For most brands, developing your Flagship Product is likely the hardest piece of your Platform Puzzle to complete. But by the time you put in the time, polish it up, and prepare to present it to the world, you face a new problem.
How do you launch your Flagship Product well?
Success Begins with Failure
The purpose of Platform University is to help you build an engaged online audience from scratch. We don’t want to see you fail. But we can learn a lot from our failures.
Thomas Edison once declared, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” This is obviously an encouraging attitude towards missing the mark. It also communicates a primary truth about the importance of it.
When we understand what doesn’t work and why, we are better prepared to succeed in the future.
Our founder, Michael Hyatt, found this out personally. In August 2001, he wrote a book about protecting personal privacy. Then came 9/11. Michael quickly discovered that no one was concerned about privacy in the aftermath of that terrible day, and the book sold just 10% as much as his previous release.
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Learn from What Works
When a launch fails—barring external events we have no control over—it’s usually for one or more of these eight reasons. But the good news is that you don’t have to wait for failure to use this framework. It doubles as a pre-launch checklist to ensure we get things right on the front end.
These are the 8 key elements of a successful product launch:
- People. Have you targeted the right prospects? It doesn’t matter how good your product is if you’re offering it to the wrong potential customers. If you’re trying to sell snow in Siberia, don’t be surprised if it’s tough sledding.
- Problem. Have you clearly articulated the customers’ problem using the language they would use? Can you connect your product to their needs, fears, or wants? All the better if you can articulate something they need your help to understand. No one knew their reliance on a Walkman was a problem until Steve Jobs introduced us to the iPod.
- Promise. Have you painted a vivid picture of a desired future state—the transformation your product can bring? This is all about connecting the dots. Do the work for the prospect. Will your product solve their problem? Then show them what their life looks like after they’ve used your product.
- Position. Have you positioned yourself as an authoritative guide who can help them get to their destination? It doesn’t matter if you’ve communicated the promise to the right people about their problem if they’re unsure you can solve it. Trust is crucial to any product launch. Endorsements can help, but nothing beats winning people’s confidence directly.
- Plan. Have you shared a plan they can follow that will lead them to their destination? Sometimes this is simple. Buy the product, use it, voila! Other times the transformation is more nebulous. A clearly articulated plan will help the prospect see how your product can help them.
- Pitch. Have you created an irresistible, no-brainer offer? Problem, promise, position, and plan form the content of your offer, but your pitch is the style and approach. Some pitches are inappropriate for some audiences and undermine your credibility. Think of it this way: A pitch is not only an offer, it’s a musical note. Hit a sour note, and you might lose the sale.
- Price. Is your product priced right for your market? Pricing can be very mysterious. What people won’t buy for $10, they’ll buy for $99. One thing is for sure, nailing the right price is crucial for success. Price communicates more than mere monetary value. Before you go to market it’s critical that you get this right—even if that means relearning everything you think you know about what your product is worth.
- Place. Are your marketing efforts reaching prospects at the right place? Nothing is more wasteful than advertising that never connects or affiliates that can’t reach your people. Make sure you’ve got this eighth element working for you or it can undermine all the rest of your efforts.
Nothing is guaranteed with any launch. But if you stay engaged at every step, adjust as you go, and pay attention to what doesn’t work, you’ll get there.