Are You Using This Simple Product Commercialization Checklist?

GeekThere’s been a lot of attention lately on innovation, agile development, NPD and product road mapping.  All are critical to developing new products but all fail dramatically in fully understanding the product commercialization process.

Miss out on successfully launching your product and not only will you miss your targets, but you’ll struggle to be credible with future product launches with your field sales team and customers.

With that in mind, here’s a comprehensive checklist to make sure you are considering the many facets of the commercialization process.                         

Market Analysis


Why are we looking at this product / service?

What is in it for us?

What is in it for the Channel?

What is in it for the End User?


What do we hope to do?

What is the timing to carry out the goal(s)?


How do we envision accomplishing this objective?

What are the short and long-term strategies?

What is the timeline for each strategy?

How will the product be positioned?

Impact on other products (cannibalization)?

What plants and markets?


Market Factors

What factors will help this product?

What factors prohibit us from meeting our goals?

What are the crucial market factors for this product?



What market research do we have to support product?

Define the channel and end-user(s) priorities

Define the market size and total opportunity for us


Define strengths and weaknesses of proposed product


How will product be positioned (high/medium/low-end)?

Who are the key targets for placement?

Who are the pull through targets?

What is our pricing strategies by channel?


What is the product called?

How will it be packaged?

Production Plan              

Clearly define production capabilities

Establish ordering procedures


Have we benchmarked other competitors in the industry?

Have we benchmarked other manufacturers outside the industry?

Measures of Success

How will we measure progress?

What will be considered a success?


Key dates for all product elements?

Develop an implementation roll out strategy 60/90/120 day

Sales Plan                                                                                                                                           

checklistSales Forecast

What are the sales plan by Region/Nationally (in units and dollars)?

What are the seasonality/current trends?

Other Measures                 

Clear and tangible outcomes?

What is the total brand budget to support new product?

Selling Proposition


What is the value proposition at each level?                       

Channel Customer                                                                                          

End User

Brand Support

Brand Plan

Define the communication plan for end-user/ customers/field sales?

Ensure product included in other programs

Social Media

Link our social media efforts

Website updates

You Tube, Facebook, Blog, Twitter, Pinterest


Define literature requirements

Develop technical facts to support new product


Produce product samples as required

Selling Tools

Determine tools required to support business proposition

Define product displays requirements

Develop plan-o-grams for retail customers


Will product availability delay photography (and literature)?


Determine artwork


Coordination of brand support programs

Define schedule and key dates

Field Implementation

new-bright-ideaImplementation Plan

Coordination of channel, product marketing, and brand efforts

Define processes and tools required for implementation

Determine channel programs (target accounts/promotions)

Develop time line for field sales communication

Provide advanced communication (90 days) to Sales


Establish internal and external product training schedule

(Field Sales/Customer Service/Channel Customers)

Training Vehicle

Develop training modules


Clear Outcomes                

Follow-up review of business strategy after 90 days/6 months

Develop bail out strategy if not performing

What else would you add to this checklist?

Are You Avoiding These Trade Show Spoilers?

Are You Guilty of These Trade Show Spoilers?If it seems like no one is in your trade show booth except other exhibitors or people trying to sell you something, you may be falling prey to these trade show spoilers.

Here’s what NOT to do.  That is, if you actually want to drum up any business.

1. Skipping booth training for the sales team.  They may be experts and know the customers but it’s critical to get everyone on the same page.

  • Make sure they understand roles, booth flow and products – especially the new ones.
  • Reinforce basic points like don’t chat with each other all day or make phone calls in the booth.

2. Having too many employees in the booth.  Remember that you are there to sell your product, not to socialize.

  • Have only those actually working the booth wearing logo-wear.
  • Everybody else should be in business casual.
  • Non-logoed team walks floor and looks at competition, new products and trends.
  • But have someone dedicated to scanning leads and handing out literature.
  • Designate one contact for press and other media inquiries.

3. Being unprofessional – ever – especially when talking about (or to) the competition. Don’t complain about the way the show is run or how unhappy you are that your boss made you attend.

4. Passing on show marketing opportunities. There are many options, with something that could fit almost any budget.  They range from pre-show mailers, upgraded directory listings and ads, event sponsorships, hall banners, etc.

5. Hoping customers will visit. Be sure to schedule appointments, dinners, coffees – all translate into a commitment from your customer to take the time to hear your message.

A trade show is not a vacation

Trade shows are not a vacationA trade show is not a vacation, even when it’s in a fun place like Las Vegas or Orlando. Those locations help create a draw for the customers you want to visit with.  Remember that you are on a business trip. Your pre-planning and actions at the trade show will either make a wonderful or terrible first impression on those visiting your booth.

For more great insights on how to maximize your trade show experience and dollars, we recommend reading Classic Exhibits article 13 Common Trade Show Mistakes and Whizard Strategy’s blog post How Manufacturers Can Get the Most Out of IBS.

For other thoughts on trade shows from Channel Instincts, see our post Are You Using these Trade Show Secrets.

Good Selling!