How to Make a Product Debut

Elke Farnworth
October 15, 2020

How To Make A Product Debut

All brands are different, just like every market is different. But a very successful product debut has one thing in common: the business had an effective strategy and stuck to it.

No pressure.

Everyone wants their next big venture to "sell one product every second" or make "$30,000 in the first three months" and much like anything else in life; there is a right and wrong way to achieve this. This article aims to give you an insight into how to successfully launch your product.

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail.

This comes down to really knowing what your product or service is. I'm not saying that your opted product or service is alien to you, but you need to be able to identify what the USPs are. Anyone who's worked in retail will be rolling their eyes at the thought of this, however highlighting the unique selling points or more specifically, the benefits on offer will be the reason why your customer makes a purchase on your website instead of your competitors.

Who your competitors are and what they are doing can be directly compared to your brand. By outlining the similarities and the differences, you have the opportunity to tailor your product or service based on their pitfalls and pearls, which brings me to my next point.

You can’t sell to everyone.

Do one thing and do it well. Determine who your most profitable customer is for your service or product and hone in on them. You need to tap into their purchase behaviour, how they buy, what they buy and when. You need to know what keeps them up at night.

The most successful brands know the potency of brand relevance. This is because there is an exact correlation between deeply knowing your audience and selling more. With a more in-depth knowledge of customers dos and don'ts, values and beliefs you have the ability to alter and tailor your product or service, enhance to suit their needs or solve their problems, and to generate loyal, long-standing relationships.

You can do this by:

Market research on segmented surveying groups.
Developing a clear buyer persona.
Keep in tune with what your ideal audience is saying to each other online.

Get to the heart of it.

Dropping only facts and statistics to your customer about the product or service isn't enough to build a profitable audience. If it was that easy, we'd all be rich.

Risk it to get the biscuit. Easier said than done, right? If Apple can do it, can't we all? The answer is yes. Your product or service is not going to change the world, but it might change the life of your customers, so you need to position it that way.

No matter what your product or service is, this step applies to you. Whether it's a unit in a new property development or a sleep apnoea machine, both can resonate with some type of emotion. Anything can be associated with a specific emotion; it's up to you to leverage this.

Emotion is what drives our thoughts, actions, decisions and purchasing behaviour. Although many of us are logical in decision making, we do primarily make choices based on how we feel about the brand. To put that into perspective, most of the products in which we go back to repeatedly are exactly the same as four other brands, but we choose to buy from that particular brand because we have a bias towards them.

Your brand's message will ultimately evoke an emotion with your audience. Keep it authentic because if it feels manipulative or forced, it will have the opposite effect in creating a relationship with your customer.

Build value.

It is essential to take the time to build your brand before launching. Brand value is merely based on the consumer’s physical and psychological perceptions of the product, derived from the recognition the consumer has with that brand and alternatives to the brand. This can be weighed in on by features and benefits. Start by putting your brand on paper. A style guide is a tool of reference for the brand, and sometimes third parties, like us, need this to ensure the branding is streamline and represents your brand accurately. This should include inspiration, story, logo, colour palette, typography, images, tone of voice. Once this is put in concrete… or in our case - exported as a PDF, you need to start building the brand’s online traction; this includes creating your website and social accounts. Read more on how to grow your Instagram account for a better comprehension on this.

Show and tell.

Remember when your parents told you as a child "don't judge a book by its cover", because even if it has an ugly cover, it might be the best book you've ever read. But I'll be dammed if I'm not going to judge every book I read based on its cover before I judge it on anything else. You can apply this to your product or brand.

Put simply, don't underestimate the importance of your product's appearance as it may discredit your product or service. If it's ugly, your influencers won't want to share it to their audience and your audience won't want to share it between themselves.

More than ever, in a blue ocean of products and new services, buyers desire organic conversations from those they admire. Credibility means trust, and a natural way to earn the trust of an audience is to seek influencer advocates to help amplify your content. Send free samples of your product or a voucher to your service to existing customers to try and ask them to review it and spread the word on social media. Social proof on social media is a psychological phenomenon that can quite literally take your brand from 0-100. Build an influencer strategy and choose your influencers wisely.

Timing is everything.

Some would state that timing is luck. Well, it isn't. The strategy should not go 1) idea, 2) target market, 3) competition, 36) timing. Timing is a critical success factor that you can optimally leverage to your advantage. The right timing can turn an indifferent product or service into a break out success; bad timing can otherwise ruin traction for a great product or service.

Depending on whether it's a current trend, specific time or season, maybe there is an event coming up that will give your brand extra coverage. Consider the time of day, the day of the week, the season for the reason you launch your new product.

Final thoughts.

Set goals, set the event and expect the unexpected. This insight is merely surface layer on the timeline and steps of a bigger picture. Brand development, product positioning, public relations, digital marketing and social media need to be decided upon well in advance of a launch and it takes a lot of time, many coffees, a realistic budget and strategizing with a well-equipped team. Communication is key.