Mike Parsons
innovation. storytelling. lifehacking. music

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How To Launch A Product And Not Lose Your Job

 

Creating innovative new products is nearly impossible. For the few products that make it to launch there's another mountain to climb - most product launches fail. 

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Product design and marketing are co-dependent entities.

You can't just have a good product. You need distribution and story to scale your efforts. No good marketing can save a bad product. So, they both need each other.

Do you remember the VW Phaeton? An excellent luxury car. The only catch was that it made and marketed by VW. The problem here was that consumers associated VW with affordable value and the 'everyman' car. Not luxury. Toyota, when faced with the same 'going-upscale' challenge, smartly created Lexus. And the rest, they say, is history. 

Let's assume you've created a product that customers love, it's viable, and you can retail it for a profit. Three ticks? Good, then let's talk about launching this product to the world.

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Creating Buzz

We all know the buzz that happens around a massive product launch. The lines outside the Apple store for the iPhone, people dressing up for Star Wars or the streets of Time Square packed for the Xbox launch. Everybody's talking about it.

And that's the key. Your brand must tell a story that's worth sharing. Sounds easy, but it's one of the hardest things to do. It's part art, part science.

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Be Remarkable

Without a doubt, the essential characteristics of a good product launch come from a thought by Seth Godin. Your idea must be remarkable.

People have little time and attention to give your brand. The average person spends over 12 hours with screens digesting media. They are swimming in content. Being remarkable is about breaking the status quo, being surprising and disruptive, so your story strikes people.

Two massive examples of being remarkable are VW's Think Small ad and Apple's 1984 ad. Despite being published more than 30 years ago, the 1984 ad is still listed as one of the greatest commercials ever.

More recently, The Fearless Girl statue generated over 1 billion Twitter impressions in the first 12 hours. A 50-inch statue was placed to square off with the bull of Wall Street to celebrate International Women's Day. Remarkable indeed.

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Make It Contagious

If you want to explore a more in-depth model that works nicely with Seth Godin's thought of being remarkable, let's employ the STEPPS model by Jonah Burger.

  1. Social currency: We Care, We Share
  2. Triggers – Timing is Everything
  3. Emotion – Goosebumps bump traffic
  4. Public - Provide Social Proof 
  5. Practical value –  Help get a job done
  6. Stories – Tell me a Tale.

Creating a team to build great products is an enormous endeavour for anyone to undertake. Along the way, you have to develop a business that has a reliable profit engine. Tricky stuff.

With all of those boxes checked, you need the launch your product to be remarkable. Telling a story worth sharing that uses STEPPS model.

When you create an organic movement of customer advocacy and conversation you'll be well on your way with a successful product launch. And without doubt you'll fast track your job opportunities too.