Your business is working on something. It could be huge and it’s an idea that’s sent a ripple of excitement through everyone who’s heard about it. It feels like nothing could go wrong, however, great ideas don’t always translate into great product launches, without thorough research/planning.
It seems cruel, but the world of business isn’t necessarily a meritocracy, and so building an incredible launch plan to go with your incredible product is an absolute necessity.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a young events company hoping to break through the big players or an activity centre planning your next great day out for customers, the fact remains the same; great launches create great revenue, provided your product is good.
In this guide, we’re going to provide you with 9 incredible tips for launching your new product, seen through the lens of one of our customers, who implemented our online booking system.
No product is created in a vacuum, and despite how original your idea may appear, there will always be competition surrounding the idea. As such, you need to spend the time investigating what other companies have done and are doing in the space. If you’re a company that takes bookings, you’ll understand that many of your competitors are now taking bookings online, meaning that this is the way that the market is shaping, and you should most likely keep up with the trend.
Your job as you launch a product is to know what other companies are doing, what they’ve got right and what you think you can improve. How will your product disrupt the space? For the activity centre that approached us for an online booking platform, they’d noticed that competitors in their area hadn’t utilised an online booking platform yet, giving them an important edge, and a USP from their competitors who have yet to catch up with the online booking trend!
For many businesses, the job of marketing doesn’t sit in the hands of those who devise the products and services that are being sold. Meaning that it’s vital for the marketing team to know the product inside out!
If that’s the case, you need to get to know your new product intimately before you draw up any plan. Join in on development calls; get to know why the product was designed and what problems/market gaps they’re trying to fill and ask as many questions as you can, to really extend your knowledge on it.
For example, our customer whom recently launched their booking system with us, really got to know the system, taking weeks to familiarise themselves with the advantages and uses of their booking system. This became extremely useful during their product launch as they really knew what to tell their audience and how to say it. This then resulted in a successful product launch.
Customers ask questions, so have your staff fully trained up and understanding of what your product is, and its distinct advantages is of vital importance. If you don’t do it pre-launch, confusion will only spread through your staff and on to your customers. If you’re launching a new product, it doesn’t give off a good impression if the staff don’t know all the necessary information they need to.
If your staff have full knowledge on the product, they would be able to answer any questions customers have once the product has been launched. In terms of someone launching a booking system, it would allow staff to know where to point customers when they book, and able to lead them through the process if they are having problems doing so.
“If you build it, they will come” might have worked in Field of Dreams, but when you’re launching your product, that’s not how it works. Any product launch should come backed by a unified announcement and promotion strategy which combines effective copy, targeted marketing across social media and email, plus press releases sent to the relevant places.
Take, for example, our activity centre, launching their online booking service. Customers would have little notion of its existence if it weren’t for the information they sent out to them from staff. The best way for the business to do this would be through an email campaign as a formal announcement/update.
When launching a new product or service, you can run ahead with the branding from an early stage. The name and messaging of your product will help guide its development, and it’s what customers will interact with long before they get to use your latest and greatest.
However, remember that these things should never be set in stone prior to launch. Everything can be improved, and if the market shifts underfoot as you prepare to launch, you need to be ready to change. Therefore this also adds that it’s important to be prepared to allow change.
The testing phase for your launch is crucial because it’s going to reveal an awful lot not just about your product, but your audience. Involving yourself in this process, either anonymously or in an official capacity will teach you huge amounts about usability, you’re messaging and virtually every aspect of what you’re attempting to launch. Plus it’s important to ensure that your product is fully functioning – you don’t want to launch something that isn’t complete to a satisfactory level.
From there, you can not only change what has to be changed but truly understand a product’s purpose and appeal outside of your perspective.
No matter how small the product, service or idea you’re attempting to launch, you need to be setting yourself ambitious goals. From your launch and into the months and years following, your goals for the product should be high. By using a best case scenario model, you’ll be aware just how effective your launch has been. It also makes you, and your staff, wanting to aim high in order to meet goals. If you’re Expecting 400 new customers but end up with 150? Something hasn’t gone to plan in the product launch.
New product launches are a great way to attract one-time customers back to your company and a brilliant way to get customers off the fence and buying from your company. However, they’re going to need a little encouragement outside of the sheer ‘newness’ factor of it all. That’s why we always recommend launching with an event. To ensure that your event is a success you will have to put out all the relevant advertising, which will bring in your current customers, and additionally new customers.
With BookingLive, you can easily set discounts and sales, which, along with a marketing push can drive sales through your business, as well as familiarise customers with the platform. This is something to consider when launching an event as you could give them a discount code to book with once the product has been launched.
Today, the market for all products is extremely diffuse, with customers using a huge variety of media platforms to discover products and services. Along with that has come more complicated, but more targeted advertising platforms.
When you’re launching, it’s crucial that you spend the time to evaluate and understand each platform before you begin your advertising. Returning to our activities centre booking platform launch, they found that Facebook was an extremely fruitful marketing platform, and not only published articles and adverts pointing out the new booking method.