The launch of a new product may seem like it’s occurring at a single point in time, but a product launch has far-reaching effects. A poor product launch could mean fewer sales, upset or confused customers and negative ROI. Conversely, a perfect product launch could mean more sales, more happy customers and a better bottom line. In order to brand your service firm the right way and take advantage of the same benefits that product companies receive from great branding, there are four key distinctions to consider.
Also read: How to Start Branding Yourself and Your business
The other day a friend sent me the coolest video. It featured askateboard looking device with no wheels that hovers in the air. Itlooks and acts like the skateboard in the movie Back To The Future.
Called the HUVr Board, the video says it won’t be available for purchase until December of this year.
And while it was a smart move to release the videos to get people excited,there are some missing elements that could hurt their sales in the longrun.
For example, they don’t appear to be building a list of potential prospects. Nor do theyseem to have a plan mapped out for the pre-launch portion of theirpromotion. And this is just what I can make out from what has beenreleased so far.
Also read: 7 Tips for Small Business Startup Success
Based on their lack of marketing up to thispoint, my educated guess is that they will be missing other importantelements during and after their launch too, which can severely limittheir bottom line.
This is not unusual though.
Manybusiness owners spend a lot of time developing their product and putcomparatively little time into the planning for how they will promoteand launch it. They wait until the product is ready, announce it andexpect sales to come rolling in. After the sale, there is usuallyrelatively little (if any) follow up.
But if you have a newproduct or service to offer then you want to make the most of it. Andthe truth is, this requires planning. Here are four steps for creatingthe best results when releasing or launching a new product or service:
1) Strategically name your product. Think of the name of your product or service as a headline. Is it clear and concise? Did you use simple language that will help your audienceunderstand what your product or service is? Did you use power words?
2) Define your audience. It may be that your new product or service isn’t for everyone in yourexisting customer base. Or perhaps different benefits of your productwill appeal to different segments of your list. Define who your newproduct is right for and create marketing targeted at this customer.Consider creating different marketing for different segments.
3) Design attractive packaging. Packaging can have a huge impact. Think about the last time you had apile of gifts in front of you. Chances are good you went for the package with the most appealing and interesting wrapping first. When competingagainst other products, packaging can have a significant impact.
4) Plan your release strategy. Don’t just let your new product or service show up on your shelf oronline store when it’s ready. Plan ahead. Build excitement andexpectation. The bigger the product or service, the more you should do.
Here are a few things to consider in your plan:
- How will you set the stage? Make a plan for how you will get people excited about your new addition. For example, you could create a marketingsequence that talks about some of the problems your new product willsolve and have a picture or photograph that depicts an unveiling tocome.
You might send some “behind the scenes” information about the development process.
You could offer free videos which give rich content or if you aremanufacturing a new product, you could show a cool video duringproduction to show the product being made.
You could also show the before and after photos that depict what they can expect from a new service offering.
Depending on how you will release it, you might consider a sequence that asksyour prospects to “save the date” for your big release. Don’t forget toinclude your plan for when and how you will post on social media too.
- When and how will you release your new offer? Pick a release date that you feel confident you can meet.
Then plan how you will release your product.
For example, you might hold an event and invite the media to come inaddition to your customers. Perhaps you will have an online event whereyou stream live from your place of business or hold a Google Hangout soyou can do a demonstration while allowing people to ask questions.
- What will the offer be and how long will it be available? Consider creating a special offer that is available only during your release dates.
By including bonus items for a limited time such as limited edition itemsor information products that support your newly released product such as videos, e-books, etc. you can create urgency and reward the people whoshow up and purchase your new release first.
- How will youget the word out about your new product or service during the release?Will you send a series of emails and direct mail pieces? Will you need a strategy for announcing it through social media? Will you do a pressrelease?
Determine what items will need to be created and when you will send them during your release.
- How will you follow up after your product or service announcement? Afteryou make the official announcement that your new product or service isnow available, how do you plan to follow up? Some people will purchaseright away, however many will not. Plus a percentage of people whopurchase your product or service will purchase from you again, if asked. Forgetting to include follow up means leaving money on the table.
While it’s too early to tell if HUVr Board has a plan or not, it’s never tooearly to start planning for your own product launch to make sure youdon’t lose customers or profits. Simply lay out a marketing funnel which defines what the marketing sequence will be leading up to your productrelease, during your product release and after your product release, soyou can create a lot of buzz around your company, pick up new customers and maximize your profits.