A launch is like a press release in action. Just think of it as a coming out party for your product, service, or a whole new brand. Some companies incorporate events into their product launch. Some incorporate it into their everyday business. And for some companies, like us, our launch takes place entirely online.
Many companies going through a re-branding process often announce their return as a new and improved brand via a launch, especially in instances where they update the products and services they provide.
But whatever the purpose, a successful launch accomplishes two main things:
- It spreads the word about the brand, product, or service
- Attracts new customers and clients.
Every brand must set their own parameters of success, but if you walk away with better visibility, a more recognizable brand, and some new customers? Mission accomplished. So how does one accomplish this mission in the first place?
Procrastination is the little devil on a lot of shoulders in business. It’s tempting to just go over the basic plans and leave the big decisions and execution for closer to launch date, but the sooner you get started the better. A well thought out plan can make almost everything look doable, but execution also takes a lot of hours and a lot of man power. Get started as soon as possible.
Get Your Team Ready
Most entrepreneurs start out handling business on their own. Because of this, micromanaging and doing everything yourself is an easy temptation in preparation for a launch. However, once you get that boll rolling and the work seeps in, you’ll realize how much faster you can get things done if you trust your team to help.
If you don’t have one, get one. You’ll need them when more customers and clients come rolling in anyway. Then, provide your team with all the information they need, so they can make good decisions for your brand without the need to consult you every step of the way, as this can stifle creativity.
Temporary Discounts and Sales
How many times have you been tempted into purchasing something you probably didn’t even need, but got anyway because it was on sale? And how many times have you needed something, and watched diligently for it to fall within your budget so you can scoop it up? Probably more often than you can count, or would like to admit.
Offer that same opportunity to the public. This increases sales by attracting new customers, and by encouraging old customers to try new products and services.
Do Beta Testing
Sure, you wouldn’t be launching your product or service if you hadn’t tested it more than enough times before. But how wide was your reach? Be sure to involve more than just family and friends to do your beta testing.
Experiment with willing clients and customers at reduced rates. Get honest opinions. This could save you from a lot of embarrassment, and a ruined reputation. We did this for a year before launching our travel services.
Leverage Social Media
If you aren’t on social media already, it’s time to change that. Create a Twitter and Facebook account. Remember to use your logo as your profile picture, not a personal photo. Include some information about your company in the bio, and remember to include the website URL. If you don’t have a website, then it’s time to change that too.
Social media platforms are a great way to distribute information about your company, and progress with the launch. These are neat little reminders to people along the way that:
Hey, we’re really serious about doing this. Keep an eye out for us.
Make use of Personal Branding
If any of your key personnel has a strong online presence – and often, even when they do not – it’s a great idea to ask them to let their followers know about the upcoming launch. The messages don’t even have to be business like. Something like this works just as well:
Another late night working on the product launch for Company X. Is it possible to overdose on coffee? I think I’m getting there… X_X
Create and Share Relevant Content
Along with social media posts, content relevant to the launch also goes a long way. To get people ready for use of your product and service, start preparing, and publishing content that presents your brand as a solution.
Doing a launch for a coffee shop? How about an info-graphic on why coffee is a great part of a healthy diet? Or a blog post on five entrepreneurs who credit coffee as a major influence on their productivity, and morning routine?
Product launches and company launches really are as daunting as they seem. We would know. We’ve done three launches in the past few months, alone.
If you’re interested in getting some help for your product launch, or just hiring us to do it for you, check out our business consulting and branding services for more information.
About the Author
Alexis Chateau is the Founder and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.