Do you have a great idea for a new product? If so, you should know that you need to begin developing your market long before you’re ready to open for business. You’ve probably seen the statistic that three-quarters of startups fail within a few years of opening for business. The successful exceptions tend to generate hype and build their audience long before they launch.
Why Generate Brand Awareness Before You Finish Developing Your Product?
You may have some reasonable concerns about releasing some aspects of your new product before you hit the market. For instance, you may fear that competitors are waiting to pounce upon your ideas for themselves. In other cases, you might just lack confidence that your product is ready for prime time.
While you need to use your judgment in these matters, you also need to remain confident that your own product and business will have enough of competitive advantage to leaving these predators in the dust. Also, you’re much more likely to attract investors and customers if you’ve already taken steps to introduce your company to a wide audience. A strong pre-launch marketing strategy will help you gain credibility and awareness before you ever ask for a sale. Finally, you will really only gain more confidence in your business idea after you’ve tested it.
These tactics can help ensure that you will enjoy a strong launch in almost any circumstances:
You can develop an interest in your product if you can give investors, influencers, and even select consumers something that they can actually see and use. This is true even if those first prototypes don’t do everything that you expect your finished product to do.
You may have already heard of developing a minimum viable product, or MVP. Typically, this means that you should create a prototype that functions well enough to have value to users, but it doesn’t necessarily include everything that you intend to have inside of your final product.
You can use these prototypes in many ways to ensure that your real launch starts off strong:
In some cases, you may not care to release prototypes to a wide audience. You can still focus on the problems you hope to help people solve and not the specific details of your solution. You might produce short videos, write eBooks, or even create a webinar that will discuss the concerns people may have that would lead them to eventually purchase your product. You might conclude by directing your audience towards your solution, even if you aren’t ready to release all of the details.
This content will help you gain credibility because you can demonstrate that you understand the problems people may want to solve. You can also ask people to subscribe to your newsletter in exchange for this free information, and that way, you will also begin to build your audience. Finally, you should use this content to open up two-way communication, so you can learn more about your audience.
Yes, you have to offer something for free; however, you can enjoy great value if you can build awareness, a subscriber list, and your own understanding of customers.
Most people enjoy a chance to get something for free. If you can create a contest that will attract your target market, you can begin building goodwill and a list of subscribers early. As prizes, you should offer items that have the best chance of attracting the kinds of people who will have an interest in your products.
For example, companies that produce eBooks might offer an e-reader as the grand prize. Smaller prizes might include gift cards at the online book retailers where you intend to sell your work. Similarly, if your startup is working to develop a new app, you could offer contestants credit at popular app stores. If you plan to launch soon, you might also offer every contestant a credit on your own future products.
Your promotional efforts will help your startup gain attention. At the same time, you should track as much as you can about the way that people engage with your company. While you’re building brand awareness and credibility, you also have a fantastic chance to learn more about your market. Startups that launch with a good understanding of their market and exciting prospects will always enjoy a strong advantage.
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