How Product Launch Strategies Help Businesses Determine If They Are Ready to Enter the Market You can determine if your business is ready to enter the market with the help of a product launch strategy. Here's how.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Most business owners want to quickly launch a new digital product and achieve instant market success. In practice, enchanting growth hacking is the result of hard and long-term marketing activities. How relevant is a product launch strategy? How can you use it to check whether your business is ready to enter the market?
A product launch strategy is planned work to bring a new product to market. It begins long before a release. A marketing team convinces consumers of the value of an offer and thus seeks to generate demand.
When implementing a promotional plan, the team performs the following actions:
Specialists tell potential buyers about a product
Provoke a stir around the novelty
Work on branding
Shape an audience that's loyal to the brand
Set the stage for quick sales
For example, say an educational center has a product — a course titled "How to become a developer in one month." If the center doesn't advertise it, it is unlikely to be sold. And even if the course does sell, the process will be very slow without a product launch strategy. The company needs to launch an advertising campaign and tell potential clients about the teachers and the most important features of the course.
You should know your buyer persona
According to CBInsights, 35% of projects fail because there is no market demand for products. That is, customers don't need a product, so sales aren't successful.
Mistakes like this happen when a business doesn't know the target audience able to provide the necessary revenue stream. Other companies, on the contrary, know their potential customers. But they have so many buyer personas that their focus is scattered, and a dispersed marketing strategy leads to failure.
But there is an effective solution. You can focus on one buyer persona with the most "hungry" potential customers. They are waiting for your product to enter the market and are ready to immediately buy it. Steve Blank, a successful American entrepreneur and Silicon Valley's "godfather," suggests "creating customers" alongside the development of a successful digital product. This requires four steps:
Finding customers (understanding their problems, preferences and purchasing behavior)
Checking customers (developing a sales process)
Creating a client (generating demand and attracting buyers)
Scaling up a business plan
Your product efficiently solves a specific problem
Judging by the experience of successful and long-lasting companies, initially, they released products to solve specific problems. For example, Amazon started as an online bookshop and didn't sell everything from A to Z. Microsoft first sold only an operating system and then moved into cloud computing and side projects.
To evaluate a launch strategy in this vein, you should set achievable goals and benchmarks that signal success. For example, if potential customers discuss product features on social networks, this is a good sign that the strategy is built correctly.
You know how to position your product in comparison to your competitors
Without proper positioning, consumers will not know if your product is better than its market analogs. You should conduct a thorough analysis of competitors to know how to profitably stress the benefits of your solution. Consumers must see the benefit of purchase, and this will encourage them to buy the product.
Avert situations when:
Customers are not familiar with a product or don't know anything important about it due to under-positioning
Consumers have a narrow view of a brand due to over-positioning
Buyers are not able to associate a brand with something due to confused positioning
Customers are not confident in a brand due to doubtful positioning
Your customers are waiting for the release of a successful digital product
Apple, Nike, Red Bull and other well-known brands practice teaser advertising. They intrigue buyers by showing only part of the functionality or hinting at the unique properties of their products. From the outside, it looks like a psychological trick that makes people stand in a queue.
To make customers look forward to the release of a product, you need to carry out pre-launch marketing. Here are a few tips:
Create a landing page to collect customer emails
Put ads on the landing page to make it visible on the web
Keep a blog that reveals the benefits of your product, which is good for SEO promotion on the internet
Launch a PR campaign to gain attention in the market
You are ready to improve the product based on user feedback
Even having studied the market and the target audience in detail, a business cannot guess the wishes of customers with 100% accuracy. Therefore, successful entrepreneurs are moving from standard development methodology to lean manufacturing. This means that after completing product discovery steps, they move on to creating a minimum viable product.
With basic functions in an app, the product will be released to the market. An IT team collects customer feedback, finds out what they lack for the convenience of working with the platform and adds the missing features.
You know when the market is ready for your product
When a product comes out too early, users may perceive it as not good enough. If you release a product late, then your business risks missing out on opportunities and losing to competitors.
This is what happened to the Vreal platform in 2018. This startup aimed to create a VR environment for video game streamers to interact with viewers. The project seemed interesting and gathered investments, but the market was not ready for such an innovation. Equipment and technology were not developing as fast as the startup needed. Therefore, its activities came to an end. The product was ahead of its time and failed.
For a successful start, you should know what customers think about your brand and your new product — and whether they expect the product to appear on the market. Consider a competent promotion strategy, and analyze results at every step. Using the six milestones listed above, you can determine if your business is ready to enter the market with the help of a product launch strategy.