You have a shiny new idea that you’ve crafted into a product.
It’s a beauty and you love it. And you want the world to love it – and buy it.
If it were only so simple!
Product launches can be resoundingly life changing – think Steve Jobs and Apple – or they can be lacklustre, flat and disappointing – think Pepsi AM – only you wouldn’t because it died a quick death.
The secrets to an effective launch remain the same if you were to launch a business or brand (there would just be a few more things to consider)!
A launch is basically the culmination of all the planning, research, development and strategy that goes into the conversation you have with your target market in the lead up to your new product being available for purchase. A launch has a lifecycle, and a launch is designed to create sales.
Yet few (especially wannapreneurs) fail to heed the weight of influence this planning has on generating serious returns.
They skip past it whilst singing to themselves, “I’ll do it my way!”
But like many, they soon trip and fall flat on their face when their launch fails to take off in the way they intended.
Over the years I’ve been the advisor on countless launches, including; books, events, fashion, cosmetics, B2B services, online courses and more.
And this experience has taught me that you must focus on “six secrets” to learn and master to become incredibly confident with your next launch strategy!
These are not the only six mind you, there are many elements that combine to create an amazing launch, but these are six of the most important.
1. Knowledge is power
Research. Research. And research some more.
Review all your competitors marketing material, their websites, ads, sales process, everything you need to know when you’re entering that market.
Look at stats and be equipped with facts. If you’re entering a market, you should know as much as possible about that market place.
When you are researching your competitors, look at what are they offering to your market and how your product stands out against theirs, what is your point of difference and what is special or unique about your offering? Is your product relevant and needed? How will you deliver your product to the market? And the big one – why should someone buy your product NOW?
To answer these questions, you must know your product very well, what are the benefits, what problem does it solve – and for what person – which leads to the 2nd secret of a successful launch strategy…
TAKE THE TEST NOW:
If you can’t answer precisely what problem your product / service solves and for whom within 1-2 sentences…
Do not pass go!
Do not move on!
2. Hone in on your ideal client
Going to launch is the ultimate time to become crystal clear on exactly to whom you are speaking.
Again – from research, you should know; who is your ideal client? Why are they your ideal client, how do they find you, where do you find them, how do they want to be communicated with, what are their needs, what do they want to change in their lives and how can your product help them, how do they make purchase decisions…the list is a long one.
You can plan a launch strategy around that specific target market when you have as many details as possible.
To have a very specific targeted audience, you can plan for a very specific result. (You also can see a much larger ROI from advertising and social media marketing if you have a specific target market.)
Become an informed strategist and know your market inside out. Becoming aware of who your competitors are and all the details around your target market, sets you up for success in our next secret – powerful planning.
3. Powerful Planning
Think about what we’ve just learned: the key insights around what makes this product unique, what problem it solves for your target market, what result does your target market have after using the product, who is the target market and where do you find them.
THEN we need to take the next step – how can all of this knowledge be turned into marketing messages that produce a result for your investment and lead to product sales?
When you’re strategizing and planning your product launch consider all the different features to a launch marketing plan:
- Traffic and list building
- Social Media Marketing
- Advertising Schedule
- Email Communication Plan
- Key Industry Influencers Communication Plan
- Metrics and Goals
- Press and Publicity
- Branding, messaging and positioning….just to name a few!
Build a marketing plan that rolls out in phases.
Know what your phase 1, 2 and 3 goals and plans are. If you want an online store as well as a brick and mortar store, then plan for when each element will be achieved and work backwards from a final goal.
If you aim to sell 100,000 products between now and Christmas, write out what that looks like in steps (with strategies around each step). This can be a more manageable goal, for you and your team to work towards.
When you’re building your messages around the product always come back to the problem it solves for your key client, and why they need to purchase the product now.
4. It’s always the darkest just before the dawn
Launches can be stressful. A lot of extra hours, extra brainpower, increased stress and a lack of sleep can lead to a crabby, highly-strung individual.
Keep this in mind for yourself – and your team. When a company launches, or you decide to launch a new product or program, keep in mind all the people that have contributed to that and remember to say “Thank You” for all their energy and effort.
Be aware that maintaining momentum and vitality during the lead up to a launch can be hard, but what keeps a team pumping is knowing the goals, being invested in the final result and all having confidence in their ability to deliver.
Again, it comes back to knowing the product exceptionally well and understanding the problem it’s solving for the key target market (I can’t overstates this enough).
If you and your team are clear on connecting all the dots from the launch to the sales process to the ongoing lifecycle of the product then you’re all empowered to work hard and watch it come to life.
Pressing the “GO” button on the launch, which may be a social media campaign, an email sequence, a print run of an ad or the website going live is an exciting milestone and one to be celebrated, so make sure to include the team in that process!
5. Think long term and TEST!
Build for growth from the beginning – but build based on results.
You and your team have spent hours sourcing potential clients, driving them to social media channels, websites, in-store and at the final hurdle you can easily let them down by not being prepared for sales.
Think, strategize, plan and implement your entire sales process so that when a successful launch occurs, you have a system for your clients (and your team) to follow and you don’t miss out on opportunities for more sales.
A crucial element to the success of a launch is settling on the correct price point for your product.
This comes (again) from knowing your product exceptionally well, all the working elements to it, how much it actually costs you to make, how much your target market is willing to spend on something similar, how big are the differences between your product and a competitors and if that is going to mean your target market is willing to pay more for it.
You don’t want to price yourself out of the market, but you don’t want to undercharge and not make a profit – especially at launch time.
Thinking long term and building a long-term strategy is only as successful as the long term viability of the product.
There’s one camp that says “Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress” however, with some products or programs – you will only get one chance. The only way you can be 100% sure of your product is to test it. TEST it. Test it now. Then test it again.
This might take the form of physical testing if the product is a tangible item, or it might take the form of focus or research groups with members of your specific target market.
Depending on what you are selling, it might also see you roll out a beta-phase of a website or program and collect the data around how your beta-testers are using and interacting with the product.
Have an ongoing list of objections and roadblocks that have come up around the product and instead of ignoring them, ensure you and your team aim to overcome them.
One thing to remember – if there are fundamental issues that need to be addressed, then do not launch until you are incredibly proud of your product, knowing that it does exactly what you say it can.
Sometimes that means personally funding the delay in cash.
6. Once the ship has sailed
A launch doesn’t stop at the date of the launch. It keeps going and growing and developing. This is especially true if you have decided to have a ‘pre-launch’ marketing phase!
From the beginning you want to collect data, access the metrics, measure success and plan for the next level of results, or a ‘re-launch’. This is an essential key in the long-term success of any new product to market.
And, if you’re looking to secure some positive media and press around a successful launch, or the stage shortly thereafter, you are going to want to collect growth statistics from the beginning so you can really build on the story and strength of the product’s impact so far.
Alternatively, if the product is showing lacklustre sales and really underperforming then review the strategy (and the role out of that strategy) to see where the holes in the process exist, and try to fix them.
If it’s still not working as you have planned, you need to assess the long-term viability of the product. You are in business, and have launched a new product to generate revenue – so be smart with assessing the lifetime of a product!
Of course, our aim at benangel.co is to see you successfully create massive product or program launches and take your idea to market in a powerful and profitable way.
You can launch faster than you may think, once you have mastered some key fundamentals, know your product and market incredibly well and are thorough with your planning and implementing.
If you are looking to cut out a lot of head and heartache and strategize a purposeful launch for your company, new program or product, then you might want to take a look at our IGNITE program – this is our advisory service, offered to a select few businesses that are in the position to dedicate 90 Days to creating an ultimate launch marketing plan, check out the video here: