I've launched a wide range of products from the Sony Walkman, the world's first CD player, the world's first musical CDs at CBS records, the IBM PC, the first no fee credit card, European and Japanese automotive new model launches, Lucent Technologies and, more recently, a range of revolutionary, anti-addiction medical treatments.
Much of the following is obvious...the key is how you specifically apply it to your launch and target. It's media agnostic...applying to both new and old media.
1. Get the product design and operation RIGHT before it's introduced. The market is unforgiving if you don't.
2. You can only launch a product once. Get marketing, advertising, & promotion working flawlessly the first time.
3. You'll be made or broken in the first 90 days following the actual launch date.
4. And the 90 days PRE-LAUNCH will heavily influence your post launch success: the right press, word of mouth, advertising, beta trials, etc.
5. Put all the dollars and marketing muscle you can dig up behind the launch so you have every chance of success. Nothing beats brutal force coupled with wily target insights.
6. Control your messages in the marketplace...don't rely on a fickle press.
7. Integrate messages with the same look, feel, tone for greater impact. TV, online, print, promotion should all sing off the same song-sheet. Specifically. Uncoordinated messages signal a disorganized product and company behind it.
8. Soft launches are dangerous and frequently unsuccessful...the opportunity for intense focus, both internal and external, is lost. And, important, they ignore the fact that your competition WILL respond.
9. Don't assume success. Make contingency plans right now for all multiple scenarios, including your competitors' reactions. (Hillary assumed she'd win Super Tuesday and had no backup plan...look where she is now).
10. Post launch planning should occur in tandem with launch plans and be completed 1-3 months before launch then constantly revised to keep the plan relevant as market conditions change.