Founders’ Guide to Thrive: How to launch a Product during COVID/Crisis Times

SARS-COV-2, or as we affectionately call it- COVID-19, has put a lot of things into perspective for us all. It has pushed us to relook at things, with new vigour and zeal while also appreciating the circumstances and opportunities we already have available to us. As problematic as the current situation may be- it hasn’t stopped companies from continuing to innovate, refine, launch, and flourish.

To be able to successfully launch a product during COVID-19, your top priorities have to include taking the time to understand what has changed because of this situation, what you can do to ensure your product can cater to those changes, and then strategically use the right channels to maximise returns.

Try and look at the bigger picture at a time like this, to ensure that all your efforts don’t go in vain. Don’t forget to keep the usual essential aspects in mind – understanding your product, marketing, communications and performance indicators will continue to be on top of your radar.

Listed below are 5 key pointers you absolutely need to keep in mind while trying to navigate a product launch during such unpredictable times:

Talk to your customers

If you are upfront with your consumers about the challenges that you’re facing, your base will most likely be empathetic to your situation as they steer through a similar situation. When COVID-19 had just begun to show its turbulence, many companies addressed their customers early on and were swarmed by nothing but compassion and appreciation for their honesty.

Be sensitive in your messaging

In a situation where you cannot delay the release of your product, salvage the situation by being as considerate of the pandemic in your messaging as possible. The current crisis is urging companies to think about how they can contribute to the greater good. Consider the options that are most feasible to you and align with your company’s mission, vision and social responsibility goals. An important point to keep in mind would be to make sure this is communicated in a sensitive and inspiring manner and not come across as a PR gimmick.

Your customer is #1

Step 1 of product development is that customer empathy precedes all and remains crucial and constant throughout your journey. One must remember that the brands which emerge victorious after this phase, will be the ones that successfully show to their consumers that they genuinely care about them

Make a Pros-Cons list on what it would mean to launch

Understand and list out the benefits and risks associated with launching a product during a crisis. Customers have less money to spend due to widespread layoffs, and overall economic slowdown. But, there will also be less competition. It’s a risk that only you can anticipate for, after analysis.


It’s in all caps, that means it’s super important! Make sure your new product or service helps fix a problem people are having right now, not six weeks ago.

When it comes to taking care of your product during a pandemic, there’s not enough data out there for us to make assumptions and claims. While there is no playbook, the factors mentioned above are definitely worth considering apart from remaining flexible and agile. With the development of crises, user behaviour is also constantly changing. What we do know is that resources may be limited, you also have limited time to develop and launch a product.

Seeing how tough this pandemic been on everyone, one conclusion that can easily be drawn is that it’s always nice to have a community of people surrounding you.

Have you joined the Intuit Circles community? Do it already! When it comes to the future of your business and how you can adapt in an easier manner, this strategic startup ecosystem engagement initiative by Intuit, facilitates business growth and knowledge for startups through smart-tech. It aims at powering prosperity for startups by providing for some of their biggest needs.

Thank you so much for reading, join us as we cover the story of an SMB next week. Do also read Sowmya Murthy’s insights on Customer Development here.

Contributed by:
Sanskriti Bhatnagar
Headstart Network Foundation