So You’ve Got the Product Everyone Needs?
You’ve spent months or even years developing this product – you’re obviously going to be euphoric. But how are you going to build excitement around its release?
Anyone who has been working for months getting ready for a product launch knows the stress and the fear that can run rampant. Much of this is caused by the unknown, the fear that you’re missing something that could go wrong, and completely tank your product launch.
A successful product launch can garner valuable publicity, bring in new customers and help you expand your business presence into new markets.
Your startup or product launch is the first day you will show your “baby” to the world and let the public have a hand at your stuff. A good launch can do great things to your brand and build enough momentum to cut marketing and sales expenditure drastically. Remember the lines on the day before iPhone launch? You might not get that far for your product, but you could still generate a lot of buzz without spending too much.
Product teams have the best product launches when they work according to clear goals, deliver goods on time, and understand what makes their product lovable.
There is no doubt that the product launch phase is complex and critical. But there is little more rewarding than watching a product that you’ve worked on since inception come to life in users’ hands. But achieving this result involves enormous work from cross-functional teams.
Product launches are most successful when you plan ahead for them from the start — well before your product goes to market. The trick is to get the ball rolling in the months leading up to and following the release of your new product.
Every launch should ideally have a pre-launch, launch and post-launch checklist. Here’s how to avoid the common pitfalls in introducing your product to the public.
Pre-Launch: 3 months before the event
- Set your goals, objectives, strategies and tactics and identify tools to measure pre-launch objectives.
- Develop a content calendar that highlights deliverables, themes, topics, timing, and marketing channels you will use to promote the launch and share this with your creative and content team.
- Prepare marketing material such as ads, product information and instructions, infographics, videos, testimonials, announcements, teasers, and entries for various social media platforms.
- Create a pre-launch buzz: search for and engage with key influencers such as bloggers, journalists, leaders in the business/commercial world, volunteers, activists or expert in the field.
- Update your website, social media and offline portals regularly to ensure the latest news reaches your target audience.
- Inform your launch team of key events and activities and clearly assign roles and responsibilities.
- Create, maintain and share a logistics checklist and double check a few days before the launch to ensure everything is in place.
- Create excitement through offering demos, samples, special offers, contests, or coupons. Create your own hashtag too, to create social engagement.
- Send out announcements via different channels.
- Employ extra staff and ensure they are fully informed about the new product; extra hands could be a bonus.
- Appoint several employees as media persons to answer any queries and listen and respond immediately to minimize negative feedback or consumer unhappiness.
- Employees should mingle with everyone to ensure that no outliers are left alone through engaging in meaningful conversation.
Post-Launch (3+ months)
- Use metrics to monitor launch performance and compare with initial objectives.
- Gather feedback and testimonials from customers and channel partners; analyse and develop case studies if possible.
- Track sales and monitor inventory.
- Keep the momentum going with added promotions, enhancements or more advertising.
- Update your audience by telling them how the launch went and create social proof.
- Review what you learnt from the launch and how you can improve in time for the next one.
Product launches are stressful – that’s just the nature of it. But by preparing yourself with the key areas to pay attention to, you can give your customers that magical moment when they find the thing that they didn’t know they were waiting for. And that’s when it gets exciting.
Posted by Stephanie Robert, Advocate(PR), CorpMedia