So, you have an idea for a new product or service. And, you think it’s going to be the next big thing. It looks like a very useful product with great potential.
Next, you decide to build your own startup and follow your dreams. You already have the vision in your head and think it will be great.
But, wait a minute. Do you have a suggestion for a new product or service? It’s easy to get carried away with your vision of all the revenue, fame, and success your product will bring.
Introducing a new product to the market takes patience and forethought, especially if you’re a first-time startup CEO. Rushing to market without taking the time to develop a strategy is the recipe for catastrophe.
As an innovation consultant, I have helped more than 30 startups in launching their products, and in this article, I will share some tips on launching a product for the first time.
Product Launch Tip #1: Define your value proposition
A value proposition is a commitment to providing value. It’s the main reason a potential customer should purchase your product.
It’s also the most important factor in determining whether or not consumers will continue reading about your product or bounce.
Clearly express how a product meets a need, the specifics of its additional advantage, and why it is superior to similar items on the market. The optimal value offer is short and to-the-point, appealing to a customer’s most important decision-making factors.
In addition, make sure you define your:
- Mission—Why does your company exist?
- Vision—What do you want to become?
- Goals—What do you want to achieve?
Product Launch Tip #2: Do your market research
Market research is a business approach used at the outset of developing a company idea that entails extensively understanding the target market, its fluctuations, potential consumers’ attitudes, user behavior, and other elements.
Here are some questions your market research should answer:
- Is the market developed or yet to be discovered?
- What are the leading players?
- What are the opportunities for new entrants?
- What are the biggest growth factors?
- Is the market stable or full of fluctuations?
- What products do your competitors offer?
The answers to these questions will help you position your product on the market and craft the right messaging. To do this more systematically, try Porter’s 5 Forces Model.
Then, to get more specific about your product, think about the niche you could target. To do this more effectively, create your user persona. Adobe has some excellent user persona templates you can use.
Your user persona should contain:
- User background
- Spending habits
- Research resources
You should have your user persona in mind during the entire process of product development.
Product Launch Tip #3: Create an MVP to validate your product
An MVP (minimum viable product) is a simple, ready-to-launch version of a product that includes only the most essential elements. An MVP is designed to reduce time to market, attract early adopters, and achieve product-market fit from the start.
Then, you should expect initial input from early adopters. Then, based on the comments, your company should continue to repair issues and add new features suggested by the users.
The MVP method will help you to:
Obtain a competitive edge by entering the market early.
- Conduct early testing of the concept to see whether the solution can effectively solve users’ problems
- Gain insights to create a fully functional product that incorporates customer input and recommendations
An MVP will assist your startup in determining whether or not an app is appropriate for your target market. In addition, an MVP should provide customers with a good impression of the company’s brand and demonstrate how this product differs from what the competition has to offer.
Product Launch Tip #4: Collect pre-launch users
Pre-launch marketing happens before your product or service is officially launched to increase brand recognition and enthusiasm. It’s also an excellent opportunity to experiment with alternative messaging, marketing platforms, and methods to see what works best.
You’ll be able to grow right when you decide to sell if you undertake this effort to reach out to your audience and establish trust from the very beginning.
Here are some ways to collect pre-launch users:
- Use your network of friends, colleagues, and family
- Create a landing page that will allow people to subscribe
- Get strong on social media
- Be active in different industry and entrepreneurial communities like Facebook groups, Slack channels, IndieHackers, subreddits, etc
- Post teasers and sneak peeks
- Contact industry influencers for collaboration
- Develop a content marketing strategy that will educate users & collect leads
- Prepare a press kit & pitch to prominent journalists
Creating a buzz even before your product is out will help you reach a bigger audience when you launch.
Product Launch Tip #5: Make sure your product is complete
After you’ve done all this testing, you should have a lot of valuable feedback. Make this feedback actionable by discussing it with your product team and evaluate what you can fix.
Take some time to improve your product and add the features you didn’t use for your MVP. But, more importantly, make sure there are no bugs and mistakes.
Paying users will be very disappointed if they get an incomplete product after the purchase. On the other hand, if your product is still free after the launch, it’s okay to miss some features and functionalities.
It will take a long time and a lot of effort to create the ideal product for your business. As a result, having a positive attitude is beneficial to yourself and your teammates. Cultivate the capacity to share the light from your enthusiasm for the product with those working with you toward the same objective.
Every notion that led to your ideas becoming a business product is the consequence of your enthusiasm. Be happy about the route you have picked. You will generate a consistent source of inspiration for yourself and others.