Introducing a new product into a highly saturated market is no easy feat. This is especially true in an industry which spares no time for coming up short of flawless and where the barriers to entry are a proverbial Berlin Wall for the inexperienced and unprepared. Sound familiar? Just remember that while the road to success is windy and narrow, once achieved, the view is unmatched.
Create A Product Launch Playbook
Today, it’s no secret that companies must create an innovative product launch playbook. Even pharma companies are forced to come up with value-added products or services to help sell their drugs. But no matter whether you are launching a new medicine, a solution to pair with the medicine or a product to help pharma companies better accomplish their goals, the competitive edge gained is in the ability to do some things different—not to mention the ability to do everything different. That said, the product launch, once the single most critical point in the existence of a product, becomes secondary to the principles of approach prior to launch.
It will always be challenging to break through the noise in a saturated market. So to find your way through the clutter, start by asking yourself three questions. How do I:
- Establish advocacy?
- Create the right buzz?
- Separate myself from the pack?
Answering these three questions will help you form the basis of your launch strategy. But, there are still some keys to keep in mind to ensure your answers are on point and your product is better positioned for success. Just remember to adhere to the following three tips.
1. Avoid “Trust me” Tactics
No informed customer will respond positively to the request for unearned trust. The use of “trust me” instantly reveals you as a used car salesman to your perspective client. Instead of trying to sell directly, shift your focus to becoming a thought leader. Thought leadership, by definition, is innovative and more often than not, more compelling than the actual product. Being identified as an authority in your space, with a proficient understanding of the industry’s hot topics and trends will be a more direct route of establishing real trust. If your presence and view are desired, the product will reap the benefits. Recognition of expertise from potential customers can only lead to solid credibility.
It is essential to continually push the limits of your capabilities in order to stimulate fresh ideas and remain at the forefront of innovation for your clients. The growth that will derive from your advancement is what will allow you to maintain your established role as a thought leader and simultaneously cultivate new opportunities.
2. Sell Without Selling
Rapport must be cultivated through anticipation and solidified through relationships. For the giants, big ticket campaigns will automatically hype up customers and prime them to expect a product. For start-ups and growing businesses, building anticipation proves to be much more challenging. As innovators we need to manually infiltrate the market in order to manufacture hype. Long before your product launch, it is critical to recognize the importance of leg work: Shaking every hand, knocking on doors until your fists are broken and bloody, and capitalizing on any opportunity to connect with any and every person in your industry willing to lend an ear. Your hunger to make sales that are not actual transactions will most certainly lead to interest in due time.
Make no mistake—selling a product is still physical, but essential to the sale of a product is an in-depth understanding of the customer’s business, and the use of that understanding to align your goals to match theirs. The result of a properly executed alignment is the transformation of your product into a partnership. Partnerships must be cooperative: Your effort to deliver a product to solve a customer’s problems and, their effort to compensate you for your product. By outgrowing the paradigm of simply selling a customary product to your customer, and embracing a newfound cooperative mantra, mutual gain becomes the foundation of your rapport.
3. Stand Out in the Crowd
For a baseline, any sale will be a complex sale, and the traditional model of selling a product, handling the logistics and awaiting a reorder will not differentiate you from the established competition. Today, it is critical to adapt to the notion that you are no longer offering or launching a product, but rather have entered the era of solutions.
Come to terms with the truth that being “geared” towards a client or industry is no longer acceptable. Complete customization is the new norm, yet comes at little or no extra revenue. Selling is finding a relationship between your story, the customer’s needs and bridging the gap to show how they were destined to cross paths. Standing out is how you tailor your product to service each customer’s pain points and carving out a space where only you and your company lives. Existing products will be unable to adjust and you will convert a percentage of the market to early adopters.
If implemented, these strategies will aide in creating organic anticipation and advocacy for your product launch. Even without big budgets for marketing campaigns, equally valuable awareness can be established by: Being recognized as an industry specialist, building rapport, credibility and trust, and tailoring your product experience for each customer while separately aligning your goals with each of theirs.