The Difference Between Launch & Commercialization

Launching a product is usually the last step in the innovation process. Commercialization starts much earlier, in the conceptualization stage. -Dr. Roxie Mooney

People often use the terms “launch”, “go-to-market”, and “commercialization” interchangeably, but it’s important to separate them. What are the core differences between a launch strategy and a commercialization strategy? What are some of the considerations made in commercialization that aren’t included in a launch strategy? On this episode, we talk about the key factors that make a difference in commercialization and launch.


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3 Things You'll Learn

  • The key differences between launching and commercializing a healthcare innovation lie within the company's goals and when to engage your strategy team.
  • The goal of a launch is to maximize awareness, while the goal of commercialization is to maximize profit.
  • There’s a lot of strategic decisions that are part of the commercialization process that are not typically considered in a launch strategy. For example, timing strategies. 

Click below to download my PDF guide with more information:

The Critical Difference Between Launch & Commercialization Strategic Guide & Checklist


The distinction between launching and commercializing an innovation in healthcare is very important. Commercialization is the most critical stage of the innovation process. The strategic and tactical decisions involved in the commercialization process are deeply connected in ways that often go unnoticed and the effects of these decisions heavily shape and influence market success.

For example, timing strategies are often not included in a launch plan. Many health innovators just launch their new product when it's complete without any strategic consideration about the advantages and disadvantage of being first to market, a fast follower, or late follower.

A commercialization strategy defines a clear path to maximizing ROI of the innovation and the strategy development process starts a lot earlier than launch.

Many healthcare innovations will launch, few will commercialize.