Ask any entrepreneur – product launch process is one of the most stressful things that can happen to you. We can all just dream about the times where this was simple. All you needed was a good PR text that could bring you some publicity and a few billboards around town to create a buzz. And, that was it.
Well, we’ll get nothing from just dreaming. What we need to do is roll our sleeves and adjust to the times that have come. The digital times that have come. So many customers and so much competition. Attention needs to be gained over and over again.
Launching a product has never been harder. At the same time, launching a product has never been easier. You choose the path you want to go.
Unfortunately, many companies choose the hard one. It’s not a surprise that most product launches fail. Competing with millions of similar products is really hard.
However, you don’t need to be a genius to make a product succeed. You just need to know what you’re doing and who you’re selling to. You probably think your new product is the next big thing. So, what you really have to do is act like it really is. Put in as much effort in its launch as you did in creating it. Some products only succeed because of great marketing.
Here are some techniques you can include in your product launch plan:
1. Write a great press release
We did say we don’t live in the press release era anymore. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t need it. You just need to do much more things with that. Actually, a press release is always mandatory when launching a product.
Tech-savvy people still read all the tech-related portals and get excited when a new thing comes. What you really need to do at this point is to find out what are the portals that your target customers are reading and send them your big news.
One good advice is to send the text a while before launch. This way, you’ll have some time to collect early reactions. If the reactions are positive, you’re good to go. If they are not so great, you should work a little more before launching.
2. Start with the content
As soon as you announce your existence, start creating content. It might not seem so important in the beginning, but it’s one of the most important long-term marketing strategies you should pursue.
Your blog should be related to your business, how you got the idea, the problem you’re solving, tips on how to use your product, or other topics related to it. You can later re-use it for different purposes and create content for different kinds of channels. Your purpose should be to get your readers to share your content and bring more visitors to your website.
3. First test, then – launch the product
This is something that you should have already had in mind. No product release should go without testing these days. If you have the possibility, you could create two versions of your product and see what features your audience likes best. You could also do focus groups, surveys, or a beta program that will welcome early adopters. Basically, do anything that can collect feedback and give you an insight into what your customers think.
4. Choose early users and share with them
This is actually our suggestion on how to perform the best testing of your product. There’s no better way than connecting to your target group directly and asking them what they think.
What you need to do is choose a group of 20-30 users who have the characteristics of your target group and share the new product with them. This is called co-creation. Co-creation means connecting to your customers to create new ideas or products. This way, you can have a creative session with your customers, who can suggest ways to improve your product and highlight the features that are unnecessary.
Co-creation is a great way of testing the features of a product that saves a lot of money and efforts. You won’t have to spend money on expensive surveys and time on features your customers won’t like. Co-creation gives all the answers right away.
5. Create a referral program
No matter what year we live in, word of mouth remains to be the most effective marketing tool. People trust their friends and family when it comes to trying new things. Your role here is to motivate them to recommend your product. How? By simply giving them a small reward for doing it. For example, Airbnb gives extra credit to users who bring in their friends, and Dropbox gives extra storage space. If you have an e-commerce store, you can reward with free shipping or an extra discount. If you have a cool app, you can send out stickers. You just need to be creative!
This is a great technique for businesses who are just starting. There aren’t many other ways you can make so many people try your product.
Preparing a product launch requires a lot of time, efforts, and a clever strategy. It is a one-time event, but it affects the whole lifetime of the product. Having a bad product launch strategy could leave you with fewer sales, unsatisfied customers, and bad publicity. A great product launch speaks for itself – sales will go much better after a good first impression. Every new product is a challenge, and every product should have the launch it deserves.