Interviewer: Walks in the room. After the initial introductions, “ I would like to discuss some product launch topics and test you on your skills”
You: Sure! (Internally you are just hoping that the problem is a easy one :))
Interviewer: Let’s start with a scenario where we are planning to launch Google Home in India. Assume you are tasked to lead the product launch. How would you go about creating a successful launch?
You: Ok. Here is what I would do
I’ve explained this multiple times before and blogs but to answer any product management question you have to lead with a framework. You should never jump into the solution space without defining the product, the goal of the launch, the steps leading to the launch, and how to measure the success post-launch.
Product launch is not just a test of your product management skills but can also be thought of as a product marketing question. You are not just developing a product but you are planning for the launch, how your product fits the market, and how to maximize the reach of the product. In real life, you might not be directly involved in the launch but you would definitely play a role in working with the marketing team for mapping the release date and tying the marketing message to the product features and differentiating the product from your competitors.
Let’s start with the product definition. In this case, we need to define Google Home. Google Home is a line of smart speakers developed by Google. The devices enable users to speak voice commands to interact with services through Google Assistant, the company’s virtual assistant.
Next, we define the goal of this exercise. The goal defined by the interviewer is to launch Google Home products in India. Goals for a product launch usually fall under launching a brand new product, drive adoption, creating awareness, or grabbing market share. In the case of the Google Home product, we already have a tested business model and our goal is to launch the product in a new country and grab the market share there.
Next, we talk about our strategy to accomplish the product launch. There are three stages to a product launch. They are the steps you take pre-launch, during launch, and also post-launch.
This is the time to launch some of your marketing campaigns such as social media campaigns and PR pieces published. Pre-launch is also the time to create partnerships with other brands or products that can be introduced during launch.
For the Google Home launch in India, we can partner with select companies in India to provide localized services. Partnering with local song streaming services, online shopping services, and local sports channels would be ideal to create excitement about the product. Google should also launch some PR releases to the local tech blogs and magazines and raise awareness for the launch date. Plan an official launch and invite select attendees including press, partners, and developers to the event.
Kickstart the launch conference and launch the product. Start advertising on all major channels in India. Announce a list of Indian companies that have integrated with Google Home as a way to showcase the use cases and utility of Google Home. Connect with Bollywood celebrities and cricket stars to raise awareness about Google Home by advertising and social media marketing
You should measure some metrics related to your goals set and also do post mortem on the launch success. We should measure the number of units sold in India over the period of 1-2 months post-launch. Look at social media sharing campaigns and customer satisfaction surveys to measure product success in India. Driving market share is not just about revenue. Hence measure the number of product activations and the usage metrics of the product over a period of 1-2 months. Another metric to measure would be the number of product returns within the same time period.
Finally, summarize your answer. Talk about the goal of the project and how the initiatives you suggested help drive the success of your launch and achieve your launch goals. In our case, we have successfully launched Google Home in a new country and driven the goal to grab new market share. We had clearly suggested different initiatives we would take before the launch, during the launch, and after the launch to achieve our goals.