Key elements to a successful product launch
In most industries, and especially with technology, continuously innovating is a requirement for maintaining and expanding market share. Releasing new products and features requires several months of strategy and development, the completion of which is met with great fanfare within the company. Now, you need to share this advancement and sell it to customers.
In a world that is always looking to the next greatest thing – from iPhones and the latest Star Wars installment to artificial intelligence – how do you stand apart? Here are some points to hit so your new product/significant upgrade receives the appropriate attention.
Know the level of your announcement: Put yourself outside of the company for a moment. Is this an enhancement or tool that will matter to current or potential customers? Sometimes, companies are tempted to announce tools that may have required a fair amount of development work but are not significant to their general audience. Refrain from issuing a press release with all of the bells and whistles unless it is a new product or a significant upgrade, such as version 2.0. Targeted e-mail outreach may be a better medium for reaching your desired audience if only a subset of customers will find it pertinent.
Focus on the benefits: The tendency for many is to talk about features and discuss innovation for innovation’s sake. Don’t fall into this trap. At the end of the day, the goal is for people to use your new widget. Think about the benefits this solution brings to current and potential customers, and focus on those. If you have an idea of how much efficiency will be realized or money will be saved, consider creating an infographic that will visually demonstrate these advantages.
Include quotes: The customer is always king, or queen, and there is no exception with new product announcements. As much as people want to be on the cutting-edge, the minds of potential buyers are put to ease knowing that someone has been there first. It also shows that a peer views this as a good idea. Another way to show market demand is through a quote from an industry analyst.
Show market demand: This can be accomplished through a quote from an industry analyst or through survey results. It is great to point to a survey that finds 90% of people struggle with a problem and then announce you have the solution. Show that you are listening to the market and addressing its concerns.
Ensure spokespeople will be available: The press release is out and members of the media want to write about it. Make sure the people quoted in the press release, or a close approximate, are available for interviews in the days following the announcement.
Educate internal teams: It is easy to get tunnel vision with the launch of a solution and forget to involve additional teams that may be impacted by this announcement. Have sales and support been brought up to speed? If someone calls about the new product just announced, will they know how to answer basic questions? Many companies have been guilty of missing this step, at one time or another, although it is important. If this is a significant release, or one that differs from your core business, consider developing an FAQ that internal teams can reference to learn more.
Fill your marketing toolkit: Where will your customer learn more about this new solution? On launch day, be ready with some, if not all, of the following:
- Press release announcing the new solution
- Product-related product page/microsite
- Data sheet
- Screen/product shots
- Pre-approved social media posts
- Beta customer references (if available)
A product launch is an exciting event with many moving parts. With the proper planning and coordination, it can be executed seamlessly and show your company as the experienced innovator it is.