Who is your product launch for?
It’s an interesting question – you might be surprised (and even entertained) by the answers that you would get if you asked that question of most companies who plan to launch a new product, website or venture.
In my business, I have the opportunity to work with a lot of different corporations and entrepreneurs who are launching new products and businesses. And it’s like déjà vu all over again (Yogi Bera) with most every new client…
When we’re getting ready to launch a product, it’s common to become so all-consumed by our own internal preparations and activities, that we either overlook or take for granted the most important part of the launch – getting our MARKET and our CUSTOMERS ready for US!
Launches are not just about us getting ready to go to market…they are about getting the market ready for what will be launched.
In reality, most prospective customers in our target market are so busy taking care of their own businesses (and personal lives), they have precious little time available to pay attention to what’s being launched by everyone in the market (except perhaps big brands like Apple, Microsoft, etc., who are able to muster enough resources to make a big splash anytime they want).
Customers are so busy, in fact, they probably couldn’t care less that a new product is being launched, so when that day you’ve worked so hard to prepare your company and product arrives, it’s no wonder it can easily seem like nobody cares…
There are good reasons for this – and it may not have anything to do with whether there’s a market need or interest in your product. It typically has more to do with one’s PERSPECTIVE around WHO the launch is for.
So I ask these questions again…
Who is your product launch for?
Is it for your company? To get the product right, and everything in place so you’re ready to ship it?
Is it for your customers and market? To engage with customers early (before grand opening day), to educate them, get some of them to try the product early and provide real customer feedback? To educate the customer on the issues and big ideas around your unique selling proposition and differentiation? To answer their questions and major objections before launch day arrives, so your sales will be double or triple what they have typically been on launch day?
The right answer is usually – all of the above. In most cases, you need key, representative partners and customers involved early on with you, to help you validate your product’s readiness, and to give you objective feedback and guidance on all kinds of things - from product messaging, product content, and product readiness to customer problem, priority, budget and context that will help you and your sales team hit the mark right the first time.
So the next time you have a product to launch, consider this. Invest at least 10% to 20% of your time, budget and efforts in helping your prospective customers and market to be prepared for your product launch and it could double or triple your early sales results – that’s a darned good ROI. In fact, it can mean the difference between massive success and dismal failure…
Not sure what needs to be done to properly prepare your market and customers? Here are a couple of links for additional information:
It’s an easy trap to fall into… focusing almost of your resources, time and energy on getting your company, infrastructure and product ready for the market. But now that you know the truth about who your launch is for, you have a big advantage and the proper perspective to help you. It’s easy to fall in, because we are all basically selfish creatures – in it for ourselves and what we want to get (usually money).
The reality is, when you can find it within yourself to put others, in this case, your customers and marketplace, ahead of your own selfish needs – everyone wins.
Product launches are for your customers – not for you and your company. When customers are prepared properly for what’s coming, they win – and when customers win, then you and your company win. It’s as simple as that.