Three critical lessons for launching your product

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At the PRSummit in San Francisco I got a chance to see Josh Weinberg's great keynote presentation, "Launch Lessons" where he shared tips for launching your company. I ran into Weinberg, founder of Digital Life Consulting Group again at the Mobilize 2011 conference in San Francisco, and I asked him to offer up three key tips for launching your product.
Launch Tip #1 - The launch planning begins at product inception, not six weeks before product release
Don't think about the launch as the party. You need to think of the launch as the culmination of the work that comes together on that day. That means plan your launch a year out, not six weeks before.
Good example: Bose
When they release a product the entire flow of connecting with the product has been thought out. There's customer support on their site when they announce and you can actually purchase the product.
Bad example: Sony tablets
A year ago Sony announced they were going to release tablets. At the time, you couldn't find any information on their site outside of the press releases. Nine months later you can pre-order the tablets but you still can't buy them.
Launch Tip #2 -- Think about the entire customer experience, not just the product
Understand every touch point a person will have with your product, from hearing about it to disposing it.
• How do you get information about this product?
• What's it like to buy it?
• What's it like to unbox it?
• What's it like to get it home?
• How do they dispose of the product? Where does it go?
• What about the preferences and data on the product? Is there a way to seamlessly upgrade within the product and to a new product?
You need all of this information to keep customers around for the next iteration of products. You're developing an entire ecosystem of the entire customer experience.
Good example: Apple
They own every element of the customer ecosystem.
Bad example: Every phone company
Trying to move data from one handset to another sometimes works, partially works, and also the phone is loaded with crap you don't even want.
Launch Tip #3 - Selling consumer products, not technology products
Don't think about your product as speeds, feeds, and capacity. Users are going to create a relationship with your product. Make it friendly. One way to do this is to give your products names instead of model numbers.
Good example: RIM, today
They now call their products The Bold and The Curve.
Bad example: RIM in the past and most tech companies
Still focused on specs and not on the relationship the product will have with the customer.
To get more information and tips, head to LaunchLessons.com.

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