Adding new products (or eliminating them) should be a regular part of the product lifecycle at your institution. To help with this task, we’ve developed a new product launch checklist for banking products designed to get you or your product management team thinking in the right direction.
Does your new product solve a customer need?
Solving a need (either an obvious need, a latent need, or an unknown need) is an important step in your product launch process. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Does your new product solve a need for the customer? Can your sales team match the need with this new product? If this product solves an unknown need (I didn’t know I needed that!), how will you convey the unknown need and how will your sales team uncover that unknown need?
What is the purpose of this new product?
While your product needs to solve a need for your customer (see above paragraph), internally, you need to state the purpose of this product. The purpose will be the internal way the product is described so your sales and operations teams are clear on the outcomes your client’s will receive when using this product. If your internal team does not know the outcomes, it will be difficult for them to match a customer’s needs with the product and the product will fail.
What is the target market for this product?
The target market for this product generally falls within your institution’s target market. If your institution services 90% consumers and you are introducing a business product, you might have a product-target-market mismatch. An exception to this would be if you are looking to increase the percentage of business customers.
When building your new product, fully define the target market. For instance, if we are introducing a remote deposit capture product for business, you could define it as: The Owner, CFO, Controller, Accountant, or Office Manager at a Businesses with between 1 and 10 million dollars in sales, processes over 25 deposits per month (daily deposit), who has offices over two blocks away and values faster cash available balances.
How are you going to market this product?
Your new product won’t sell by itself. “If You Build It, He Will Come” never works. You have to tell your target market about it. Building a full marketing plan for your new product generally does not fall to the product management team, any help you can give to the marketing team is appreciated and helps.
Are there branding opportunities for this new product?
Most of your products (if not all) are outsourced to third party providers. Many of these providers can brand them to your institution’s branding. Logos, single sign on, and customized prompts and dialog boxes are just a few of the branding points you may want to consider.
How are you going to train your sales and operations staff?
Training generally falls into to two areas: Sales and Operations. Many times, we see product managers train the sales team on how to sell the new product. Sometimes they bring in a third-party to train the sales staff. The operations and customer service personnel who support the products must be trained as well—not only on how to properly implement/setup the customers on the new products but also how to maintain the product itself in the system.
We recognize that there are many other steps that could (and should) be added to our new product launch checklist, but we hope this is a good starting point for your next product or service launch.
Have any good ones to add? Let us know in the comments.