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7 Principles of Successful Product Certification

Find out how the world’s smartest brands approach compliance and certification to manage their global market presence.

Woman browses products in an electronics store.

From the beginning of your go-to-market planning, you should make product testing part of your strategy. Putting compliance and market-access at the core of your product road map can help ensure timely, successful product launches that enable you to protect and grow your brand.

Product launches often experience delays when product launch teams don’t fully understand the need for specific regional compliance requirements. Working with a regional expert early in the process can significantly help teams understand the regulations and requirements that might prove problematic as they try to get their products to market.

One example of the benefits of local experts is the Gulf Marking (G Marking) for members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Unless you work with an experienced local compliance team, it can be easy to miss the subtleties of national variations and dynamics. Identifying and mapping the regulatory landscape early in the development phase can help you avoid risks and delays.

Know your markets

Comprehensive market knowledge is essential for the market presence of any product. A successful product launch relies on a strategy that includes compliance requirements such as testing, evaluation and certification to your target market requirements and the availability of local experts to offer on-site support.

Frequently, manufacturers become so focused on compliance and certifications for one market that they miss significant opportunities to scale and grow. Are there markets you can expand into? Will changing regulations open new opportunities for your products? As you test, evaluate and certify your products, the information you receive can help you identify risks (and opportunities) that impact your broader go-to-market plans and long-term marketing road map.

In addition to proper certification, manufacturers often overlook details of documentation, which can easily compromise launch timelines. Make sure you know what documents you need, how they need to be issued and what proper approval processes you’ll require. The right certification partner will look ahead and help train you to identify and address areas where your team lacks expertise or adequate time.

Anticipate changes

When it comes to technology regulation, change is constant. The rapid pace of innovation has created extremely dynamic regulatory landscapes. As the pressure of innovation intensifies, the risk of not planning for correct compliance requirements grows.

From January 2020 to June 2021, UL Solutions tracked more than 1,300 changes impacting products and conformity assessment schemes. These shifts can cause severe disruptions to both short- and long-term product launch plans.

While cutting corners and sneaking by with the cheapest testing solutions may be tempting, this approach creates incalculable risks to your brand. The management consulting firm OakStone Partners estimates that a delay can cost a company upward of 15 to 35 percent of a product’s net present value (NPV) — i.e., the difference between the present value of the future cash flows from an investment and the value of the present investment. Instead of seeing the compliance process as just a box-checking exercise, manufacturers should view it as an opportunity to identify and mitigate risks to their launch schedule.

Speed-to-market doesn’t happen by chance; it happens when launch plans integrate compliance resources. The top electronics manufacturers in the world have built the value of their brands on ensuring that their products meet the applicable consensus safety standards and that buyers can trust them fully. A commitment to product compliance strategies is one of the ways that successful brands create and maintain market differentiation.

Download our e-book to gain valuable insight into how the world’s innovative brands approach testing and certification to manage their global market presence.

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The seven principles of successful product testing and certification e-Book

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