If you think that product launches are easy peasy, think again. The vast majority of new products and services fail to make a significant impact following release. This high failure rate is due, in part, to people being creatures of habit. It’s easier to do what’s been done before. Indeed, marketing wiz Jack Trout, author of the influential ‘Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind’, which introduced the term “positioning” into the marketing lexicon, “found that American families, on average, repeatedly buy the same 150 items, which constitute as much as 85 percent of their household needs.” This means that the marketer’s challenge is really nothing less than breaking habits, a tough job, as anyone will testify.
The myriad difficulties of creating and launching a product successfully might be overcome with clever marketing. The story of “beta”, a term most often associated with software, illustrates how. At IBM, where the beta concept originated, a beta version of software was one to be used by customers in their real environment prior to its release. In the 1950s, the tech giant referred to testing product ideas as “A” testing; testing completed products then became “B” tests. IBM’s position as a thought leader meant that, quickly, other companies adopted its processes and terminology for developing and launching new products. Strangely, over time, the Greek letters, “alpha” and “beta” replaced the familiar “A” and “B” of the Latin alphabet to describe the testing phases.
In 2004, when Gmail made its debut, Google transformed the beta concept from a trial-and-error process into a clever promotional tactic. The company, now reincarnated as Alphabet Inc., made use of its product a privilege. It would only allow someone access to the “beta” version if they were invited by someone who already had access. By limiting who could use it, Google made access hot property, and the scarcity created demand.
According to a report in Time magazine, “Bidding for invites on eBay sent prices shooting up to $150 and beyond; sites such as Gmail Swap emerged to match up those with invites with those who desperately wanted them. Having a Hotmail or Yahoo Mail email address was slightly embarrassing; having a Gmail one meant that you were part of a club most people couldn’t get into.” Google kept the invitation restriction until Valentine’s Day 2007 and the beta designation until July 2009. It had turned a term once meant to label unproved products into a mark of éclat. Google’s limited rollout has been lauded as “one of the best marketing decisions in tech history,” albeit quite unintentional. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.
SeriousTraders understands how to create the right buzz for any product launch. We can set up a spectacular launch event with press coverage and other publicity. Those first few weeks and months are crucial to your success, and we stay on top of social media, investor relations and marketing efforts. Our goal is to fully explore every viable means of marketing while building on the momentum of the initial launch.
SeriousTraders understands how to apply the keys of a successful launch to any business. We will work with your budget, using innovative technology to gain market exposure and customer loyalty. Contact us to find out how to make your product launch a successful one.