Launching a product or service is one of the most emotional and exhilarating moments for any business and marks the culmination of a long journey of brainstorming, design, analysis, and preparation. It is what, in large part, will decide the success or otherwise of your day one.
This guide is for those who are preparing their own launch, those who want to know what's behind it, and those who need to entrust the task to external professionals but want to arrive informed and prepared for the first meeting.
So, let's get started!
A is for Analyse Your Target
This corresponds to the first phase and is essential to defining the needs and desires of your ideal clients and to enabling you to offer them something in line with their needs while communicating it with just the right tone.
Within this first step is another crucial interconnected step; an analysis of your competitors and of products similar to your own. Observe and ask yourself about the way in which your competitors speak, the words they use to describe their products, the channels through which they communicate and the characteristics they choose to focus on. This will help you focus on the unique aspects of your own creation and enable you to differentiate it from others.
B is for Budgeting
The great unknown! Establishing a budget for your launch is critical for you and your collaborators. Need a tip? To optimize your expenses, make a list of all the activities that need to be carried out, and divide the budget based on the costs of each of them. Choose what to emphasize and leave behind anything that doesn’t fit. Remember, everything has a cost that often doesn't depend on you! At this stage, you could already begin taking into account an important aspect that you’ll inevitably have to consider: the launch price. Evaluate whether you’re in a position to offer a dedicated discount, and if so, to whom (will it be for anyone or just for existing clients or those who are signed up to a newsletter? Will the discount be available for the entire first day, a number of days, or, will it be limited to the first ten sales?)
C is for Characterize Your Features
Every product or service has characteristics that identify it and make it unique. The aim of this step is identifying the features that differentiate it from what's already on the market, or that take it to another level. What makes it different? Why should a customer choose you over your competitors? What advantages can your creation bring to your customers? Asking yourself these questions will help you identify which features you should focus on.
D is for Desirable
This is as delicate a phase as the others. It corresponds with the expectation of a yet unknown desire, which is why your aim should be to attract attention, intrigue and create expectations in your ideal client. Social media plays a vital role in this phase, so if it plays a part in your communication channels, be sure to use it extensively. And if you haven’t already done so, this is the moment to set an official launch date. Don’t forget that it must have a precise beginning and end.
E is for Entering the Stage
This is the moment to put everything that was decided on at the beginning of the project into action: the creation of a landing page – where customers will find all the information they need to get to know the product and why they should buy it – a dedicated newsletter, an AdWords campaign, the insertion of a new page on your website and perhaps any plans to participate in trade fairs; the scope is endless.
F is for "Frequently make it known!"
Ok, the official launch date has arrived, everything has gone to plan and any hiccups have been resolved (yes, there will always be snags, big and small, but with determination, evaluation and a cool head, solutions will always appear): so now what? Now it’s time to make it known over and over again. There will always be potential customers who are not yet convinced, who have only partially followed the launch or who are yet to discover everything. For this reason, you shouldn’t stop once your product has been launched on the market. Instead, you need to continue cultivating your creation. Need a hint on how to do so? If you have a company blog, study and write articles that can not only respond to the most frequent customer requests, but also those which can provide solutions to their needs and problems.
And the mistakes to avoid?
It's a legitimate question and it's often experience that decides which mistakes risk sinking a launch. One of the most common mistakes to avoid is considering your idea a winning idea, assuming that it is unmatched and that it will lead people to wanting your product right away. An approach of this type results, most of the time, in thinking that talking about the service (or product) a couple of times will be enough to arouse interest in others when, the reality is it's not at all enough. Launches take time but, above all, people require time, explanations, answers, solutions and a human connection.
Absolute Yachts: the case study of a luxury product
It's easy to speak in theory, to talk about the steps to follow and all the indications to keep in mind, but what about practice? Practice is a whole other thing, and we know it well. Each project is different and has its own quirks and approaches that require different approaches.
We have decided to share a case study; the launch of a particular- niche - but, above all, luxury product - Absolute Yachts boats - which we have been dealing with for years now.
So, how do we proceed when we dive into the world of yachting?
1. We study the new product: the name, the features, the innovations and even the philosophy behind it.
2. We study and divide the budget with the company based on their needs and our suggestions.
3. We design and develop a mini site dedicated to the yacht to be launched (i.e. each boat has a mini site totally dedicated to it that is always active and full of specific information). At the same time, we plan for participation in trade fairs, for which we create brochures and materials based on the style of the company and the new boat.
4. We carry out a photo shoot, making use of photographers, but also of helicopters and support boats guided by specialized professionals. Why? Because for a customer it is important to be able to see and linger on any detail for as long as they need: in this case on the interiors, exteriors and even the moment of navigation.
Want a little advice when it comes to video-photographic material? Always keep in mind the chosen communication channels and identify in advance what will be published and where: this will help your collaborators create the right formats right away.
5. We go to selected boat shows together with the company – and the yacht! – to accompany them at this step and are also on hand at the shipyard to document the most important moments. It's a bit like taking her by the hand for the official boat launch, isn't it?
We have been dealing with market launches for years and we know how difficult all this can be: but we are here for this exact reason!
Do you need a hand – or two, or four… or as many as you like – or even just some advice? Write us and tell us everything!