Deadlines are good to have, but it’s equally important how we communicate those deadlines to our teams and project stakeholders, especially during a product launch. There are a few key things to consider around the launch of a new product, such as:
Do you need a deadline for a product launch?
- Is there a market life of the product? A few days or weeks won’t always matter too much here, but if you’re eating into 10 percent or more of the product’s market life, you could be sacrificing too much of your estimated sales and profits.
- Are you a first mover product? There is a high impact for missed deadlines for first mover products, but this decreases with commodity products.
- Is there a high degree of differentiation with your product? The higher the differentiation, the higher the impact of delayed deadlines. Keep in mind that advanced technology is typically more sensitive in delays than mature technologies. Also, unsaturated markets are typically more sensitive to suffer through missing launch dates than saturated markets.
Don’t be afraid of minimum viable product
There is a huge consideration to be made to balance launch date and product. However, you should have an exact specification of your minimum viable product from the start and communicated throughout. Today’s rise in brand communication and transparency encourages and allows you to get customer feedback more readily so you can make improvements as you go. Listen to customer feedback via reviews, crowdfunders and social channels to improve your product after launch.
Responding to reviews is pivotal in product launches to ensure that customers both happy and disappointed are listened and responded to.
Choose your digital channels wisely
What digital channels are you using? Make sure you have them set up to publicize and function for the following:
- Customer feedback: Consumers love to communicate with brands on social media. Quite often, people expect swifter responses, so be prepared for questions. Is your product big enough to warrant its own social channel? Or are you happy to respond via your channels that already exist?
- Buildup to launch: This is a great opportunity to build product awareness. You can utilize your current audience and also publicize through paid media to build anticipation and spread awareness.
- Point audience toward resources around your product: So, you’ve made people aware of your product, but what advantages does it hold over the rest of the market and why should your audience be excited? Now is your key opportunity to communicate that.
Showcase your product
- Exhibitions and trade shows: You can exhibit at important industry trade shows where face-to-face interaction with customers is vital. Spike interest and build your customer database through collecting email addresses.
- Digitally hold an event: Utilize Facebook Live or hold a webinar informing of your imminent launch.
- Go on tour: An excellent way to gain feedback and promote your launch is taking your product to the right place at the right time. A way to do this is go on tour in some capacity. Roadshows are becoming more popular for brands not wanting to be confined to trade shows or exhibit dates but want to get face-to-face with their customers.
Find influencers to promote
Here, you need to focus on relevant influencers who have an audience that actively engages with them. Some great tools for finding influencers are:
- Buzzsumo: Great for finding websites that have covered your competitors or similar products.
- Followerwonk: One interesting measurement Followerwonk uses is social authority. As it mentions, it looks at an individual’s engagement and as retweets are strongly correlated with clicks, it gives a good idea of how people are keen to interact with that Twitter account.
- Influencer marketplaces: On other channels such as YouTube and Instagram, you might want to consider an influencer marketplace platform, which allow you to connect your brand and your product to influencers directly.
Do you have any particular tips or tricks that have worked when successfully launching your startup’s product? We want to hear about it! Share your experience in the comments section below.