Adopting a multi-faceted approach with robust research, meticulous preparation and a thorough education & training programme is integral to a successful product launch.
So says educator, product formulator and UK chief executive of SQT UK Ashley Wady. “By investing adequate time into all these areas, clinic teams will be able to maximise and generate confidence in the product with practitioners and patients alike to generate the best ROI possible, as well as provide exceptional standards of safety, care and results that will organically generate patient loyalty for your clinic.”
She recommends doing an in-depth research and familiarisation audit into the new product that you are looking to take on because introducing new technology can be expensive and you want to make the right purchasing decision. This research should include recent and relevant market data.
“Look at whether the product has any limitations (does it treat all Fitzpatrick skin types for example?), as well as the products’ intended purpose, mechanism of action, indications, contraindications, potential side-effects, and any existing clinical evidence or studies about its efficacy and safety. Anyone can launch a device, but having supported clinical evidence and studies, alongside patient feedback that it really will do what’s promised, is essential to making sound purchasing decisions. In addition, don’t be afraid to consult your industry colleagues and ask for their opinions.
“As well as looking externally, it’s also important to conduct internal research relating to the specific needs of your clinic and patients,” says Wady.
As she points out, looking for different technology helps to create a unique selling point (USP) for your clinic and sets you apart from your competitors. She advises that people be open-minded about where devices come from. “The USA, China, Germany, Italy and other European countries all have market-leading technology, so be sure not to limit your options because of preconceptions about a particular territory. Don’t automatically discount a product from China for example, as they are the third largest market for aesthetic devices in the world with a huge demanding market and pioneering technological advancements.
“Request a product demonstration if the company allows. Seeing is believing, and a demonstration can help to bring a product alive and assist the decision-making process further. Additionally, look at the people behind the brand you’re researching. Do they have industry-relevant experience and how much do they have?”
Once you’ve decided on the product, review your contract and terms. If the price of the product is above your budget, then don’t buy it.
Wady emphasises that good quality education and training form an important part of any product launch programme and are pivotal to its success. Both patient and staff education and training are of equal importance.
You should develop marketing materials in advance of the launch, as well as optimise social media content and email marketing to generate buzz and inform existing and potential clients about the product launch.
Include a launch event in your plans. Offer demos and introductory pricing, and decorate your clinic with balloons, free samples (if relevant), cupcakes, etc.
“Your initial launch will play an important part in creating excitement with your patients and is likely to have a word-of-mouth knock-on effect, so make sure you do it properly,” concludes Wady.