What Business Launches Can Learn From Product Launches
Would you like your new business to see success like Harry Potter or Nintendo Wii? These marketing success stories don’t just happen, they’re carefully crafted from the beginning. By the time these products hit the market, consumers are already scrambling to snatch one up. How can you build this anticipation and become a whopping success, and more importantly, avoid the fate of the 90-percent of business failures?
Establish a Brand Voice
Image via Flickr by Calgary Reviews
Before you think about getting a customer in the door (even if it’s a virtual door), you’ve got to grab their attention. Your name and advertising has to be consistent, pointed and clear. You can’t expect people to guess what you’re about, you have to put a real and vivid picture in their minds.
Perhaps the best example is McDonald’s. The word “McDonald’s” wouldn’t conjure up images of burgers and fries in minds around the globe, if it weren’t for those golden arches. This company has spent 57 years establishing that symbol as a place to get cheap food quickly. As soon as those arches come into view in the windshield, kids begin crying for Happy Meals and parents resign themselves to a Quarter Pounder. McDonald’s has successfully relaunched the McRib over and over again. Build a voice, and make sure all your marketing efforts go toward establishing this image.
Build Excitement Ahead of Launch
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The surest way to fail is to wait until your doors are open to let folks know you’re around. By the time you build your brand voice, you’re filing for bankruptcy. Huggies highlighted this point in 2012 with their release of Little Movers Jeans. Huggies got the word out about these blue jean diapers well before product launch. By the time these diapers hit shelves, mommy bloggers and social media were bursting with excitement.
Never underestimate the power of the buzz. Create an image people want to talk about, and get the word out. Craft press releases for media and bloggers. This process needs to start months before you open your business. Offer insight into what you’re offering and how you plan to deliver it. Generate excitement so people are waiting on you, not the other way around.
Meet a Need
Image via Flickr by Mike Saechang
Building excitement is directly related to meeting a real or perceived need in people. If they don’t have this need yet, give it to them. KFC just launched a hugely successful product, their Double Down. What made the launch a blast?
The Double Down doesn’t have bread – it’s simply a couple of pieces of chicken packaging bacon, cheese and pretty much everything we’re supposed to avoid. But, this “sandwich” was ideal for low carb dieters – chock full of all the yummy stuff they can eat, and devoid of the carbs they’re avoiding. Make sure you’re tapping into something people are looking for, even if they don’t know it yet.
Live Up to the Hype
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A well-crafted launch which begins early and builds up steam ahead of time is a great start, but it won’t assure success. Take, for example, the new Windows phone. While new phones are always cause for excitement (especially in the tech world), this product can be assured of success because of the solid reputation of Windows. Only by providing user benefits consistently over time has Microsoft established itself atop the marketplace. Make sure to back up the promises you make along the way with great products and excellent service.