the process of obtaining permission from the patent holder to use patented technology in specific acts, on specified markets, and for a certain period. It is important to carefully consider the terms and conditions of any proposed license. Although there may be some loss of autonomy and the patent holder may need to pay a lump sum or periodic royalties, this agreement could be the easiest way to clear the ground for the commercialization of a new product or technology.
- Cross-licensing. Cross-licensing is when two or more companies exchange licenses in order to be eligible to use patents owned by other parties. Cross-licensing requires a well-protected portfolio of patents that can be used by potential licensing partners.
- You can also invent around. Another option is to “invent around the invention.” This involves conducting research or making modifications to the product or process to avoid infringing other patents. If the freedom of operation is restricted by a patent on a process, then a company might be able to develop an alternative method to arrive at the same end result and be able to commercialize the invention without having to pay a licensing fee
The process should start four months before the official launch date. Thorough research of your product and your target audience will help you formulate a strategy for your launch. Gathering advice and feedback from key stakeholders is also a great way to develop a strategy. After you have identified your target audience, determine how your product will be described and why it’s better than your competitors’ products. Also, ensure that you have prepared content assets for marketing.
Components of a product launch timeline
A product launch timeline can help you organize the launch process into phases. This way, you can plan each step in advance, making the entire process more manageable. You can use the timeline to keep your team and stakeholders updated on key milestones. It can also help you communicate with various teams and departments, making it clear when you need to complete each assignment. In this article, we’ll look at the components of a product launch timeline and how to utilize them for maximum benefit.
First, start planning your launch timeline four months in advance. Gather ideas and feedback from various stakeholders to develop a plan that will be successful. Next, identify your target audience and consider their reaction. For example, how should you describe your product to them? How will you explain its benefits? How will you differentiate it from your competitors? Once you have established your target audience, you can begin planning your launch timeline. The timeline can help you determine the best time to launch your product.
Lastly, think about your objectives for the launch. Do you want to increase MAU or MRR? Do you want to expand certain accounts? If so, your launch timeline should include this. In addition, consider your budget and any press activities. These activities should be scheduled in parallel with the technical delivery of your new product. By planning ahead, you’ll be more prepared for any unexpected challenges that may arise during the launch.
IP Considerations for a product launch timeline
- Freedom to operate
A major risk for companies when they plan to launch new products, especially in tech sectors that have extensive patenting is the possibility that the commercialization of that product could be stopped by a competitor with a patent on the technology. Many companies seek to protect their “freedom of operation” at an early stage. To ensure that their new product, process, or service is not used commercially, marketed, or infringes other IP rights. Although freedom of operation is not guaranteed, there are ways to minimize the risks and save significant company resources.
- A thorough search for patent documents
Freedom to Operate (FTO), analysis begins with a search of patent literature to find any pending or issued patents. Then, a legal opinion is obtained as to whether the product, process, or service could be considered to infringe any other patent(s). These analyses are often offered by private law firms or IP firms as part of their legal services. These services are also offered by some national IP offices, such as the Swiss Federal Institute for Intellectual Property.
- Ability to spot opportunities in patent limitations
Patent protection is only territorial. Technology may be only protected within a company’s main markets but may be available to the public in other countries. The patent owner does not need permission or license to allow the product to be commercialized. Patents are only valid for a short time. Patent protection is limited to 20 years. After that, the patent is considered to have been in the public domain and can be freely used by anyone. The European Patent Office (EPO), however, estimates that less than 25% of patents granted by the EPO are kept for a maximum period of 20 years. Many patents can be canceled if the maintenance fees are not paid by the patent holders before the 20-year period is up. Patents are limited in scope. Patents have a limited scope. The patent’s claims section determines its scope. Patents are not protected if any aspect of the invention is not covered by the claims. It is difficult to determine the patent scope. This requires a lot of experience in understanding the claims, written specifications, and the history of the application.
Merits of product launch timelines for companies
In today’s world, product launches are important, and an effective one can help boost brand image and increase customer base. A product launch timeline serves as a valuable organizational tool, helping teams stay on task and on track. This article will explain what a product launch timeline is and why it’s necessary, as well as provide tips and tricks to help ensure your launch is successful. Here are three reasons why a product launch timeline is important.
The timing of a product launch can be affected by the launch of competitors. First-movers try to break into the market early, while second-movers wait until the market becomes familiar with the product’s features and launch when the demand has increased. Additionally, an inaccurate timeline can compromise the quality of a product, and the life cycle of a product may be short. In order to avoid these problems, companies can implement a pilot rollout to gather real customer feedback on their product before it goes live to the general public.
While the timing of a product launch can be crucial, companies should start planning for it at least four months before the launch date. By doing so, companies can identify their target market, gather feedback and make adjustments to their strategy. During this time, they should also consider how best to explain the product to the audience. It’s also important to prepare an explanation of why their product is better than those of competitors.
To prepare for a successful product launch, you must set specific deadlines for the different stages. Each stage of your timeline should include actionable goals that will help your team meet those deadlines. Make sure to include calls to action for all employees and departments involved. This will help you keep track of tasks and deadlines in a more efficient manner. Also, it helps if you list the different tasks in a category.