You’ve had an epic idea and you’re convinced it’s going to be the next big thing. It’s made it through the design process, the patent is sorted, and it’s being manufactured for the masses as we speak.
So far, so good. Now, have you thought about how you are you going to launch it?
The changing face of product launches
There was a time when launching a product meant getting a PR agency to write up a press release and send it out, along with samples, to all the relevant press outlets. It was then a case of awaiting the article, radio and television mentions rolling in.
The internet has changed all that, though, and news travels at the speed of light, not just to the usual news agencies, but also via the multitude of bloggers, vloggers and communities that have sprung up online.
On the one hand, this is great – more outlets means more chance of more people being made aware of your product. On the other hand, the speed at which news travels means you’ve a smaller window in which to grab people’s attention before everyone is on to the next, next-big-thing.
So here are some insider tips on how you can successfully launch your product…
5 tips to successfully launch your product
- Get in early – The way people consume content means attention spans are getting shorter, so it’s a good idea to plan a rolling launch that will keep the conversation going for a number of weeks instead of days or even hours.To maximise exposure, start your blogger and journalist outreach between six and eight weeks before the launch and build up towards the official launch date with a series of teasers. You could also run competitions once the launch date has passed to keep the conversation going.
- Use social media – Social media platforms mean you’ve got some great bespoke marketing tools at your fingertips – and it’s all free (unless, of course, you give things a push via paid social). So pick your platforms, choose some relevant hashtags, get thinking of some attention-grabbing social posts, check the analytics to find out when your target audience is at its most engaged and then get scheduling.
It’s also worth reaching out to relevant social media influencers to see if you can get them on board, early, to increase your reach.
- Don’t forget the mainstream media – All the talk of social media influencers, bloggers and vloggers, mean it’s easy to forget the mainstream media and industry publications – they still have a part to play in product launches and there is still some merit in doing things the old way. So, still get that press release written up and emailed to journalists, sending out samples where necessary, and make yourself, or a spokesman, available for bespoke quotes, or even full interviews, for each publication – journalists will appreciate you giving them a personal angle.
- Open a pop-up shop – If you’re an online retailer, customers can feel disengaged from your brand as there is no physical outlet where they can buy your goods and interact with sales staff. One way around this is to open a pop-up shop, which basically involves taking over a vacant shop space for a short period of time to create a buzz around your product. To maximise this buzz, open up a number of shops in key locations and coincide each opening with the launch date of your product.
- Keep the buzz going after launch – Once you’ve created a buzz around your product, you’ll want to keep that going for as long as possible post-launch date, and there are a number of ways you can do this. You could run competitions on social media to keep people engaged, and then increase engagement further by interacting directly with those that enter the competitions. If possible, get commercial partners involved, especially if they have a financial stake in your product – the more people creating a buzz, the better.