Are you sure you're ready for that product launch you've been considering for the last few weeks? Will the customers come running when the launch date arrives? How are you so sure the product won't malfunction? And can you be positive that your exact idea is not already thriving out there? The last thing you want is to find yourself just another trend follower on the day of your launch!
Bringing out a new product or service is always a big and exciting step for any business, as it can lead to very profitable outcomes. However, it would be best if you aim for flawless execution. You don't want to find yourself tongue-tied and apologetic on the big day because of an online system malfunction; your marketing team gets the launch dates mixed up, or your product suddenly gets labeled as a "copy-cat" product because another business has the very same idea!
These kinds of scary scenarios can be highly damaging to your brand's credibility and can turn your big launch into a horrible disaster.
If you are looking for valuable tips on avoiding a similar debacle and creating the perfect launch, you are at the right place. So read on to get started.
Potential Market Gap? Or a Fantastical Idea?
There is a business reality television series called "Shark Tank," where budding entrepreneurs approach a panel of investors to pitch their innovative ideas in the hope of convincing one of the "Sharks" to invest. Unfortunately, while some entrepreneurs present ideas that see the investors vying against each other for the chance to invest, others fail to impress and walk away bare-handed.
Big businesses too can find themselves investing their resources into what they thought were great ideas for a product or service launch, only to see the launch flop. And while innovation is excellent and can frequently be the game-changer in a successful launch, it will not amount to much if the idea does not align with the needs or wants of your target audience.
When Google launched their Google Glass in 2013 to the public, they thought they had something extraordinary. However, after the product struggled for two years on the market, Google had to take it off the shelves, as consumers did not buy into it as the company had expected.
If you think you have an idea for a product or service launch, try pitching it to your marketing team or your company's employees first! See if they get excited about it. Chances are if they are not jumping up and down about it, neither will your customers. Therefore, it probably will not be the best idea for your next initiative, it may require more work.
What Are Your Competitors Doing?
There may be times when you can find no noticeable gap in your specific market. However, that does not justify jumping on the bandwagon with everyone else. There is always room to add value to an existing product or service in your arsenal. Look at what your competition is doing to help you decide what that extra something should be. For example, if your business is in the wedding cake industry niche, ask yourself, "How are competitors catering to individual needs? How can you add a unique flair to cake designs and flavours? Or is there room for flexibility according to customer preferences? Is there a delivery service? What is the turn-around time for creating one wedding cake? What are the prices being charged? Are there additional services included?"
Thoroughly researching your competition to investigate what they are (or aren't) doing. Then, seize the opportunity to create a successful product or service launch.
How About a Trial Run?
While market research, ads, and audience engagement are vital in creating awareness and excitement about your upcoming launch, sometimes it's just not enough. For example, if your product or service is a pioneer in the market, customers might be sceptical about purchasing something that no one has tried prior.
Running free trials or demo services can be a great way to stave off buyer indecision and create a positive buzz around your launch. Invite various members of your target audience to participate in trials or host a public event where customers can try out the new product or service themselves in a timed-controlled environment if necessary.
Offering pre-launch test-outs like these allows your business to gauge how well-received its product or service is by the public. You can then use feedback gained to adjust or cut back from your concept as necessary so that by the time the launch date comes around, you are more confident about its reception.
It is better to reign in or delay a product or service launch if you have any misconceptions about its quality, functionality or reliability. A product or service not thoroughly tested is a potential disaster waiting to happen, as it risks the potential of generating losses for your business and a damaged reputation should your product fail to function as advertised.
Your product or service is not the only thing that needs testing, however. Be sure to also test the functionality of all action buttons on your website, sales pages, and everywhere your product will be advertised. You don't want the launch date to arrive and have customers clicking a malfunctioning 'buy' link that ends up taking them to the wrong page or does absolutely nothing at all! Remember the Obamacare Website rollout in the United States-healthcare.gov that crashed within 2 hours. That was in 2013, and it's still a topic of conversation.
No 'I' In Team
And lastly, everything you do — whether it's coming up with a new product pitch, investigating your competitions' strategies, or finding early buy-in for your launch — ensure you keep your entire company is up to date at all times on what is happening at each stage of the launch process, ensuring your launch goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Minimally, your employees should be at least familiar with launch preparations, so they don't find themselves tongue-tied and unprepared when customers come to them with challenging questions.
Nothing complements a product launch more than an employee who is ready, willing, and able to help turn that indecisive customer into a delighted, confident buyer.
Which of these tips are you going to try for your next launch? Let me know in the comments, and Happy Launching!