Think your product launch will beat the odds? 75% of launches fail to gain any traction in the marketplace. When respected, well-known brands launch products that flop, how can you give yourself a shot? Don’t settle for a haphazard launch that’s doomed to fail. An amazing product isn’t enough, but these five things give your launch the altitude to rise above the rest.
Every successful brand or product has a story – a way to connect with people that resonates. In a world where information rushes at us faster than the speed of light, much of that noise gets ignored.
How do you cut through the noise and get someone’s attention? A hook. Something that matters to them. That’s your story.
When you stack your features and benefits up to your three closest competitors, do you see a significant difference? Competing in crowded markets requires more than a list of the things your product is and does. Instead, sit in your customer’s shoes. What can your audience do with your product? What matters deeply to them, that’s suddenly better because your product came into the picture? What fears do you squelch? What headaches do you alleviate?
When your customers envision the ideal solution to their problem, what do they see? How does your product play an essential role in that perfect scenario? Hone in on that, and you have the makings of a story worth listening to.
Why is this important? When you’re seeking media coverage and attention for your new product, no one’s going to write about what you’re selling. They’re going to latch onto an angle of your product’s story that’s likely to connect with their audiences.
Storytelling creates connection that sticks in the memory. An incident where your product saves the day – even a hypothetical one – could be the hook that makes your product take off. Want to make your story even more powerful? Connect with your customer’s highest values that go above and beyond what you’re offering.
Just ask Chipotle. In 2011, founder Steve Ellis envisioned his restaurants using only ingredients grown and raised from sustainable farming practices. To make the message meaningful, Chipotle created an animated video it intended to only use on social media. 7 million views later, the touching video, highlighting family farming called “Back to the Start ” became the company’s first ever national commercial. Chipotle became known for its commitment to only use free-range pork and vegetables grown in healthy soil.
That’s their story: “With every burrito we roll or bowl we fill, we’re working to cultivate a better world.” They already knew people came to them because they wanted great-tasting food at a great price. How do you make the “great taste, great price” message matter in that crowded market? You stake your claim to a higher, more noble cause: improving the food supply and reversing the trend of harshly treating animals.
If that’s your passion, too, guess where you’re likely to eat your next burrito? Months from now, when you decide you want the freshest burrito in town, which restaurant will jump to the top of your mind? That’s the power of a good story.
What data convinced you that this product idea is viable? A story is vital, but your story won’t gain traction or sales without compelling reasons to believe that story is true. Many products fail before they start because they’re not backed by proper research.
Test your product to make sure there’s interest. Talk to people who buy similar or complimentary products. Talk to people who experience the problems you claim to solve. Find out as much as you can about the market before you dive in. Many fortunes are lost because an eager entrepreneur rushed to market with a product he knew couldn’t miss. Hunches without testing kill dreams.
So what statistics prove your product is entering the right space at the right time?
A compelling story needs an engaging storyteller. Before your launch, prepare for the media coverage with spokespeople who connect with your audience. People involved in the creative process of developing your product and test users who were thrilled with it are all potential candidates to become the face of your product.
Before you launch, know who’s going to talk to the media on your behalf and make sure they’re trained to present an upbeat, energetic, relatable tone under pressure. Genuine enthusiasm is contagious, and an enthusiastic spokesperson who fell in love with your product shows the world you deliver what you say you do.
Many amazing products with compelling stories fail because they lacked the funding to sustain the effort. If your product takes off right away, do you have the money to keep up with the production and support you must provide to keep up the pace? On the other hand, how will you keep afloat if your ascent is a more gradual one?
Through market research, you should go into your launch with a solid idea about how much it’ll cost to manufacture your product, market and position your offer, establish and maintain your web and social media presence, employ manufacturers and supervisors, and handle returns. If you don’t know, you’re not ready yet. Can you sustain your business for 3-6 months with little or no revenue coming in?
Think of your budget this way: what’s the worst that can happen? How much do you need to prepare for it? Even the most optimistic startups only stay alive if they’re backed by a pessimistic budgeting perspective. You need a budget that can withstand both a rocket launch and a slow takeoff.
Enter the game with a balanced, multi-faceted approach to marketing, so the right people hear what you’re all about. Start with the properties you control, and plan your website, blogs, and social media presence. Stay active on the platforms where you control the conversation. Add paid advertising in appropriate mediums, where you control the message.
Supercharge your marketing efforts with media coverage that spreads your story to audiences that’ll connect with your offer. A PR firm can help you make the most of media opportunities you don’t know exist, so don’t go it alone and leave revenue on the table.
Companies throw away $265 billion a year on product launches with nothing to show for their investment. Yours doesn’t have to be one of them. Not sure where to begin? Call Spiralgroup today, and we’ll work out a product launch plan that fits your budget, sells your vision, and makes you brilliant.