Product Launch Events
If you’re launching a new product or service, hold an event – it’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter if you are a start-up or a multi-national business, a product launch is an effective way to get people to pay attention and for a product to gather momentum towards eventual success.
When it comes to a product launch, you only have one shot at getting it right. It is therefore essential that you are aware of the different aspects that contribute to a successful product launch event. That’s where this guide comes in, taking you through all of the essential components and sharing some expert advice.
How to plan a product launch event?
You know why a product launch is important so now we need to look at how to make it happen.
Make an Impact
The marketing world is increasingly full of noise, with so many brands operating across so many channels all competing for nano-seconds of your audience’s attention. It is therefore vitally important to standout and make an impact with your event. First impressions make all the difference with a product launch as you only have one chance to get it spot on and make an impact. Careful planning, a focused message and some creative thinking should see you on your way.
Raising awareness, garnering publicity and generating a buzz around a new product, brand or service is essential. A launch event is one way that you can do this effectively. A well-executed event can be the catalyst that sees your product reach the right people and take off. The product launch event should not be the beginning though. Social media campaigns are a cost-effective way of facilitating this buzz – start early to build awareness around your business, product and then your launch event. These can be targeted teasers, tasters, competitions. If you are relatively unknown as a business, you need to get on peoples’ radars early and continually remind them of who and what you are.
What We Can Learn From Apple Product Launches
Steve Jobs first unveiled the Macintosh personal computer in 1984 and the rest, as they say, is history. Key to Apple’s success over the years is their marketing strategy and in turn how they launch their products. When it came to product launches Steve Jobs and Apple often got it right. And here are some of the reasons why:
– Attention to detail – From the product design to Steve Jobs’ carefully planning his every word and gesture for the launch events to the product slogan: Apple pay attention to detail. The original iPod in 2001 launched with the simple and effective tagline ‘1000 songs in your pocket’. If you can boil your product or service down to a single sentence then you will have a clear message to build your event theme around. You don’t need a big budget or fancy gimmicks, just distill your product and why it is important down to a single memorable idea.
– Make it an ‘Event’ – Kissmetrics identifies how Apple successfully turn their product launches into events, “If you make a big deal about your product launch, both your potential customers and the media are likely to take it more seriously, and it’ll be reflected in your product sales.”
– Out of the box thinking – Originality and careful planning can help deliver an excellent launch event. Again, it doesn’t have to be about spending vast amounts of money, but giving yourself the chance to think outside of the box to create something truly original and in turn memorable. It is a marketing mantra to ask yourself “What would Steve Jobs do?” but do it and see if you can find a new angle.
– Human Connection – Let your personality shine through, it is what makes you you after all. Having an emotional attachment to the product and to your customers and making this visible could help inspire your event audience. Jason Babtiste, the CEO and co-founder of Onswipe, attributes some of Apple’s success to their ability to: “funnel everyone’s emotions into one high impact event that is well thought out and coordinated.”
Despite success in their product launch events, Apple is not infallible and can still be vulnerable to some good send-ups like this one from Ikea around the launch of the iPhone 6s.
Where to hold my product launch event?
Product Launch Events Venue
A successful product launch will often take full advantage of an amazing venue – this can be because the venue is itself impressive or because it is unique and has some affinity to the product being launched. When looking for a product launch venue, you need to have an idea of numbers and what type of space you need. Technical details and room setup details will need to be covered to ensure things go without a hitch.
The venue should also be conveniently located. The right location is the one that is easiest to reach for the people you want to attend your launch event. If you want journalists in London to cover your event then choose accordingly. If you want to focus on your key suppliers then look at where they are based. Convenience is key.
Product Launch Venue London
20 Bedford Way is located in Bloomsbury, Central London and benefits from amazing transport links. We are super close to a number of tube stops and easily accessible from Kings Cross and Euston stations.
Apple, who know a thing or two about product launches, has carried out most of its launches at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, which holds 757 attendees. Our Logan Hall holds a similar number – 937 – making it ideal for a launch event. It has state-of-the-art equipment and great facilities to boost including excellent acoustics and sight lines.
Who should attend my product launch?
Who to invite to a product launch?
It is vitally important to invite the right people to your launch event. The ‘right’ people depends on what you want to achieve from your event. Do you want to create a media buzz? Wow your suppliers? Woo the industry influencers?
The ‘right’ people will vary depending on your industry but the following general groups are a good starting point:
– Potential Customers/Existing Customers – to impress and generate sales
– Journalists/bloggers/social media evangelists – to create buzz and spread the word
– Influencers/peers/industry heads/suppliers – to create an impact within the industry
Knowing your target audience is the first and most important step – hopefully by this stage you will know exactly who this is and have a detailed customer profile in mind. Now consider how they will be best reached.
There are a plethora of social channels that you can utilise to communicate the details of your event amongst your target audience including Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.
When should I hold my launch event?
Timing is key to a product launch event. Ask yourself the following questions:
– When does it make sense to launch my product or service?
– Will the product be ready in time?
– Is the marketing plan ready to go?
Dave Daniels in Pragmatic Marketing explains: “as you go through your launch planning process, identify the times and locations that afford maximum leverage… The perfect storm is to have your product ready, your partners screaming at you to ship, your buyers foaming at the mouth in anticipation, and the media wanting all they can get.”
With the right product, launched in the right venue at the right time to the right people you will be well on your way to success. Good luck!