It doesn’t take a business expert to know that one way or another, you can launch a product.
The question is, however, whether you can do it successfully.
There are several methods and tactics to build buzz and a handful of books that talk about how to devise the perfect launch plan. There are the essentials and there is the Steve Jobs level.
But today, we are talking essentials:
1- Assemble a Launch Plan
This one is for the real beginners. Plan. It. Out.
A launch plan is your guide through months of preparation for the release of your product. It’ll be your and your company’s compass.
At this stage, a launch plan template will be your best friend.
A launch plan template is a useful tool especially for relatively bigger companies, but it is also critical for the smaller ones. It creates an area where your teammates and the stakeholders can easily see the process of the launch.
By having a launch plan template, businesses can get rid of unnecessary paperwork while constantly reminding everyone working on the project of the objectives, goals, and pain points.
Typically, while using a template, you are supposed to assign the roles of each team member so that both the product design team and the people from the other departments such as marketing, sales, and management work accordingly.
2- Know Your Audience
The importance of the user is not just important during product design.
Launching a product without knowing your audience is like taking the test without studying. It’s possible to pass (though you’ll probably fail), but can you score well? I doubt it.
The user’s preferences mean EVERYTHING for a product launch. One wrong step and you’ll lose all the attention, and in the technology era, attention equals buzz.
What you may want to investigate before the launch could be;
1- Where can you find your audience?
If the personas that would be interested in your product are frequenting a certain domain (social media, for example) that’s where you may want to focus
2- What are the likes and dislikes of your audience?
Throughout a launch period, many things can change, including the product itself.
The key to success is not to prevent the change but to embrace it as you see a better way to guarantee your success. Knowing your audience’s preferences is a great way to change and optimize the product.
3- Who is the typical buyer?
It may look too effortless to focus on a single persona, but as you experience a launch plan, you’ll see that it’s the best way possible. Most companies dwell in every single detail of audience preference and end up in a mess.
The most optimized way to meet expectations is the single persona focus, not because it is easier, but because more people than you think matches this persona.
See how you can create a user persona here.
3- Build a Fanbase
That’s right. You get to have fans. Well, at least your product does.
Your loyal buyers are your fanbase, basically, the people who will buy your product right away. We love them.
It’s a long process to get people to be ready to buy your product the moment it launches, but when you do, these are the people whom you will trust with the word of mouth process.
Imagine dedicated Apple fans. Imagine how many people they converted thanks to internet debates. Now remove the name Apple and insert your product.
Don’t forget, your product equals prestige. Make sure your fans feel this way. Invite them to special events, organize giveaways, and spoil them a little. They deserve it.
4- Right Messaging is Fundamental
Messaging or positioning is the point where you actually start marketing.
When working on the right messaging, it is important to find your tone. To do this, you may want to check some facts about your customers and the market.
What is my product? Which market I am in? Is my tone compatible with the type of area I am in?
Who is my customer? What do they need? Which features of the product they would be interested in?
To answer these questions and more, what you would want to do is
- Find a tagline for the product
- Discover customer pain points
- Evaluate product proof points
A common mistake people tend to make while on this process is trying to highlight every single technical detail about the product.
Messaging is all about showing the customers the kind of problem you are tackling and why it is important to tackle that specific problem. It is important that this problem is something that the customers can relate to.
5- Make It Look as Hot as Possible
Think of all the products that launched into a market with an already huge leader. While the majority of them fail, there are miraculously successful ones.
While there are big leaders such as Apple and Samsung in the technology market, smaller companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi achieved great success with thousands of billions of market value.
This success not only roots in the look for something new by tech geeks, but also great marketing. Just like Apple and Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi are known for working with influencers as brand ambassadors. As one might guess, this creates a great “influence” on the customer.
This influence is not only efficient for deliverable products but also for service products. By having a bigger company or a person use your service and advertise it, you get to show off the product.
Not every company can afford such measures, but there’s always a social media option. According to Grant Cardone, who was named the #1 marketer to watch in 2017 by Forbes Magazine, obscurity kills businesses. You need to be present on all social media to make sure your company’s name is known. Worst case scenario, people get sick of the ads and decide to check out your product.
One more thing. Make pre-order possible. Pre-order gives your product the look of luxury while also giving you a rough statistic of sales and your fans. Total win-win.
6- Scheme the Onboarding
This is the last step before you launch the product. I know, it will not help you get more attention on your launch day.
That’s because this is an investment.
Since the overall experience and satisfaction of the users that use your product the first day, first week, and the first month after the launch can determine the fate of your product, this is an extremely important investment. If you can’t onboard your first users properly, you’ll start off with a huge pile of negative comments.
At this point, you know who your users are, you know what problem you are solving, you know the exact steps a user is needed to take to do that.
So, push them there!
A several questions you need to ask yourself while creating your onboarding are:
What are the common pain points of the users?
Using the answer to this question will help you know wherein the user’s journey you must intervene to help them reach their “Aha!” moments.
You already should be aware of the pain points of the users, and the points where they might need help; after all the user testing you have done. If you haven’t yet, what are you waiting for?
What onboarding elements should I use?
Now you know where you will intervene, ask yourself how you want to intervene.
There are many onboarding elements that can be used to educate and assist users during their first time with a product:
- Online manuals
- Product walkthrough videos,
- Interactive product tours,
- Onboarding checklists,
- User Guides,
- Self-help centers.
It is up to you to decide which element or elements that you want to use in your user onboarding.
What method am I going to choose to create my onboarding?
When it comes to creating your onboarding, there are 2 main methods to choose from:
You can go insource, and have your developers create the onboarding for you. If you are looking for a cost-free method and have an extra developer on the side, it is ideal. But since you are still trying to develop and maintain a new product, I suggest you take the other method.
You can also use third-party tools. A user onboarding software usually helps you create interactive product tours, checklists, tooltips, and many other elements. You might have to pay for the tool, but is it really better to occupy a busy developer?
UserGuiding can help you onboard users efficiently, without coding!
UserGuiding is one of these tools that can help you create the best onboarding possible. With various features and detailed analytics, you can satisfy the needs of users and achieve visible growth.
7- Product Launch
After months of effort and hard work, this is the final step on the launch plan and you want to do it right.
This stage usually takes a really short amount of time, but still bears great importance and there are many tasks to check during this period. The first thing you need to consider is how and where to launch.
If your company is not a big sensation (yet), you may not have the resources to have a big event. But worry not. Living in the technology era, you can easily have an online launch event. you can host a webinar or do a live Q&A. what matters is you get to show your customer that your product can snatch attention.
Where to launch is another thing you may want to consider. when launching a product, most companies make the mistake of trying to launch on several platforms. Seasoned launchers think that it is best to launch on one main platform and share it on other secondary platforms.
If you are a small to mid-sized company, Product Hunt may be the best option out there. Product Hunt not only helps you launch your product very easily, but it also showcases your product to a good number of potential customers.
We’ve recently launched on the platform and became the #1 product of the week and the #22 product of the year. Here’s how you can have a great launch on Product Hunt based on our experience.
At this point what you don’t want to forget is announcing the launch to your current customers via email and social media.
One last tip, according to research, the best day to launch a product is Tuesday. Schedule it right.
If you think you have mastered the essentials of a product launch and want to learn more; we have partnered with Product School to create an ebook that will guide you through the launch of your product, and help you achieve success. Download here.
Don’t think it is all over once you launch the product, the post-product stage requires a lot of work too. but at the end of the day, you know it’s worth it if you’ve done it right.
It is not easy to do everything right, but if you remember Steve Jobs’ approach to a product launch, it would make it easier.
People are not interested in listening to countless features of a new product, but how it’ll make their lives easier. Once you change your focus to people instead of product, you take positive reactions from both. Still, don’t forget to launch on a Tuesday.
Frequently Asked Questions
❓ Why is a Product Launch important?
A product launch is the most important part of a product’s journey because it is the first interaction between your product and the market. A bad launch can result in your product biting the dust.
⌛️ When should you launch a product?
According to research, the best day to launch a product is a Tuesday, and the best hour to do it (if you are launching on Product Hunt) is right after midnight.
🚀 Where should you launch a product?
Product Hunt is the best platform to launch a product, although you should not forget to promote the launch through email and social media.