3-Steps to launch!
You spot an opportunity, a gap in the market, an extension of what you do – a way to help more people or provide greater service to existing customers. You want to create, launch and market a new product or service but aren’t quite sure where or how to start?
This is our simple guide to help you get going.
It’s a 3-step process we’ve used many times with current clients.and it is short, fast and to the point.
1. WHERE’S THE VALUE?
You have to start with customers.
Your new service or product is likely to be related in someway to what you are doing and it’s essential to know from the outset – the practical advantages that your new product or service is going to offer. Nnderstand the value for them and this value should also go beyond theory.
A technology company that offers ‘more flexible working’ sounds good to a business owner – in theory. However, the ability to download, edit, re-upload documents to a shared workspace, anywhere in the world from the phone of one of your staff-members paints a much, much more vivid picture of value to the business owner – your potential customer.
Understanding the human value and beginning to paint this picture in your marketing is important and as you go forward, you will find even more practical benefits to solutions. It is important to know and list what they are as you begin creating your new product/service brand.
2. PRIORITISE ACTIVITIES
Most will think you need a brand first, then a website, then some marketing materials, then a product name etc… As advocates of ‘the lean start-up’ approach – we think the most important thing your new product or service needs is revenue and sales. A new product or service should be approached almost like a ‘start-up’— they burn development cash, there is no income and most of it is still not properly understood yet and will need time. We believe you should do the maximum with what you have to get your new product or service off the line as quickly as possible.
List all of the different things you can do – website, microsite, flyers, business cards, E-Newsletters, Printed mail shots, logos, Product names, advertorials, print advertisements, etc, etc… We would do the bare minimum to get you going. If you have 10-12 activities that you want to do, prioritise those that are most likely to get you going and start. The chances are later items will change in nature or content once you begin. You will establish quick wins that you’ll want to build on and this is likely to change the rest of the list. The scope of a first project may be the release of a simple flyer with some pictograms telling the story and a call-to-action to your first 500 prospects.
Also, consider the best ways to tell the stories that matter to customers – there is a wonderful example above of the beauty of a ‘clear-desk.’ Build on the positive human stories. Pictograms, visual systems, eye-catching images, short videos will all help you paint a better picture of what your new offering can do for the people you are looking to gain as customers.
As we have said, all start-ups have limited marketing budgets and (at this point,) no revenue. So we suggest that you really prioritise and maximise your budgets to give you the biggest bang for your buck – build momentum so you can move fast, launch quickly and start obtaining some happy customers.
This wouldn’t be a loft list, if it didn’t contain the word ‘ACTION’ somewhere.
Get it out there in all its raw and imperfect glory. Talk to customers, sell your first products or services and then build from there. As stated, it is only by doing that you will be adequately informed where to go next, that you will have something to build on. At the beginning – there isn’t a right or wrong way and a more optimal way will become apparent in time. This will be as true for the operational efficiency of your product or service as it will for your marketing efforts.
Don’t forget to be bold, focus on results over methods and have fun. By acting this way, it will unlock a whole new raft of unseen creative ideas which will set your new product or service apart and take it to another level. Good luck.
Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.
‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.
He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.
His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder of the loft, a design and branding studio based in Glasgow.
He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.