We recently brought you some tips about launching a new product or service, but we weren’t quite done giving you all the most important deets. We’re continuing that post with one more crucial component of launching services and new product ideas: strategy. Even if you’re jonesing to just get the new offering to market already, press pause. Check out the following, and make sure you’ve chosen the right product strategy for your launch before unleashing your great new idea into the world.
There are nearly endless launch strategies to choose from, but this is one of our favorites. Getting validation from third parties about your new products and services before you release them to the general public immediately raises the stature of your offering. There are several tactics you can use when following this strategy. One is to engage influencers to rate, review or try your product or service, in the hopes they will ultimately share how much they love it with their own followers.
Another option is to send your product to a publication that performs formal reviews. For example, if you sell products for babies and toddlers, this is a smart avenue to pursue. There are numerous websites like BabyGearLab and Baby Bargains that focus primarily on, you guessed it, reviewing baby products. If they like what you’ve made, you get instant exposure (with a side of perceived trustworthiness, to boot).
You could also employ tactics used often in the software world. Think of this as getting beta users for a new app; you release your new product or service to a select group of individuals and then ask them for feedback and case studies or testimonials after they’ve used it. Any positive commentary from influencers, reviewers or existing customers can go a long way in making your new product or service’s debut both credible and highly appealing.
Another strategy to consider is one that heavily relies on Public Relations (PR) efforts: creating buzz. This won’t work for all products or services, but it can work exceptionally well for very unique, offbeat or cutting-edge offerings. The strategy is to “leak” details of the forthcoming product or service to journalists and influencers, and stir up excitement around its release before it’s even available.
You can do this by using traditional PR tactics (media pitching, contributed content, award submissions, etc.) and by using social media. Furthermore, you can get more eyeballs on your upcoming launch by hosting pre-launch giveaways. Or, by holding countdowns that tease the benefits or features of what you’ll be releasing and piquing buyers’ curiosity. If you can get publicity for your product or service by getting mentions in publications, via award wins, on social media, and in contests or events, you’ll already have a hungry audience that’s eager to buy.
The third strategy we want to highlight is all about thinking outside of the proverbial box. We like this one a lot because, after all, we’re artistic at heart. When you focus on being creative in your launch strategy, the goal is to make your target audience aware of your forthcoming offering in a way that resonates with them. Great vehicles for this include all things digital marketing, as well as lesser-used tactics like direct mail.
For example, let’s say you have a health consulting business and are planning to roll out a new lymphatic massage service. You could simply send the news out to your existing clients via email, but we all know that email marketing messages often get lost in the noise of crowded inboxes. Instead, what if you did something truly unique?
What if you sent a facial lymph roller in a pretty box to your top 20 clients? That would surely get their attention, and would be something they could actually use. You could even throw in a free tutorial about using the facial roller properly when they come in for their first lymphatic massage.
Of course, doing creative marketing like this doesn’t scale well, since it takes time to create and money to execute. But if you focus on this type of effort with clients who have already proven to be loyal to you, you’re likely to see big payoffs. Then with everyone else, find more scalable ways to be creative (like with clever copy in a Facebook ad or short quiz about lymph health in your email announcement).
Whatever your new product or service is, your launch will be more successful if you spend time planning your strategy first. Check that box, and you should see a lot more checks (scratch that… who uses checks anymore?) come rolling in. Would you like help to prepare for your upcoming launch? Give us a call!