Only a fraction of most product launches are successful, and creating brand awareness and credibility within a budget are only a few of the challenges you can expect to face. Let’s take a close look at those challenges to increase your chances for success.
You can’t reasonably target everyone, so prepare to narrow down your audience to create a buyer persona. This fictional representation of your ideal customer should be rooted in the best data about your customer demographics and shopping behavior. Add in some educated speculation based on personal history, motivation, and concern. This allows you to customize marketing efforts and make a more effective impact on everything from messaging to activity selection to brand enhancement.
Take away: Get creative to narrow down a broad audience by focusing on what motivates buyers about your brand and how it can make them ambassadors.
Craft a clear and concise message so that buyers know what they are investing in and how it has value in their lives. Consider creating a “message map” to frame compelling and relevant product points for your audience so that you can help guide their progress through the purchase. Some of the benefits of a messaging map are:
- Establishes primary audience personas
- Establishes agreed upon goals for targeted personas
- Locks in core messages and talking points
- Guides customer towards a purchase
Take away: Messaging isn’t just a sales tool. It’s also a way to meaningfully engage with customers on a level that makes them feel like part of your brand from the very beginning.
A firm set of goals helps you stay on track for a successful launch. By checking in regularly, time and resources are guaranteed to be used wisely during the planning process. Some product launch goals to consider including are:
- Clearly position product name and brand for target audience
- Highlight credibility for the product and the company
- Cross-sell product to existing customer base
Take away: Think “SMART” when setting goals to take out the guesswork: make sure they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
Things will go wrong. Tasks will take longer than expected. Something will come up. There is nothing more stressful than juggling too many things at once, so start early. Build in time for the unexpected, and you’ll be glad you did. Once you have established your personas and the messaging you will use to reach them, it’s helpful to create a project timeline. Product launches often require months of advance preparation, so these timelines are critical to ensuring you stay on track.
Anticipate and plan accordingly for the problems that will arise. Multitasking as you face deadlines is too stressful and damaging to not be prepared. Go ahead and build in time for unexpected delays. Creating space for them now in the project timeline is worth the effort if it ensures staying on track for hardline goals. If goals are interdependent it may be worthwhile to have separate, detailed timelines that meet up at the collective goal’s completion point.
Take away: Don’t get distracted by the pace of the launch and begin to overlook your vulnerabilities. The best plans have faults and problems can arise without warning. Having space set aside to resolve those problems may be the most important part of your launch.
Don’t be afraid to make follow up an integral component of your product launch. You should be getting real time data from sales about whether you are hitting your target personas, and re-contact is always better sooner than later. The value in the customer’s mind about their purchase peaks right after the sale so be ready to request feedback and offer add-ons that complete the brand concept of the launch.
Take away: A product launch doesn’t end once the customer completes the purchase. Building a brand through re-contact underlines your commitment to the buyer and the product.
Product launches don’t have to be difficult or expensive. Those that are properly planned will provide a rewarding brand experience for you and the customer.