Startup launch strategies

creative  launch  strategies  for  new  startups
3 primary steps Pre-launch Acquisition 1 At launch Activation 2 Post-launch Retention 3
pre-launch strategy design thinking process EMPATHY DEFINE IDEATE PROTOTYPE TEST
pre-launch: acquisition “ coming soon” page memorable, viral, need, data partnerships trust, credibility, customers be everywhere relationship-building, visibility feedback loops e-newsletter apply metrics evaluate everything
pre-launch: acquisition
launch strategy “ The best launch  is if you have a  product that other  people like using  so much that they tell other people  about it.”   Robert Scoble INFORM SPARK USE VALUE
launch: activation web/email sig links easy to find; easy to contact pitch video/deck  brief, social, embed social media useful, curate, personality company blog value, data, links, comments earned media tell a story, unique angle
launch: activation
post-launch strategy long term relationship-building trust loyalty value simplicity ego
post-launch: retention  ∞   focus demographic, location, vertical engagement e-newsletters, surveys, blog super user be your own best customer emotion meet needs, create delight advertising targeted, bold creative
post-launch: retention  ∞
pre + launch + post =
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Startup launch strategies

Editor's Notes

  1. Presentation for Boulder Startup Women. Sept. 20, 2011.
  2. Goal is to quickly validate your business model hypothesis through understanding and testing customer behavior. Iterate your product/service as you progress through each stage. Iterate fast! Read Steve Blank’s blog and book. Incredible resource on customer development.
  3. 10 weeks from idea to launch Tekhne. I spent 4 weeks discovering the idea and identifying market fit using the design thinking process. Get more information:
  4. All activities lead to customer acquisition and developing the associated metrics to evaluate ROI. No guesswork! Measure or don’t do it.
  5. “Coming soon” web page: LaunchRock, free WordPress plugins, custom design E-newsletter vendors: MailChimp, Emma, Constant Contact Measuring effectiveness: KissMetrics, Chartbeat, Google Analytics PlanCast, EventBrite, Lanyard In beta: CardFlick, MetroGnome, Bizzabo
  6. The launch strategy focuses on customer activation. All activities should lead to conversion.
  7. When planning activities think about how to make them social. Create opportunities to learn more about customer needs and their behaviors/motives in trying to solve those needs through your product/service. How are they using product X? How much do customers value solving problem Y?
  8. Use the design thinking process to guide your outreach activities. Ask where your prospective customers live online? Where do you need to be: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc? First Google+ API released last week: Circles and Hangouts have real potential for acquisition/retention
  9. Don’t break your customers’ hearts. What activities are you engaging in that advance trust, offers an easy solution, feeds their identity, brings value to their lives and creates fierce loyalty for your brand?
  10. Focus: own a specific social graph, e.g., Facebook started at Harvard Super user example: Foursquare founders added value by posting 1000 tips for user check-ins. Never underestimate the power of stoking social proof in your customer base.
  11. Embed emotional motives into conversions Duck Duck Go: Highly targeted advertising placement on Reddit - 1.3M impressions, 20,000 clicks at $0.03/ppc
  12. In every stage of the process always have a call to action. Help your customers love you AND tell their friends.