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Best Practices for a Successful Product Introduction

A product introduction campaign is usually done by the marketing team of a company months before a new product is officially released. The goal is to introduce the product to the mind of their audience and build anticipation for it ahead of time. Examples of companies that regularly do this are Apple, Samsung, and Tecno. These companies give us insight into the features and benefits of their new phone model, ages before the phone is truly released for sale. This makes us (their audience) salivate to have it as soon as it is released.

It is because Apple delivers a great product introduction advertisement campaign every single time that their products sell like wildfire. People save up money to buy the latest iPhone before it even drops, and some others place orders to get it as soon as it is released. Another example of a brand that has an impressive product introduction strategy is Nike.

Introducing a new product to the market can be tasking because you want to make a great first impression to turn your target audience into paying and returning customers. There are a lot of things you need to consider, the timing has to be right, and you need to emphasize the right details to build suspense and ignite anticipation. If you have just test-run a new product and are looking to gain insight on how you should go about it, this article will be your guide.

1. Define your product’s USP

Your product’s USP (unique selling point) is that key feature that gives your product an edge over that of leading competitors. It is the product’s best-selling feature and most often the first thing that attracts customers to it. While preparing to introduce your product to the market, brainstorm on what the product’s USP is. Identify the feature that will compel the audience to make a purchase the most in the product, and improve on it till no further improvement can be done. Knowing a Product’s unique selling point will help the marketing team identify what parts of the product to focus promotion on.

2. Assemble a product introduction team with commendable expertise

This team should include a team of developers, product managers, digital marketers, and all other relevant people with in-depth knowledge about the product. This team will be responsible for carrying out market analysis to gauge how customers will receive the product, and fine-tuning the product till it is launch-ready.

3. Build excitement within your Team

Excitement is contagious, most positive emotions are. When your team is excited about the grand reveal, they will be more enthusiastic in their planning and marketing. That excitement will also spill over to everybody else that comes across the campaign. However, for your team to be excited enough to project it to your target audience, they have to believe in the product as much as you do. In other words, you have to first convince your team that your product is the perfect solution to the problem your company seeks to solve, before you can convince the rest of the world.

4. Give your team insight

People are more inclined to believe in what they understand. Hence, convincing your team that the product is worth it will require a little bit of training – especially if the product is a complex device or software. That means you will need to intimate the rest of your team who were not directly involved in the production process, on the key features of your product and how they work. This training may require you to organize a webinar, seminar, or team meeting, depending on how complex the product is. The goal is to ensure that every team member has a clear-cut understanding of the product, and believes in the product as much as the creator before the launch day.

5. Create a demo of the product

This is more feasible with technology products like gaming software, a phone, or an app. However, it could also work for products that are not technology-based also, like kitchen utensils. The idea behind creating a demo of the product is so that your team members can feel what having the product in active use in their everyday lives will be like.

For example, a demo of an app will show how the app is supposed to work in real-time when in use by the average person. If the demo is created in virtual reality, it works even better to help your team members get the full experience. They say experience is the best teacher, but that is only because it is a very convincing teacher.

6. Pick a date for the official launch

While preparing for your product introduction, you should already have a set date for the main launch scheduled. If possible, pick a particular time as well, and mention it consistently in your advertisement campaigns during the product introduction. When choosing a date for the main product launch, apart from considering when the product will be ready to function at its full capacity, you should also consider:

i. The launch date of your product’s direct rival

If you launch your product at the same time as a stronger competitor, your product will likely get lost in the other one’s shadow. However, if you launch too soon after or before their launch, your product will still not get recognized. Although if your product has a truly compelling USP, the time of launch will not matter. Where you are the stronger competitor, you still need to space the launches of your products so that one does not overshadow the other.

ii. Your product’s booming season

Every product has a season when the demand for it overshadows the supply. The cooking utensils or appliances, for example, will sell best if they are launched in the season of the Knorr Taste Quest. In the same vein, a newly released gaming software will thrive in the holiday season, or the Christmas season if the game is Christmas-themed. A product that will function as an efficient period device will have a massive sell-out if it is released a day before the World’s menstrual hygiene day. In summary, study the market and pay attention to times and seasons before you fix your product launch date.

iii. The estimated budget for the product launch.

Your product launch date should correspond with when you have the relevant financial resources. If you are planning to launch the product during its booming season, you will need a large budget for mass production. It is best to fix the date for the product launch at a time when you are assured that you will be able to comfortably offset all the bills that will be incurred in the course of the launch.   

7. Release a prototype to a select group of customers and request feedback

This select group of customers may be members of the public who won a contest or social media giveaway which the winning price was a firsthand experience with the new product. They could also be the company’s most loyal customers or most committed campus (or brand) ambassadors. Releasing a prototype of the new product to this special group of people will help you get honest reviews on areas where the product needs improvement, from the average user’s perspective. You can then use the feedback you are given to fine-tune the main product for release. Members of this select group who are satisfied with the first version will be very willing to purchase the “new improved” version.

8. Craft a mission statement that aligns with your product’s USP

A mission statement is a brief exposition released by the company before the product is introduced to the audience that declares the brand’s motive for being in business. Aligning your mission statement with your new product’s USP will help build integrity for your brand in the mind of your target audience. It also increases their trust in the new product, by giving the impression that the product’s quality is in line with the brand’s standards.

9. Ignite Curiosity with Your product introduction strategy

When you ignite a man’s curiosity, he will be willing to do anything to get answers to the questions plaguing his mind. That is the level of anticipation you want to build for your new release so that it sells out in minutes after its launch. How do you spark this curiosity? By giving them just enough titbits about the product to pique their interest, but not enough to make them familiar with the product. For example, you may decide to release a video with your product’s silhouette, and a voice-over spelling out the amazing benefits of the product (not alongside the features), but only refer to the product using a nickname. With this video, you would have whetted their appetite enough for them to want more, but left enough suspense, to compel them to stalk your company’s social media page. That is the goal of a product introduction campaign in the first place.

10. Release the demo video to the public

When you are done perfecting the product, you should create a demonstration video of how it works, using a prototype, and release it for public viewing. You may also want to showcase this demonstration physically to your stakeholders as a presentation.

11. Relate your new product to existing ones

When introducing your product to your target audience for the first time, it may be helpful to relate it to another well-known product. For example, a company that is selling a new software may already have the key feature of the product in an earlier built app which customers can access during a free trial.

13. “Leak” undisclosed information about the product on social media

While you could do an official press release and talk about the product, leaking it on social media will have a better effect. An unofficial whisper on social media of the product’s information will build more anticipation and thrill for the launch to find out if the rumor is true. For example, if you kept the product’s name or face hidden the whole product introduction advertisement campaign, you can leak that via social media a week to D-day.

14. Engage your audience offline too.

In addition to social media posts and other forms of digital marketing, billboards and other forms of offline marketing are important as well.

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