In the month of April, 2010, Apple launched iPad in the US, and within two weeks, 300,000 unites was sold and within one month, one million iPads were sold all over the world.
Product creators and Entrepreneurs still regard this launch as one of the most spectacular launches ever as it took Apple almost double the time to sell that units of iPhones.
By the time iPad 2 was launched, Apple had sold more than 15 million units of iPad 1.
Recently, in the month September 2013, Apple launched iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, which broke all records of sales; 9 million units of these two models were sold within 3 days of its launch.
Not only Apple products, but there are some really cool games as well which break records everytime a new version is launched . For example, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 game, which was launched on November 17, 2011, sold 6.5 million copies within 24 hours of its launch, grossing $400 million! Another game from the series: Call of Duty: Black Ops II broke this record when it managed sales of $500 million within 24 hours of its launch on November 13, 2012.
There are countless such examples of launch successes, when a product just hits the buzzer and public goes crazy. Records are shattered right there on the launch day itself, which is a dream come true for an entrepreneur. But are these over night successes? Or there is some art and science behind it?
Here are our suggestions for making that spectacular launch, of any product in any niche:
Earn The Permission Asset
Apple was not able to sell those 9 million iPhone units within 3 days; it took them decades of hard work, persistence and nurturing of their tribe.
You need to start building your tribe right now, right here if you are planning to launch a product. Get their permission base, and spread your message. This is the hardest part, but it pays in the longer run.
Don’t Try To Please Everyone
Trying to please everyone is the fastest way to failure. Envision what you want to share, and build it for those who appreciate it. Not everyone will like your product, for sure. But make sure that those who like it, remain loyal with you for years to come.
Create A Product Worth Talking About
This sounds obvious, right? If its so obvious, then why do companies like Microsoft ship shitty products like Internet Explorer and Windows 8?
There are creators who often forget this most important factor: Create something which gets talked about. People should either love it or hate it; but there should be buzz going around your creation.
Make It Easy For People To Talk About You
Steve Jobs, the guy who propelled Apple to such greater heights didn’t had a blog or a Twitter account. Yet, his message was shared as soon as they uttered them. People used to queue up from morning 4 to get a glimpse of the new shiny Apple iPhone or iPad. Such was the intensity of the speculation and hope. You will need to create that type of cult following for that ultimate success.
Culture of Wonders
Nokia certainly had the capital, the engineers, and the infrastructure to create wonders like iPhone or Galaxy series smart phones. But still, they didn’t and the company was sold recently. Embed a culture of wonders inside your organization.
The element of surprise and wow should be installed inside the DNA of every employee/partner so that the product which is created is the simply the best in the class. It’s an acquired habit, no doubt, but worth it.
Willing To Fail And Rise Again
Unless the entrepreneur is willing to fail, and strong enough to rise again, he wont be able to create that master product which shatters all record.
Failure is very, very important here because if you are not willing to fail, you are not willing to embrace surprise and success.
Failure is like the necessary evil which is required to kiss success. Be mentally prepared to fail, and see how the world changes around you.
Tribe Wants Recognition:
It was Apple which introduced that little tagline under your email: “Sent from iPhone” or “Sent from iPad”, which gave its tribe members a unique identity, recognition for their love for the brand.
This badge of honor is very crucial to build the tribe and to share its bonding. What ever be your product, try to create a unique identity for its users, so that the message spreads optimally.
Never give up; Its just the Dip
After the initial hype of the launch, there comes a phase when things are moving slow and the growth seems to be lost forever. Seth Godin calls this phase as The Dip. Only the smartest of entrepreneurs carry themselves beyond this phase. Never ever give up in the middle; carry on the good work and see to it that your project is completed.
Conventional Wisdom Can Be Avoided
Technology changes every fortnight, so does the wisdom regarding Entrepreneurship and Leadership. And in today’s connected economy, conventional wisdom has the least significance.
While discussing the 5 commandments for Entrepreneur, we mentioned this point first: Don’t follow, but lead. When Apple introduced their products, it was a closed system. No outsiders were allowed inside their apps world and no ‘outsider’ songs were allowed to be played.
Everything was programmed in a way that only Apple authorized songs or apps were allowed. And it was pretty much unconventional at that time. But it worked. Years later, when Android was launched, it again broke these rules, and introduced an open system which again worked!
Launch It Like Google:
And lastly, a word of caution: Don’t believe the hype of launch; it’s not worthwhile. When Google was launched, no one noticed. It just focused on creating their loyal user base and giving out the best searches. That’s it; they knew their role in this world, and kept on doing it good. After one full year was passed, Google found first mention inside New York Times, and that too as a side mention in the second page.
And now, whatever Google does, becomes a news!
No, you are not alone. Thousands of entrepreneurs’ dream of a big launch, a big news on the front page of Times of India and a special story on CNBC which will let everyone know that you have arrived.
But most of the biggest companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, eBay, Paypal etc etc were launched when no one knew about it. They just launched and worked hard to do what they were doing. They nurtured and helped their loyal user base, and expanded their tribe.
So there you have it – The real secrets of a good product launch. Do you want to share your launch formulae with us? Please share your views by commenting here.