Whether it is a new business or a new phase of an existing one, the “launch”, the bringing forth of a new message to a target audience has to be carefully planned and executed.
The “launch” to me means that the product or service has been carefully reviewed, tested, and is now ready for prime time. If the preliminary work is done correctly, the coming out celebration should be close to a “slam dunk.”
- The product/service has been carefully reviewed and tested with a segment of the target market. Too often the business owner is bringing forth something that has been justified only in the mind of the owner. Part of the preliminary work has to be a study of the competition in order to differentiate and to validate the new product or service.
- Without differentiation and outlined specific benefits, the launch will not be effective. The truth is, the initial launch has to carry the message the right way and has to reach the right target.
- Before a launch, the ability to provide the promised product/service has to be in place.
- At least two to three months before the launch date the marketing plan has to be detailed with total cost, assigned responsibilities, validation points, and tools/methods need to reach the target.
- Marketing tools include advertising, printed material, public relations, and social media, each of which has to be broken into their most effective components. Without this step, implementation becomes very difficult.
- Another and often overlooked tool in a launch are the strategic partners that can help make the launch a success. Identifying and telling the story to strategic partners takes time. Once identified, a presentation has to be made showing why their participation is good for them, for the community and for the new product/service.
This has been my week for new services/products that are being prepared for a launch. The most difficult phase is the recognition by the owner that time to plan in detail is critical to the ultimate success or failure of the product/service.
So much time and energy has been used to bring forth something new, and the enthusiasm/excitement creates a desire to tell the story before the proper preparation. Even on a limited budget, the proper preparation can be accomplished. In working with clients on this phase of a business, I encourage weekly meetings at least 4 hours in duration for two months prior to launch.
If you think education is expensive, wait till you see what ignorance costs you.
Strategic Duck has the answers small businesses need for success; making the contact is up to you.