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Product Launch and Marketing Glossary



(See also GA and LA) - the point in time when a product is available to the public.

Battle Card

This is an image of the BrainKraft Battle Card showing the places to capture information about a competitor, their product, strengths, weaknesses, claims, and responses to those claims.

A battle card is a tool that has two purposes. The first purpose is to document knowledge of a competitor. The second is as a sales tool to help salespeople navigate a competitive sales situation. 

A good battle card provides a summary of your product, the competitor and the competitor's products, the target buyer (see buyer persona), the competitor's strengths and weaknesses, ways to engage in a sales conversation, and proof points of why your company/product is better (see unique value proposition).


Defines a testing phase for a product when the product is stable enough to share with a limited audience. Beta can also be used to validate Positioning, Unique Value Propositions, and stress-test operations. Beta is a milestone when real users get to use a product in the real world and provide feedback about their experience. A beta test program is typically offered to a limited number of customers, who are more likely to test a product more thoroughly and provide constructive feedback. 

The Beta program isn't just for product testing. It's also a time to refine positioning and discover which features customers value the most, which feeds into value-based pricing.

Buyer Persona

This is a thumbnail image of the BrainKraft Buyer Persona Canvas which is used to capture information about an ideal customer profile: who they are, what they care about, and what they think.

A fictional representation of the people who are involved in a decision to buy a product or service. A Buyer Persona is developed from factual information about people through interviews and observation. Buyer Personas are the atomic element in a buyer's journey. Their needs, desires, and requirements factor into buying criteria, which form the acceptance criteria of a buying decision.

Buyer's Journey

This is a thumbnail image of the BrainKraft Buyer's Journey Map which gives you a way to document the steps of a buyer's journey along with the buying roles and motivations. See also the Buying Center Canvas.

The typical steps buyers (see Buyer Persona) take to purchase a product or service is a Buyer's Journey. It is much more detailed than a sales process and more expressive of what buyers actually do. It can also be referred to as the Buying Process. 

A Buyer's Journey maps the path different buyer personas take along the way to making a buying decision. There are typically different buying roles, including the economic buyer, technical evaluator, user buyer (sometimes called a functional buyer), and researcher. A sales team often equates the economic buyer with the decision maker. Technical evaluators look at a product or service through the lens of compliance. It either matches or it doesn't. The user (functional) buyer views a product or service through the lens of functionality. That is, will it help us to do our job better? And the researcher is the Buyer Persona tasked with finding a solution to a problem.

Buying Center

This is a thumbnail of the BrainKraft Buying Center Worksheet. Use this worksheet to document the buyer personas involved in a buying decision along with the buying role they play.

A group of Buyer Personas involved in a decision to buy a product is called a Buying Center. A Buying Center is rarely an organized group with a common agenda. Often the Buyer Personas in a Buying Center operate independently and provide their feedback as they engage in their part of their Buyer's Journey.

Buying Criteria

Buying Criteria is the set of attributes or qualities a buyer persona uses to evaluate one product over another. Buying criteria range across a spectrum from nice to have to must have. Meaning, not every thing a buyer persona asks for is necessary for them to make a buying decision. 

Campaign (Marketing Campaign)

A campaign is a series of connected activities organized to bring about an accelerated result. A simple email blast - no matter how large the list - isn't a campaign. The most effective marketing campaigns are multi-channel. There may be several email sends, social media outreach, advertisements, sales plays, and so forth, coupled with automated nurture streams, a consistent brand look and feel, and outreach tools for a sales team.

Channel Partner

A channel partner is an organization that sells your products and services on your behalf. They sell your product as is (Reseller or Retailer), add other products or services to service a niche (Value Added Reseller), or they can do the above on your behalf (Distributor). The path from you to your customers is called a distribution channel. Some distribution channels are very short, and some are very long. Every node in your distribution channel wants to make a profit, so remember to factor that into your pricing strategy.

Competitive Landscape

This is a thumbnail of the BrainKraft Competitor Comparison Matrix which is used to compare a group of competitors to identify their relative strengths and weakness against buying criteria.

A competitive landscape is a summary of potential competitors (rivals) capable of solving a similar set of customer problems. Knowledge of competitors is used to identify threats and market entry points, develop value propositions, develop a pricing strategy, and position a product offering. 

Having deep insight into competitors and their products is critical to positioning your product and re-positioning your competitors. Most competitors have a quality or other attribute they position as their strength. The goal of re-positioning competitors is to make them look less attractive to buyers.

Continuous Delivery

A software development practice of pushing new features to a clone of the system which has passed automated testing. Software releases in the clone are ready for manual testing. New features are often delivered with feature flags.

Continuous Deployment

A software development practice of pushing new features into a live system which have passed automated testing. The new features are often deployed with feature flags to allow them to be turned on and off. Depending on the state of the feature flag, new features can be available to all customers or limited to select customers.

Continuous Integration

A software development practice that merges the code of all developers into one code base.

Customer Advisory Board (CAB)

A group of customers or other influencers who provide feedback on company/product direction. In times past a CAB was used as a mechanism to get feedback on which features to build next. Over time CABs evolved to be a component of a customer retention program.

Customer Profile

Another term used for a Buyer Persona.

Dark Features

A software development practice of releasing features to a subset of customers. The features can be validated and modified as needed. This group of customers may not know they are being tested (they are "in the dark").

Demo Dolly

A lighthearted term used to describe someone who conducts a demonstration of a product.

End of life a product

The act of removing a product from being purchased or used by customers. See Sunset a product.

Feature Launch

A feature launch is when a major feature of an existing product is the focus of a launch. The feature could be a new one or a major improvement to an existing one.  Both product and feature launches are commonly called product launches. 


This is a thumbnail of the BrainKraft Product Launch Framework poster with a description of each step in the framework.

A conceptual structure that provides direction and guidance. E.g., development framework, design framework, launch framework, testing framework, messaging framework, or go-to-market framework.

General Availability (GA)

A term that denotes that a product can be sold and revenue can be recognized. Used widely in the software industry.

Go to Market (GTM)

"Go to market" is an umbrella term used to describe the set of strategies and tactics to achieve business goals by aligning an entire organization. Some organizations use Go-to-Market and Product Launch interchangeably, but they are different. A Go-to-Market plan has a longer range planning window than a Product Launch. A Product Launch has a shorter planning window with near-term launch objectives. 

A Go to Market Strategy anchors a go-to market effort. These efforts focuses on how awareness and engagement result in sales leads and how a sales team is prepared to have discussions with prospective buyers.

Go to Market Strategy (GTM Strategy)

The overarching approach (stratagem) taken to introduce a product to a market in order to achieve a business goal. Developing a Go-to-Market Strategy requires identifying ideal customer profiles, target market segments, communications channels, partnerships, distribution channels, competitive landscape, business models, and pricing models.

Golden Master (GM)

Borrowed from the days of burning a software product onto a CD or DVD. It's the final version that is released to manufacturing (RTM). It's a development milestone that signals the development team is finished. It is a formal handover to the (product) marketing team. The term originated in the days when software was burned onto diskettes, CDs, and DVDs.

Ideal Customer Profile

This is a thumbnail image of the BrainKraft Buyer Persona Canvas which is used to capture information about an ideal customer profile: who they are, what they care about, and what they think.

An ideal customer profile (ICP) is a biography of a prospective customer that is a perfect fit for your product and your company. An ICP represents the kind of customer you prefer to do business with for the reasons you find them ideal. See also Buyer Persona and Customer Profile. 

Launch Canvas

This is a thumbnail image of the BrainKraft Launch Canvas which is a cornerstone document for planning a product launch.

A one-page summary of a launch plan that incorporates launch objectives, KPIs, advantages, obstacles, resources, and budget. There are two uses of a Launch Canvas. One is as a thinking tool. The other is as a communication tool with a launch team and key stakeholders. A free copy of the BrainKraft Launch Canvas is found in the Member's Area Worksheets and Templates folder. Note there are PDF, PPT, and Keynote versions. Read the article Product Launch Planning with the BrainKraft Launch Canvas to learn more about the Launch Canvas.

Launch Director

The individual who is accountable for launch success.

Launch Objectives

This is a thumbnail image of the BrainKraft Launch Objectives Worksheet which is used to document the Win, Keep, Grow, and Steal launch objectives.

Launch Objectives define the parameters of a successful product launch. The big three launch objectives are Win, Keep, and Grow. Win represents new customer acquisition, Keep represents customer retention, and Grow represents increasing purchases from existing customers. More on the launch objectives of Win, Keep and Grow can be found in the article Defining Launch Objectives: Win, Keep and Grow.

Launch Plan

This is a thumbnail image of the BrainKraft Product Launch Brief, which is used to summarize a product launch plan

A launch plan documents launch objectives, launch strategy to achieve the objectives, launch readiness efforts, and the performance metrics to track launch performance. The Launch Canvas is a simplified one-page approach to think through the process of a product launch and document the "big rocks" that need to be moved to have a successful product launch.

Launch Readiness

A cross-functional effort to prepare an organization to promote, sell, deliver, and support a product. More information on launch readiness is available in the article The Four Dimensions of Launch Readiness and Product Launch: The Ultimate Guide.

Launch Roadmap

The tool to help you communicate the launch status with your executive team is a Launch Roadmap. Generally speaking, a roadmap is a guide. It shows how something gets accomplished. A Product Launch Roadmap fills that definition of a product launch. The article How to Build a Better Product Launch Roadmap That Actually Delights Every Stakeholder has a more detailed explanation of a product launch roadmap with an example and a downloadable PPT.

Launch Strategy

Leveraging available internal and external resources to achieve launch objectives. Launch strategy guides launch tactics, not the other way around. A launch planning sequence begins with defining launch goals, then building a launch strategy, and then the launch tactics.

Launch Team

A launch team is a cross-functional group of people organized to plan and execute a product launch. There are four roles within a launch team. The launch director is the leader of the launch team. Launch ambassadors represent functional areas of a business. The project manager monitors and drives the completion of activities and deliverables. And the executive sponsor provides executive-level support. 

Launch Tier

This is a thumbnail image of the BrainKraft Launch Tier Guide, which provides a description of the launch tiers as featured in the Launch Tiers diagram.

Launch tiers are a way to prioritize product launches to optimize the use of company resources. The number of tiers vary but are typically between 3 and 4. A Tier 1 launch is the highest priority, and Tier 2 launch less of a priority, and so forth. The idea behind launch tiers is to ensure that company resources are prioritized according to the impact of a given product launch.

When a company has a single product all product or feature launches are effectively Tier 1. Launch tiering really has value when there is a portfolio of products and there are limited resources.

Limited Availability (LA)

The state of a product when it can be sold but only to select customers. LA is used to control the delivery of a product and is often used to get reference customers in advance of a product launch. It's a milestone when a product is available but only to a limited number of customers. Typically LA is used as a way to control access to a product when there are concerns that going GA would be detrimental or too risky to the business in some way.

MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead)

An abbreviation for Marketing Qualified Lead. An MQL is a sales lead that meets a set of qualification criteria before handing it off from the marketing team to the sales team. The qualification criteria are typically a combination of marketing automation pattern identification along with input from the sales team. Organizations that have a Sales Development Rep team will receive the MQLs from the Marketing team and further qualify the MQLs, rejecting some of them and passing the rest on to the Sales team.

Market Position

A place in the minds of potential customers to occupy. It allows potential customers to compare your product and other products.

Market Segment

This is a thumbnail image of the BrainKraft Market Segment Canvas, which is a tool to document the attributes and qualities of a market segment

The meaning of a market segment is that it is a group of people who share common needs or problems, common behaviors, common preferences, and reference each other. Market segments refine the focus for development, marketing, and sales efforts to optimize resources for a higher return.

Marketing Asset

An artifact, skill, knowledge, or quality that helps achieve a marketing objective, e.g., increase conversions, educate buyers, or retain customers. The term market asset is often used to refer to tangible things like website pages, articles, podcast episodes, recorded webinars, white papers, ebooks, analyst reports, and sales tools.

Marketing Plan

A strategy document that documents the go-to-market objectives, strategy, tactics, and performance metrics.


The practice of developing a message potential customers understand and will respond to in a positive way. Also referred to as a Primary Message. It is developed as an output of a positioning process.

New Product Introduction (NPI)

NPI is the systematic process of taking a product from concept to commercialization in an efficient manner. It's also a term that's used synonymously with product launch, especially in the tech world. 


This is a thumbnail image of the BrainKraft Positioning Canvas, which is a tool that documents the position, the primary message, and the unique value proposition of a product or service.

Positioning is a form of communication. It's the practice of developing a 'position' in the minds of buyers that leverages perceptions a buyer already has. More commonly, positioning refers to the process of connecting a potential customer's needs and preferences with the strengths of an organization (people and products) to get customers to take action. Positioning also includes re-positioning of competitors, which is to cast competitors in a less-than-desirable light.


The practice of implementing a pricing strategy.

Product Launch

A coordinated effort to bring a product to market that accelerates business objectives. Not to be confused with a product release. A synonym for launch is "go to market", "GTM", "new product introduction", or "NPI" in some organizations.

Product Launch Governance

Product launch governance includes the methodologies, practices, tools, and roles that support  repeatable and reliable product launch planning and execution. This is commonly the responsibility of a Program Management Office in conjuction with cross-functional stakeholders. 

Product Launch Strategy

Leveraging all available resources (internal and external) to achieve launch objectives. Product launch strategy guides launch tactics, not the other way around. A launch planning sequence begins with defining launch objectives, building a product launch strategy, and then the launch tactics that support the strategy.

Product Management

The discipline of moving products through a life cycle from idea to creation to growth. Titles in this discipline include product manager, offer manager, product marketing manager, and many other clever derivatives. The day-to-day activities of a product manager can vary widely from company to company. At the core, a product manager's role is to identify opportunities to solve problems for groups of customers (market segments) that support a business strategy. They gain support internally by gaining resources and the budget to build and maintain the thing that solves the problems they've discovered.

Product Marketing

The discipline of bringing a product or service to market and driving it to its potential. Product marketing includes developing a go-to-market (GTM) strategy, positioning, making the market aware of a product offering, pricing, packaging, preparing the sales team, and launching a product.

Product Release

A version of a product completed by the Development team. In the software world, releases don't always require a launch. For hard goods, a release is associated with a new model of a product, and the frequency is far less than software.

Release Candidate (RC)

A release candidate is a development milestone when testing is nearing completion, and the product could be made generally available to customers. It’s common to have multiple Release Candidates (RCs) before reaching Golden Master.

Release to Marketing (RTM)

RTM can also refer to release to manufacturing. The term has been changed to reflect today’s reality. RTM means that the product marketing team can begin promoting a product as the product development is complete.


A strategy document that results from a roadmapping exercise. Often erroneously considered a commitment document by everyone outside the product team.


The planning practice for identifying and sequencing product capabilities, market opportunities, and events (more on roadmapping from Product Growth Leaders).

Roll Out

Roll Out, as in "When is the Roll Out of the product?", typically refers to the activities that support the announcement and availability of a product. Sometimes Roll Out only refers to internal activities that are associated with launch readiness.

Route to Market (RTM)

A Route to Market is the path taken to efficiently achieve sales objectives. This involves a combination of a direct sales force, resellers (channel partners),  e-commerce, and marketing. Route to Market is often abbreviated to RTM, which can be confused with the term Release to Marketing or Release to Manufacturing.

Sales Accepted Lead (SAL)

SAL in some organizations fits between an MQL and a SQL as part of a multi-step lead qualification process. An MQL meets a minimal set of qualifications and is passed to an SDR (Sales Development Rep, aka BDR) to further qualify the lead. Once it passes the SDR lead qualification step, the MQL is deemed a Sales Accepted Lead and passed along to a salesperson.

Sales Development Rep (SDR)

A sales development rep (SDR) is also known as a business development rep (BDR). These are the people that do first-level sales filtering of marketing qualified leads. If the SDR determines a high enough level of interest, the lead is passed on to a sales rep. The result of the work of an SDR is either a new sales opportunity or it is rejected.

Sales Enablement

The practice of preparing and verifying a sales channel is capable of identifying a qualified sales prospect and guiding the prospect through a decision to buy a product. The term "sales enablement" includes the selling infrastructure, methodologies, processes, knowledge, and tools. In a product launch, sales enablement most often refers to educating the sales channel on a product (or suite of products) that addresses a need in the market. Some organizations have a dedicated Sales Enablement team, and in others, the activities of sales enablement are the responsibility of product marketing or product management.

Sales Engineer

A role that provides technical pre-sales support. Often abbreviated as SE. A sales engineer has a deeper knowledge of a product than a salesperson and is a technical expert in the field. Activities a sales engineer performs include giving product demos, working with a sales prospect's technical team, and assisting with the technical aspects of a sales proposal.

Sales Funnel

A common representation, the graphic of a funnel, of a sales process from a lead to the close of a sale. There are many depictions of a sales funnel. Terms like "top of the funnel" and "bottom of the funnel" refer to areas of the sales funnel. Top of the funnel is where new marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are introduced. The bottom of the funnel is the last stage of a sales process before a customer makes the final decision to buy. The steps in the progression of a sale in a sales funnel typically follow the sales methodology adopted by a sales team.

Sales Opportunity

AKA "Opportunity". It's a potential customer that has expressed interest in your product or service and meets the qualifications established in a sales-qualified lead (SQL).

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

An SQL is a sales lead that has been accepted by a Sales team and becomes a Sales Opportunity. (not to be confused with Structured Query Language). An SQL is a sales lead with clear intent to buy.


"Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value." Go to for details.

Show Up and Throw Up

A term used to describe a presentation or a demonstration of a product where the prospect's problems are not known or taken into consideration.

Spray and Pray

A marketing practice that employs unfocused methods in an attempt to find a qualified lead. Companies employing 'Spray and Pray' spend a lot of money and have a low return on investment (ROI).

Sunset a product

To sunset a product means to no longer make it available to purchase from customers. In some cases, the product is completely withdrawn and can no longer be used. In other cases, the product can still be used by customers but will no longer be supported or upgraded. Organizations sunset a product because it is obsolete and superseded by something newer, is not profitable, or no longer supports the company strategy. Read the article How to End of Life a Product in the product launch blog.

Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

AKA Unique Selling Proposition. The unique, differentiated thing you offer your customers. It's what sets your company or product apart from the competition. A UVP is only unique if customers believe it's unique.

Value Proposition

A value proposition is a promise to a customer to deliver a set of benefits.

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