Exercise 50 – How would you launch a social, fitness device ?

Post and review answers and feedback to answers in the comments section of this post.

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Aj
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Aj

Clarifying questions:
1. What’s this device do? Is it like Fitbit with sharing capability? Or something else?
2. Is this a pilot launch to test feasibility or a full launch?
3. What’s the price point for this device? Assume $100
4. Any key feature I should be aware of?

Goal: Assuming product is ready for launch and it’s not a feasibility study type launch. Goal of the launch could be to create awareness/buzz, adoption, engagement, gather customer feedback

1. Target Customer: It will appeal to broad customer base. But can be more appealing to millennials.
2. Target Market: Pick a market where competition is less and fitness is important. India could be a good market due to increased awareness about fitness, low awareness about Fitbit and other competitor product, price point of $100 is also attractive for Indian consumers. Social networks are very popular. Tech savvy people living in large metros will find it appealing. So target offline stores in those cities.
3. MVP/Full Launch- This is a full product.
4. Collaborators: Tie up with local e-com players like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal etc…, tie up with major retailers like Reliance Digital and large distributors which have good distribution network
5. Buzz: Send the product to influential reviewers to get their reviews/blogs. Reviews is major fitness and mainstream magazines, social media, news, have a referral incentive etc…
6. Risks: Low adoption – Get celebrity endorsements. Privacy concerns – Clarify that in promotion to avoid any perception issues.

KPIs
1. # of units sold – Broken by month, city, SKU, vs Competition etc…
2. Customer acquisition by marketing channel
3. # of returns
4. Feedback in social media
5. Engagement especially sharing feature used
6. CSAT

Anonymous
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Anonymous

First I will understand what the social, fitness device means?
Is it a specialized hardware that monitors fitness – say heart rate, EKG etc and then uploads it to the cloud?
Is it a sw running on your phone/smartwatch? – Assume the interviewer says this is the option.
In other words, I would understand what social and fitness mean.
Then I would understand what launch means? – Assume the interviewer says GTM.

Then I would clearly state my assumptions – Feature set has already been decided and approved. MVP has been tested out and the kinks have been ironed out and this is v1 of the product. I will make sure the interviewer is comfortable with these assumptions.

Next I would understand the goal of the product – Market share, revenue, Engagement of another product provided by the company etc.

I would then make sure that the customer segment that has been identified are targeted by the launch. Assume the target segment of customer is: Age – 20 – 45, Smartphone user, active people who exercise regularly and whose goal is to maintain their fitness and particularly people who communicate their fitness regimen among their friends.
Pre- Launch
1. Pricing issues will be decided based on the overall goal. My solution would depend on the feedback the interviewer gives.

Market share – Free with ad based revenue, or Freemium model.

Engagement of the ecosystem – Free software with potential links to other features offered by the company for example if FB wants to start a lifestyle application, I would use this to improve engagement of FB.

Revenue – Value based pricing. Look at what the market dictates for the base product and charge a premium for the features that this product offers.

Launch

2. Place – Who will be the channel partners
Since this is a sw running on the smartphone, i would create IoS and Android versions of the software and place it in the associated app stores.
If it is part of an overall ecosystem such as FB, then I would automatically enable this feature as part of the FB application.

3. Promotion – Promotion on social networking via influencers. Help improve NPS.
SEO to help gain traction for the application on the web as well as on the app store.
If it is part of an ecosystem such as FB, then I would also, based on user profile and knowledge, use a splash screen when people login to advertise their service. I will also use advertisements on their newsfeed, periodically, till they indicate preference one way or the other toward the application.

Post Launch

4. Metric tracking

Customers – How many did we target and how many of them converted to downloading the application

Cost of customer acquisition

Retention

Engagement – How long do they use the product? What features are being used. How is it improving the engagement of the ecosystem (if that is a valid option). Is it prompting to buy more accessories (if that is an valid option)

Market share – Are we meeting any of our market share goals.

NPS – Reviews? Are people recommending the service?

Feedback – How as been the feedback. Any issues with the UI?

Revenue – How many are converting from free to premium. What is the overall revenue?

I will use the feedback information and engagement information to potentially plan for v2.

Bijan
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Bijan

Hi there,
Thank you for the answer. Given there wasnt much information about the product and you really needed to have a conversation with the interviewer to get some clarity on the product, user base, and product launch goal, etc I think you did a great job of explaining the steps. I’ll post a more specific product launch question to help people practice. But your steps at the high level are correct:
First, ask clarifying questions about the product, what it does, what problem it solves and how, it’s user base, etc.
Then analyze it from company, product, customer, competitor, and market perspectives.
Next get into the strategies you have in mind for launching the product. Finally, brainstorm ideas on implementation for three phases of pre-launch, during launch, and post launch.