Owning over 67% of the potato chip category in stocks, you would think that Frito Lay knew all the tricks. However, it was quickly apparent that the company wasn’t all-knowing when they released Frito-Lay lemonade back in the ’90s.
The strange beverage had an odd flavor, and it was difficult to market to customers. After all, who wants to wash down a salty snack, with a salty drink?
Launching a product is all about solving a customer’s problem, and adding value to their life. Frito-Lay could have avoided the dilemma if they had thought about how their product would help improve the chip eaters’ experience.
How can you put your customers first to ensure a successful product launch? Read on to find out!
Before Launching a Product
Before launching a product, you’ll need a well-designed prototype. Hopefully, you’ll create several prototypes throughout the development process. Each prototype helping you create an even better product.
For the best results, we suggest answering a few key questions about your value proposition. For instance, what is the need for your product, and what will the market be willing to pay for it? What’s your competition look like right now?
By identifying the details of what your products all about, you can then move forward with creating a successful prototype. If you don’t already have a prototype, don’t even think about launching your products.
Your prototype doesn’t need to be fancy for it to be effective. Instead, a simple sketch is a great way to get your idea out there. The development process of creating your photo typo helps you identify any flaws in your product before the launch starts.
Are you creating a product that has a lot of small parts? If yes, then you’ll want to forgo a simple prototype such as a sketch and invest in a more detailed physical model. 3D printers are a wonderful way to create realistic physical models of what your product is all about.
As far as budgeting goes, 3D printer prices can range from $200 up to thousands of dollars. We suggest avoiding the cheapest printers, and instead choosing a midrange option. Once you have the appropriate prototype for your product and you’re ready to introduce it to the world, the next step is to begin marketing.
When should you begin your marketing? Before or after the product launch? If you answered before, you’re right! Marketing your product before the launch is always the best route to take.
You need to build interest and anticipation about the item you’re going to release before you unleash it on the market. Marketing will also help you get a good idea of what’s going to happen after the launch takes place.
For instance, you can set up pre-orders. Pre-orders can be a lucrative part of your marketing strategy. After getting customers excited and creating a buzz about your product, allow them to sign up ahead of time.
Customers can pay for their pre-orders, knowing that the minute the product comes up they’re going to get exactly what they want. Pre-orders don’t just apply to physical products. They also apply to things such as memberships, or reservations.
Let’s say you were starting a business that served as a co-working space for remote employees. By allowing remote workers to secure their seats with the co-working space before it opens, you can have a good projection of what your launch success will look like. It’s common for coworking spaces to charge around $300 a month for a dedicated desk. If you had 50 preorders for dedicated desks, you could project an income of $19,000, or more for the first month.
Dealing With Delays
What should you do if you promised your customers a specific launch date, but the product isn’t ready? Whether it’s a game, an app, a product, or a service, don’t launch it until it’s ready. Yes, your customers will be disappointed if you delay the launch. However, they’re going to be more disappointed if they spend money on a product that has flaws. To avoid running into this problem, you should start by setting a realistic launch date.
However, be prepared to delay your launch date if needed. The best way to make your launch date realistic is by fully immersing yourself in the beta process. Not only should you create the right prototype for your product, but you should also test it out time and time again.
By catching flaws in your product design early on, you’ll be able to avoid having to scramble to solve them days before your lunch date. You can also give yourself a break by adding a time buffer to your lunch date. Let customers know that you’d love to have the product out by x date, but it could be as late as x date.
If you’re able to launch the product at an earlier date, customers will love the hard work you put in. However, if you have to push things out until a later date, customers will appreciate that you gave them a heads up. We also suggest having frequent communication with your team so that it’s easy to tackle product issues on the spot.
Instead of simply relying on a group text, we suggest having a collaborative workspace where your team can communicate. Sites such as Slack or a great choice when you need instant communication among teammates. You can also use test tracking platforms such as Asana when communicating with teammates.
Forgetting the Focus
When you’re creating a buzz for your product, should you talk about the product? Yes, but your main focus should be talking about the customer. Discussing the customer’s needs, and how your product is going to solve them is more effective than reviewing new features or designs.
A lot of people don’t care about the specifics of a product until they’ve already made a conscious choice to buy something. When you’re in that initial stage of attracting new customers, you need to put the focus on how your product is going to improve their life.
Emphasize how the product will solve a problem or add value to your customer’s life. Next, paint a picture so that customers can envision what it’ll look like to fit the product into their life. Will it be difficult acclimating to the features of the product, or is it easy for all skill levels to use? When you frame your marketing around the customer’s needs and lifestyle, you’ll create the best buzz for your product.
Once your product is out on the market, you’ll have the advantage of profiting from referrals. However, before your product launch, getting referrals is impossible, right? Not quite!
A big mistake a lot of businesses make is missing out on the opportunity to get referrals from influencers, such as bloggers and social media influencers. Bloggers and social media influencers already have an audience. You may be building a big buzz about your product with your marketing strategy.
However, customers can only speculate as to what your product may be able to do. They don’t have any examples or referrals from friends telling them about their experience with your product. That’s where influencers come in. When you get an influencer to try out your product before it launches, you can take advantage of the audience they’ve already built.
Opinion leaders are a great way to help warm the public up before your launch day. The influencer will help build your fanbase. When you have a fan base, you’ll have a group of people who are ready to buy your product the second it launches. You can also help build your fan base by doing things such as organizing giveaways or hosting special events.
At the giveaway and events new customers can learn about what your company does, and the exciting new product that’s going to change their life! Before you know it, you’ll have more pre-orders than you ever thought possible.
A great example of a successful influencer for beauty products would be Huda Kattan. Huda Kattan has over 47 million Instagram followers, and she’s one of the 25 most influential people on the internet. Imagine being a makeup company and having someone like Huda test out your product. The results would be incredible!
Let’s say that you built up a fan base and tons of pre-orders have been placed. However, once customers receive your product or start using your service, they have more questions than answers. What went wrong? You failed to think out the onboarding process. A bad onboarding experience can hurt your customer retention rates in a big way.
Customers might think that you launched a faulty product simply to get money, or that you don’t care about providing quality. Recovering from a bad customer experience with a new product can be difficult, and sometimes impossible. To avoid upsetting your customers in the first place, make sure you thoroughly think out the onboarding process.
For instance, let’s say you’re providing some type of service online. To use the service, customers have to create a membership account and activate the product. For this example, you could help customers flow through the onboarding process by providing them with a video tutorial.
The video tutorial can provide an on-screen view of exactly what they need to do to set up their account. However, keep in mind that some customers aren’t tech-savvy. Your onboarding process should also include providing customers with all of the resources they need so that they can get answers to their questions.
Onboarding resources can include phone numbers and emails to team members that can answer their questions right away. You can also include a resource such as a direct link to an on-site chat feature.
By being able to instantly jump into a chat room, customers can avoid the hassle of having to call you to set up their accounts. You’ll also be able to save a ton of time and money by keeping your team members off the phones.
Investing in the Launch Event
Launching a product is a lot more than simply picking a date to release your product to the public. It’s also an event, a party, a celebration of something new and wonderful coming into the world! Be sure to plan a fun and engaging event for your customers to come to.
Following a well-thought-out press release and marketing strategy, you’ll have a great turnout. Not sure what goes into making your press release effective? Then you’ll want to take a few minutes to learn more about what press releases are all about.
Next, be sure that all of the key players of your company are present at the launch event, such as the CEO and other team members. By putting faces to the company’s name, customers will trust you more, and sales will increase!
Planning an engaging launch event is only possible if you schedule it on the right dates. Be sure to pick a launch date that people are likely to attend. Launching products too close to holidays is almost always a recipe for disaster.
Even if you schedule the launch date for immediately after the holidays, your customers may be too exhausted from their holiday excursions to attend. Instead, strategically plan your lunch date so that it lands on a day your customer base will benefit from the most.
Use Our Product Launch Tips
It’s exciting to envision your company launching a product that makes the world a better place. However, it’s clear to see that without a properly planned product launch, your idea could wind up feeling before it ever gets a chance to live.
Start mapping out your marketing strategy today so you can identify all of the different ways to reach your customers. Remember to reach out to influencers as well, since they already have an audience that’s waiting to listen.
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