A soft launch, also known as a soft opening, is a preview release of a product or service to a limited audience prior to the general public. Soft-launching a product is sometimes used to gather data or feedback regarding its acceptance in the marketplace, prior to making it widely available during an official release or grand opening. A company may also choose a soft launch to test the functionality of a product, allowing adjustments to be made before a wider release and marketing effort are implemented.
Developing your launch strategy is the final stage of the New Product Development process. By now youhave your product and it is market ready. Your business is now keen to take the product to market. This stage, often known as commercialisation, can be the most testing. This is when your business will need to commit to marketing investment and will rely on key routes to market for their support.
Most importantly, this is the point when you relinquish control to the end user: in market, the end user will decide between success and failure. Having a clear strategy is crucial to both a successful launch and managing the product in the early stages of its life-cycle.