[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWBT4dwl5n8&w=560&h=349]

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 unveiling your company. I ran into Weinberg, founder of Digital Life Consulting Group again at the Mobilize 2011, and asked him to offer up three key tips for launching your product. Tip #1 - 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 it has been thought out. There’s customer support on its site the announcement's made, and you can actually purchase the product. Bad example: Sony tablets A year ago Sony announced it was going to release tablets. At the time, you couldn’t find any information on its website beyond its press releases. Nine months later, you could pre-order the tablets but not 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 throwing it out.
  • How do they 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 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 to a new product?
You need all of this information to keep customers around for the next iteration. 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 or partially works, and the phone is loaded with crap you don’t even want. Launch Tip #3 - Sell 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 with the customer. To get more information and tips, head to LaunchLessons.com. Creative Commons photo credit to TechShowNetwork.