One of the most inspirational, unpredictable and mysterious aspects of business growth is the development of new products and services.
What makes this so fascinating is that sometimes these products or services seem to materialize from out of nowhere. Or perhaps it was part of your plan all along? Either way, when you have a new product or service – you need to introduce it to the world.
When you think of successful product launches, you may think back to some of the Apple iPhone launch plans, where the product details are shrouded in mystery for months. When it comes to launching day, people are camped outside the Mac stores for days. You may not achieve that level of fandom but with some smart thinking, you too can create your own kind of buzz that will get your current and future clients excited about your evolving business.
This week, I’m sharing my special concoction of The Seven Ingredients of a Successful Launch.
Ingredient 1 “Market research”
Anyone will tell you that before you launch a product or service you should make sure that there are customers who want it. This traditional advice isn’t bad- but keep in mind that it is traditional. It does make sense to get an updated snapshot of the market, but we also give you full permission to use your gut. Sometimes customers may not realize what they want –until it’s presented to them. Back to the iPhone again, remember when you thought that you could live without a smartphone?
Keep in mind that releasing your new product or service is in itself market research. You can test it out in the market and see what works. You will get valuable feedback about how people will respond to your new product or service.
If you want to do market research, we want you to realize that it doesn’t need to be a big, fancy, expensive report with lots of complicated graphs (of course if you love graphs go ahead and get some market research done). You probably have the best target group – your own roster of clients. Give them a call and let them know what your new offering is and gauge their reaction. Not only are you maintaining relationships but they might be your first buyers.
Ingredient 2 Does it need its’ own brand
You already have a branded company, right? If not, give me a call for a complimentary advice session. If you do have a strong brand, how will your new product/service fit in? Is it complementary to your other offering or is this something completely new? If it’s new perhaps you can consider creating a completely separate, or separate but consistent brand with your current brand. Even if the new product or service is aligned with your offerings, it can make sense to brand it. Why? Because it may take off and the new service can be an entirely new company. Did you know that Slack started as the internal communication tool for a gaming company? The gaming company is gone, but Slack is one of the top communication tools.
Ingredient 3 Speed
You might think that with product launches, timing is everything. But predicting the ‘perfect’ time is impossible. If you have a product or service that you are happy with, then just trust yourself (remember you have our permission to trust your gut!) and launch it. You will get the powerful feedback that you need. Just keep in mind that planning and organizing a launch does take time in itself.
Ingredient 4 Marketing
Think of how you will let clients know about your plan. First, choose the key messages about what makes your product unique. What is the benefit? How will it make your clients feel? Think of what you will say. Then think of how you will say it. With brochures? With social media outreach? When you have your message and medium (and hopefully strong branding), then create a content calendar which will organize how you say it.
Ingredient 5 Press
Write a press release and post it on your website. Every industry has an associated media group. Contact them and let them know about your new newsworthy product/service. Many small companies don’t think they have the connections or clout to do this-but you do! But chances are, if you are passionate about your field, you are reading and consuming information. Whoever you are following, find out who they are and get connecting!
Ingredient 6 Talk to clients/customers…again
Yes, again! I can’t stress this enough – talk to your clients before and after you launch! You already have a relationship with them and even though they may not be the first customers for your new product or service, they will likely be your first cheerleaders and spread information about your new developments. Your continuing investment into client relationships can only help your business and just showing your clients that your business is blossoming in new directions will further convince your clients to continue investing in your business.
Ingredient 7 Celebrate
Yes! A new product or service is worth celebrating. I encourage having a launch party. It doesn’t always have to be big, fancy or expensive- in fact, it doesn’t need to be a party. It could be an event or a seminar. The important thing is that it deserves recognition and celebration. It’s not only good business but also a good reminder to your clients (and most importantly to you!) that your company is innovating, growing and evolving.
Iteration is required
I believe in continuous learning, iteration, and improvement. I have also expanded and refined my services over time to really zero in on my clients’ needs.
Need something else or a little bit in between? Let’s have a virtual coffee chat together and maybe we can custom design something just for you.
You never know, it could just lead to a brand new iGina offering that people will line up all night for.
The Way Forward
Guiding entrepreneurs on their journey to a remarkable brand is the mission of the Brand Alchemy Library.
For many of us, running or launching our business while facing a global pandemic has opened up a whole new range of challenges: from pivoting businesses models, evolving customer groups, saving money, and time efficiency - just to name a few. I want to support and help, especially at this time. I wanted to give back. My passion project was born from the desire to help even more people around the world in a affordable way!
The Brand Alchemy Library is a supportive community and resource vault designed to help your business thrive.
Inside, my #1 priority is to help entrepreneurs break free of the cycle of spending hours and hours googling how to's and templates. The resources I provide in the library are 100% vetted and the exact frameworks, templates, exercises, and worksheets that I use with my clients to:
- build brands
- setup businesses
- run day-to-day projects
- action marketing and brand strategies
But, I'll tell you now, if truly becoming a remarkable brand is your goal, you NEED to join the Library Membership. Just saying.
Until next time,
Who am I?
I'm Gina Dunn, Brand Strategist and CEO of iGina - and my mission is to help entrepreneurs to define and build brands. Let's bring your brand to life!
Did you know that brand-led businesses outperform their competition by 83%? Get started by mapping out your very own brand strategy yourself with our Brand Canvas - get it here.