Many SME’s introduce products (and services) every day but they have the potential to flop if you don’t spend sufficient time planning the launch campaign. Whilst some do a bit of advertising and cross their fingers there are many other things you can do to give your launch a greater chance of success, here are a few ideas:
Have a Plan
Everything starts here and I’m forever amazed how few SME’s have robust plans in place for anything let alone product launches. We’ve all heard “Fail to plan – Plan to fail” and it’s never truer in this case. What does your marketing plan look like? Your sales strategy? If the product takes off what’s the plan to handle the increased production and be able to deliver?
Identify its Unique Selling Proposition
Before putting together your launch message you’ll first need to identify what makes your product better or unique from those offered by your competitors. This is veryimportant so spend time on it and make it meaningful. Just saying “We offer great service” in not sufficient, a. You might think you do but quite possibly you don’t and b. All your competitors are saying the same thing so it isn’t differentiating you. Also make sure the features of your product align with the needs of your customers.
Set measurable goals
It’s good to be ambitious, but remember to keep your goals measurable and realistic. Ask yourself what the best possible results would be for this campaign and establish benchmarks with your team. Ensure you test and measuring everything, you’ll generate a number of KPI’s that can identify areas you may need to experiment with if you’re not hitting your benchmarks.
Construct your message
Your message will help you position your product. You’ll want to focus on the most valuable aspects of your product rather than its individual features. This allows you to communicate practical, relatable and relevant benefits to your potential customers. Remember if they’re going to buy all they really want to hear is what’s in it for them.
Make any necessary revisions
Share your drafted message with your team or take it a step further and gain perspectives from beta users. “The more opinions I get, the better decisions I make”, this is a phrase I dreamt up 20+ years ago and I’ve stood by it ever since. During this process you’ll discover parts of your message that may need adjustment, or additional areas where you may be able to add value.
Don’t forget an enthusiastic press release!
So now that you have your product, messaging, marketing, sales and production strategies in place don’t forget to bring your product to the media. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, what aspects would be most enticing? What sort of headline or angle would grab your attention? A press release needs to spur a reaction and will likely need a few rounds of revisions. Then once you’ve got it TELL THE WORLD!