How to Identify the Key Success Factors in a New Product Launch

There are 5 categories for success factors.
There are 5 categories for success factors. (Image: business success image by UBE from <a href=''></a>)

A new product launch is always risky. You can never be certain if your product will be a success or a failure. There are, however, ways to predict with reasonable accuracy, whether or not a product will succeed. This can be done by determining the key success factors for a new product. According to Dr. William R. Boulton, key success factor fall into five categories: customer requirements, competitive factors that must be met, regulations/industry standards, requirements to implement competitive strategy, and technical requirements to build a competitive position. Determining the precise key success factors for your specific product is simple when using these categories. Following a few easy steps will show you how to determine your key success factors.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Paper

Write down a list of customer requirements. These are the things that you know your potential customers want in a product. This can be gathered via market research. An example of a possible customer requirement for a new cellular phone might be that it needs to have a color screen for 95 percent of people to consider buying it. Therefore, it is considered a key success factor.

Write a list of competitive factors that must be met. For example, if you are marketing a new sports drink and all other sports drinks contain caffeine, putting caffeine in your product is a competitive factor that you must meet. Not meeting this factor means that you will likely be unable to compete, so this factor is a key success factor.

Write a list of regulations/industry standards in your specific business. A food product, for instance, needs to pass certain health requirements. Not meeting these requirements makes it likely that you will be shut down by regulators. Therefore, these requirements are considered key success factors.

Write your resource requirements to implement competitive strategy. For example, for a marketing campaign you will need to the the approximate cost and the number of employees needed. These are factors necessary to implement your strategy, so they are considered key success factors.

Write a list of technical requirements you need to build a competitive position. If you need access to particular technology to produce and distribute your product, this is a key success factor.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you are writing your key success factors, think about the requirements for your firm. Often, very small details can factor in success.
  • Remember that key success factors do not guarantee success, they simply reduce the likelihood of failure. Having a good product that you believe in is still important.

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