After months or years of hard work developing your product, you naturally hope for a smooth launch that makes a big splash with potential customers. Is everything lined up for a perfect product launch? Or will it fall short of expectations? And if it doesn’t land as hoped, what’s behind the lackluster results?
Entrepreneur recently weighed-in on what it takes to orchestrate a memorable launch and a few reasons your highly-anticipated launch may not resonate with consumers. In one timely article, contributors from the entrepreneurial mastermind group, The Oracles, shared product launch ideas drawn from their experience generating interest in new products and services.
Top Tips for a Successful Launch
Daymond John, Grant Cardone, Eileen Rivera, and other mastermind entrepreneurs recently put forth a number of recommendations for pulling off a successful product launch. According to the group, the following moves may help you generate a buzz when bringing goods to market.
Strategize – Identifying your core audience is an important first step, when developing a product launch strategy. Until you know who you’re targeting with your brand message, it’s hard to break through to members of your base, or to evaluate the effectiveness of a product launch and related marketing efforts.
After singling-out your core market, the next order of business is reaching its members with a message that resonates. At this stage, listening to others and accepting advice are key to fine-tuning your launch strategy and marketing approach.
Critical cohorts are your best friends prior to a product launch. They are the ones you can count on to point out flaws you can correct, before bringing your concept to market. For the best possible launch results, use their advice and insight to strengthen and refine your product.
Learn From Other Entrepreneurs – Breaking entirely new ground is hard for modern entrepreneurs, because so many methods have been tried, and tried again, by businesses that came before. Ironically, past players’ trial and error groundwork may convert to a significant advantage for your product launch, furnishing valuable insight about what works and what doesn’t.
As you prepare to launch, consider past success stories as well as marketing campaigns that fell flat. Identify what sets apart the winners from the losers, and apply the same thinking to your own audience. Whenever possible, borrow from the positive outcomes and skirt the problems experienced with past products’ poor launch results.
Embrace Outreach – Getting the attention your product deserves requires an outreach campaign supporting your launch. It’s hard to overdo product launch outreach. Whether it’s tweets, well-executed YouTube videos, Instagram posts, or direct email campaigns; don’t be afraid to be persistent, finding new ways to promote your launch.
Maintain a High Profile – Consumers take-in massive amounts of information each day. If you want your product to stand out amid the noise, you must recognize and exploit the value of attention.
Whenever possible, put yourself forward as an expert in your field, actively promoting your authority. Aim high for major news outlets, and do your homework, identifying the types of news segments in-demand with producers. Securing press exposure at the right time can propel your product launch, without adding to your marketing budget.
Build Fans First – Prolonged product success requires momentum, so it’s unrealistic, expecting to bolt from idle to full-steam ahead, without staging your growth. Building a core of fans prior to your official launch lays a strong foundation and sets the stage for further marketing efforts. When you ultimately follow-through with your full-scale product launch, having a cadre of pre-charged fans helps build a buzz about the release.
Add Brand Ambassadors – It’s easier to reach your core market when brand messages come from a trusted source. Adding brand ambassadors brings instant credibility to your product release, associating your goods with well-established advocates whose interests align with your own.
What Can Go Wrong?
Despite diligence and an open-minded approach, drawing on others’ expertise, your product launch may not be poised for success. According to Entrepreneur contributor, Jennifer Spencer, there are two distinct reasons product launches fail – either brand messaging fails to properly position the value of the product, or worse, there’s no market need for the item at all. Spencer points out:
- Product messaging falls short – Consumers need a reason to buy your product. If your messaging fails to explain the problem your product solves for buyers, they’re less likely to give it a chance. On the other hand, when you’re tuned-in to what members of your core market are experiencing, effective product messaging cuts through the noise, explaining why yours is the best solution on the market.
- You need feedback – Pre-launch testing is the best way to determine whether or not your product is a winner, before coming to market. A limited pre-release to select members of your target market gets the ball rolling. Armed with their feedback about the product, you can then tweak its design or reposition your full-scale launch to maximize reception among your base.
- A gut feeling should not be ignored – After all you’ve put into product development and pre-launch preparation, you’re the top authority on its function and design. Before selling a single unit, you may have ideas about how your core customers will receive its launch. If you have gut-level doubts, it’s probably because you expect your customers to have similar reservations about the product. When a gut feeling tells you to step back, it may be time to rethink your launch.
With substantial manpower and capital investment at stake, you can’t afford to miss the mark, launching your product. These tips and troubleshooting strategies can help you achieve launch success, by avoiding persistent product launch pitfalls.