Product launches are milestones in any company, yet some seem to do it with consistent success while others struggle. Sometimes it has a lot to do with branding; Apple, for instance, seems to sell thousands of each new product on the first day. For businesses that don’t have quite that visibility, it’s more of a challenge. Here are 10 ideas that can make your product launch more effective.
#1. Focus more on people, not a product
Don’t devote too much time and space going over all the features of your wonderful new product – put more emphasis on its value to consumers. How will the product benefit the people you expect to buy it? For instance, if you’ve got a new app to find your car in a large parking lot, talk about how frustrating it is when you forget where you parked, and how your product will overcome that and solve the problem forever. If there are special features that rival products don’t have be sure to stress them, but above all, convey product value beyond simply the price tag.
An effective product launch means garnering as much attention as possible while spending the least amount of money. One way to do this is through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. There are millions of faithful social media followers that can spread the word about your new product announcements. Launch your teaser campaign about three weeks to a month before the actual launch day so the buzz has time to spread. Make the announcements as intriguing and exciting as possible without going into hyperbole. You could try using colorful code names, memorable new slogans, a captivating promo girl or fitness model, and anything else people are sure to notice.Credit: Johannes Marliem
#3. Provide video
Producing videos take more time and money than posting texts, but they tend to have a bigger impact with audiences. Videos engage users more and are easier to remember. One of the best ways to promote your product is through short videos that highlight key features or use case scenarios that show how your product can improve everyday life. You could even create a whole series of short videos highlighting different aspects, or telling a story that builds to a climax at the product launch.
#4. Influencer Marketing
Influencers are people or organizations with authority on certain topics that others look to for guidance. It’s estimated that only 6% of sites drive 80% of impressions. This is why influencer marketing is considered an increasingly popular yet still cost-effective form of internet marketing. If you can interest one of these influencers in one of your product launch event ideas, it’s a big boost. Their input can start generating interest through a single blog or social media post.
Does a pretty face really sell better? In fact, it does. Having a bikini-clad girl or male fitness model puts audiences in a frame of mind that’s more favorable toward your product. But it has to fit in with the concept. Having a gorgeous model sell toasters is blatant exploitation and viewers won’t accept it. However, it fits naturally with beauty or grooming products, sports and fitness, luxury lifestyles, exotic vacations, and so on.
#6. Suspense Building
One of the best ideas for product launch lies in building suspense. People are naturally curious when they encounter secrecy; releasing an effective campaign but with few details can create a flurry of interest. Audiences will only become more interested as the days to product launch tick by. Something as simple as the announcement of a “revolutionary new feature” without saying what that feature is will create buzz. Just make sure the release lives up to the suspense.
#7. Accept Pre-orders
It’s not unusual for organizations to overlook the possibility of making real sales when struggling to come up with creative product launch ideas. If you have loyal customers who are willing to try your next new product, or even new customers who want to buy in to the idea, that’s an easy sale. It would be a mistake to make them wait and have the opportunity to change their mind. Allowing customers to pre-order your product can create momentum before the big release. You could even offer an incentive for pre-orders.
#8. Plan a Big Event
Plan a buzz worthy event for the release date. Product launch event ideas could include big sales, celebrations, festivities, giveaways, entertainers, surprise guests, raffles, prizes, and anything else that will create interest. Set a time period of three weeks or so prior to the big day, and post regularly to social media or blogs to build up excitement and momentum. Create press releases. This is a great way to get attention that should carry over well past the release date.
#9. Hold Contests and Offer Rewards
Among the different ways to promote an event, one of the most effective is to target your own social media following. You could hold a contest leading up to the product launch, such as offering a reward for the best product name or catchy slogan. Asking for marketing ideas is itself an effective marketing idea. People love contests, especially if it gives them a worthy prize. Even a relevant trivia contest with a “be the first to get the new [blank]” as a tagline could generate a lot of interest. The greater the reward you offer, the more responses you’ll get, and the more buzz will surround your product launch.
#10. Start a Conversation
You can share your excitement over new product launches by reaching out to prior customers or leads through “confidential” news releases or newsletters. If you don’t have an opt-in email list, you really should. You could even create one specifically for product updates in the months before the product release. Try to make customers feel special with “preferred” status. Leak product information and updates a little at a time. Encourage audiences to share info with friends, and ask for feedback. This will help to prolong the conversation and create further dialogue about your product.
Follow the product launches of some major brands like Apple or Starbucks to see how they build a following of ready buyers before products are even released. But your own strategy needs to be unique and true to your brand. A little innovation in your marketing tactics is needed to build and sustain interest in your particular product.
Images: Author’s Own