Congratulations! You’ve successfully created your own product. It might have taken you and your team months to create. It might have even taken you years to get to this point. Whatever the case may be, one thing is certain: you want to make sure your product is a hit.
It’s only natural that you feel anxious. After all, you have dedicated a lot of your time, money, and effort into this project. You probably shed blood, sweat, and tears throughout the development process.
For any brand, big or small, a flop will be such a crushing blow. It will definitely affect the business financially, but it will also lower the morale of your team. That isn’t something you want to see as it will send operations into a downward spiral.
There’s no need to panic, though. Success is within reach. All you have to do is create a stellar product launch plan that can maximize sales. Before you kick-start your promotions, take note of the following:
Build hype before the product launch.
You don’t have to wait until your product launch to introduce and start promoting your creations. Build hype before the unveiling of the innovation so that you stir more excitement in your target market. By the time you launch the item, you will already have a horde of consumers waiting to get their hands on it.
Focus on the consumer, not the product.
Take it from the late Steve Jobs, who is practically responsible for the massive success of Apple: promoting an up and coming product doesn’t mean shoving it in front of ideal audiences every chance you get. Not everyone will be interested in it, especially if you do it that way. But what has worked for Apple—which should work for you, too—is emphasizing how the product will affect the consumers’ life or experiences.
Now that you know the essentials, it’s time to strategize. Here’s what you can do to create that pre-launch buzz.
Step 1: Identify your ideal customer.
Who is most likely going to purchase your product? Take note that identifying your market segment isn’t similar to finding your brand’s target audience. For example, you run a clothing brand, and you sell a variety of products to men, women, and children. If the product you are about to launch is lingerie, you obviously need to reach out to that segment of your female audience who wants and can afford it.
Develop a customer persona so the entire team knows about this specific segment of your consumer base. Details such as demographics, educational background, hobbies, and interests should be considered in the development of a consumer’s profile. This way, you can save a lot of resources and you can avoid poor leads.
Step 2: Start working backwards.
Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos practices this strategy every time the company has a new product launch. Working backwards simply means working on your launch plans starting from the end game.
Draft those mock press releases. Explain what the product is, what inspired you to create it, and again, how consumers can benefit from it. These descriptions must be brief and straight to the point, yet very informative.
Next, create a potential Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) list so you can identify what your ideal consumer needs to know. You should also sketch out the customer experience to understand where and how the item could be used.
Finally, write a product guide or an instruction manual detailing the steps that consumers need to take to assemble or troubleshoot the product.
With these steps, it will be easier for your team to brand the product. It also helps ensure that branding will work hand in hand with the rest of your efforts towards driving sales.
Step 3: Test your product.
As you already know, products need to go through several tests. Whatever industry you may be a part of and whatever product you may be selling, physical or intangible, product testing needs to take place at every stage of the development. Testing the product and documenting the progress should help brands improve their final output.
Moreover, testing also builds hype. When beta testers or focus groups have a little sneak peek of your innovation, they could turn to social media to share their experiences. If they liked it, you’ll have instant promotions. If not, you can always take constructive criticism as a means to further improve the product before launching.
Step 4: Get thought leaders on board.
If you can get thought leaders or relevant influencers within your niche talking about the product before it actually comes out, you’ll be able to stir some excitement. This is also what Apple does, or more accurately, what it has been doing in the past few years. That’s how they can get people clamouring for the next big thing the moment their most recent product is unveiled.
Step 5: Draw out the suspense for as long as you can.
A little mystery won’t hurt anybody. Remember Sony’s promotional campaign for the Xperia? The ad didn’t reveal any substantial information on the smartphone. It was a 23-second video that showed a hand and a few curved lines. What they did reveal in that promotional clip was the launch date, which was last February at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC).
When creating your teasers, make sure that you don’t reveal everything all at once. Telling consumers everything about your upcoming product won’t send them into a frenzy. Let them wonder and assume. And they will do all the buzz-making for you.
Step 6: Launch at a special event.
Special events are always a good time to do product reveals. That’s why industry leaders like Sony wait for annual gatherings like the MWC to reveal their new tech. These events already draw so much attention, and their media coverage will likely spread the word about your product as well.
Once you’re in the final stages of product development, make sure the team is ready to organize and carry out an incredible product launch plan. Remember to follow this guide so you won’t have any trouble coming up with a successful and highly profitable launch.
Author Bio: Daniel Ross is part of the marketing team at Roubler — a scheduling and payroll software platform founded in Australia. Their mission is to change the way the world manages its workforces.