The other day a friend sent me the coolest video. It featured a skateboard looking device with no wheels that hovers in the air. It looks and acts like the skateboard in the movie Back To The Future.
Called the HUVr Board, the video says it won’t be available for purchase until December of this year.
And while it was a smart move to release the videos to get people excited, there are some missing elements that could hurt their sales in the long run (plus one huge one revealed later on here).
For example, they don’t appear to be building a list of potential prospects. Nor do they seem to have a plan mapped out for the pre-launch portion of their promotion. And this is just what I can make out from what has been released so far.
Based on their lack of marketing up to this point, my educated guess is that they will be missing other important elements during and after their launch too, which can severely limit their bottom line.
This is not unusual though.
Many business owners spend a lot of time developing their product and put comparatively little time into the planning for how they will promote and launch it. They wait until the product is ready, announce it and expect sales to come rolling in. After the sale, there is usually relatively little (if any) follow up.
But if you have a new product or service to offer then you want to make the most of it. And the truth is, this requires planning. Here are four steps for creating the best results when releasing or launching a new product or service:
1) Strategically name your product. Think of the name of your product or service as a headline. Is it clear and concise? Did you use simple language that will help your audience understand what your product or service is? Did you use power words?
2) Define your audience. It may be that your new product or service isn’t for everyone in your existing customer base. Or perhaps different benefits of your product will appeal to different segments of your list. Define who your new product is right for and create marketing targeted at this customer. Consider creating different marketing for different segments.
3) Design attractive packaging. Packaging can have a huge impact. Think about the last time you had a pile of gifts in front of you. Chances are good you went for the package with the most appealing and interesting wrapping first. When competing against other products, packaging can have a significant impact.
4) Plan your release strategy. Don’t just let your new product or service show up on your shelf or online store when it’s ready. Plan ahead. Build excitement and expectation. The bigger the product or service, the more you should do.
Here are a few things to consider in your plan:
- How will you set the stage? Make a plan for how you will get people excited about your new addition. For example, you could create a marketing sequence that talks about some of the problems your new product will solve and have a picture or photograph that depicts an unveiling to come.
You might send some “behind the scenes” information about the development process.
You could offer free videos which give rich content or if you are manufacturing a new product, you could show a cool video during production to show the product being made.
You could also show the before and after photos that depict what they can expect from a new service offering.
Depending on how you will release it, you might consider a sequence that asks your prospects to “save the date” for your big release. Don’t forget to include your plan for when and how you will post on social media too.
- When and how will you release your new offer? Pick a release date that you feel confident you can meet.
Then plan how you will release your product.
For example, you might hold an event and invite the media to come in addition to your customers. Perhaps you will have an online event where you stream live from your place of business or hold a Google Hangout so you can do a demonstration while allowing people to ask questions.
- What will the offer be and how long will it be available? Consider creating a special offer that is available only during your release dates.
By including bonus items for a limited time such as limited edition items or information products that support your newly released product such as videos, e-books, etc. you can create urgency and reward the people who show up and purchase your new release first.
- How will you get the word out about your new product or service during the release? Will you send a series of emails and direct mail pieces? Will you need a strategy for announcing it through social media? Will you do a press release?
Determine what items will need to be created and when you will send them during your release.
- How will you follow up after your product or service announcement? After you make the official announcement that your new product or service is now available, how do you plan to follow up? Some people will purchase right away, however many will not. Plus a percentage of people who purchase your product or service will purchase from you again, if asked. Forgetting to include follow up means leaving money on the table.
While it’s too early to tell if HUVr Board has a plan or not, it’s never too early to start planning for your own product launch to make sure you don’t lose customers or profits. Simply lay out a marketing funnel which defines what the marketing sequence will be leading up to your product release, during your product release and after your product release, so you can create a lot of buzz around your company, pick up new customers and maximize your profits.
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