Every company deserves a launch, a great launch indeed. Irrespective of the size of the company. In fact the smaller the company, the greater and stronger the product launch strategy you should apply. This article will show you how to have a great product launch by applying the following product launch strategy.
Launching is not the same as product release, though when launching, you definitely would have a release date. Launching isn’t that 2 hours event you organize to create awareness for your product, then post on various social media and get people to come around and celebrate it. It can be better than that. A product launch strategy can be activated months, weeks or days before the product release. It doesn’t matter if its a book you want to launch, an app or services, you need to organize a great launch.
Read more: Why every brand or product needs a launch
According to Jeff Whatcott (@bcjeffw) Chief Marketing officer of Brightcove, a leading online video platform for publishing and distributing video across PCs, smartphones, tablets and connected TVs, a product Launch strategy can be implemented from two perspectives.
Externally, it’s a public announcement that secures widespread coverage in the press and social media and builds your brand leadership position and drives a surge in demand for your products
Internally, it’s a massive rallying force that promotes alignment across the company and prepares the go-to-market machine to execute well.
This cannot happen in a day. Let’s get it started on how to have a great product launch that your market cannot resist. The following are the 10 launch strategies you can use
1. Take care of every registration:
Most people have created awareness for a brand or product without registering the brand, have not secured the domain name, no registered business name and other legal registration required. You could be running someone’s product name or brand name without knowing which can lead you to legal issues or your new names can be stolen and you’ll be made to pay thousands of dollars for a domain name from re-sellers which ordinarily would have cost less than 20 dollars. Secure your business names and put all registrations in place before launching
2. Create awareness:
Most people do this the wrong way. You first would have to define your target audience or market. Who is your product meant to serve? Where are they? Not necessarily a location. Can be a platform, groups and forums these audiences dominate. What type of information do they consume and from what source? Use those channels to bring awareness to them. You wouldn’t create awareness on Disney programs when your target market isn’t kids. You wouldn’t run Facebook ads targeting the whole country when your target is just citizens living only in the cold regions or business cities of that country. Creating awareness must be deliberate and calculated. With good awareness, you can create loyal customers.
Read more: 7 vital steps to creating loyal customers.
3. Educate the in house.
Before launching Externally, launch internally first. Prepare the in-house to be able to face whatever question that comes to them. Let the in-house understand every process and be carried along in every decision making especially those concerned with the go-to-market plan. In simple terms, get everyone on the same page.
4. Stir interest:
If launching doesn’t gain widespread coverage then, it’s not good enough, the purpose is to bring about a surge in demand for your product. Therefore the awareness should be able to stir interest and keep people waiting for the product release day. If this is done well, you can get people to pay ahead of the release date with a little subsidy in price as an “early bird” incentive.
Read more: Hidden sales secrets that increase profit
Be it a book you want to launch, a training service or a product, it works. Towards the release of apple’s iPhone 11 pro Max, the awareness was so strong that people were so interested to see for themselves. The goal is to create an expectation in people so much that they can’t wait to get the product. For Apple, this resulted in long queues in their sales shops that people had to put their footwears in the queue and went home for more than 3 days.
5. Timing is key:
This can work for your benefit or disadvantage. As a small company, you wouldn’t want to launch your product when another big fish in the market is launching theirs. However, one can leverage on big events like mother’s day to launch a great product for women or children’s day to launch a product for kids. Choose wisely. Missing timing can kill your product launch strategy
Build enough expectation and try not to be swallowed up by a bigger event, choose release dates that would favour your market.
Create various platforms that engage your markets, they want to know the product features, how the services would operate and other various answers to their questions. Social media outlets can help engage the large audience.
7. Don’t Tell, Show It!.
Imagine doing a video on how your product solves security issue. An example is ring.com, apple exhibited by deeming their phone in water to prove how resistant it is to water. Have a demo if it’s an app people can play around and see for themselves. A picture is worth more than a thousand words, what then would you say about a demo or video. Creating a wonderful experience is the best storytelling.
8. Give chance for trial.
This might not apply for all products. It might go more for services than products. However, if you have an app and you’re confident about the value you’re offering you can give out some features for free or time-bound trial periods. It could be 3 days free trial period. Do this only if you’re confident have irresistible value! This can help you earn trust. This is called a freemium strategy, it’s a key to developing a good product launch strategy
9. Create urgency.
When people feel like they have an opportunity forever, they might never take action on it. So, create urgency. A simple way to do that might be asking them to pay earlier and have a 35% discount. Pay now and get an added value product. Whatever thing that would create urgency, use it to close the sales. Always remember that the purpose of implementing the product launch strategy is to create a surge in demand and enforce your brand to the market.
10. Start the next launch.
Be it an added feature to the previous release or an entirely new product. Keep launching.
Best PRODUCT MIX STRATEGIES to Scale Any Business (+ Detailed Guide)
Start-up entrepreneurs always brainstorm during the product development phase on the product mix strategies to work with.
This determines if the business will be relevant in the market over time or not.
Therefore, putting these strategies in place from the onset will enhance business growth.
As a result, this article has explained the product mix strategies for your business, as well as, its difference with product line. Stay with us!
What is Product Mix?
Product Mix is also known as product assortment or product portfolio. It refers to the complete set of products or services offered by a company
It basically consists of product lines which are the items customers use together. For example, milk and milo.
Some companies have product line within the same product line like liquid soap and washing bar, while others have within different product lines like diapers and hair extentions.
There are four dimensions of a company’s product mix. They are; Width, which shows the number of product lines; Length, which shows the total products in your mix; Depth, which shows product variations; and Consistency, how the product mix are related to each other.
Product Mix Elements
As mentioned earlier, there are four elements of product mix. We will discuss about them in this segment.
#1 Width: Number of Product Lines
Start-ups usually have a narrow or small product mix. As the business expands, they also expand their product lines. And invariably product mix. This is often advised so that the startup can obtain a good market share in its streamlined product lines.
#2 Length: Total Products
The length refers to the number of total products in your product mix. Using the example above, the product line is business plans and past questions. Business plans consist of over 500 business plans like snail farming, baking, fashion, laundry, etc. The same goes for business consulting services like advisory roles, Idea generation, problem-solving, staff training etc
Do you need a Businesss Plan? Check our Business Plan Archives
So, the total number of these products make up the length. Also, companies that have many product lines may keep track of the average length per product line.
#3 Depth: Product Variations
This is the total number of variations for each product.
Variations can include size, flavor, and any other distinguishing characteristic. For example, if your company sells three sizes and two flavors of bread, that bread has a depth of six.
Sometimes, companies can report the average depth of a product line.
#4 Product Mix Consistency: Relationship
Product mix consistency is an advantage to firms trying to position themselves as a niche producer or distributor. In addition, consistency helps improve brand image.
Difference between Product Mix and a Product line
Product mix is defined as the set of all products a particular seller has for sale. Product mix is also called as product assortment. A product Mix consists of various product lines.
See Also : Target Marketing
These variations come about as a need to widen customer base and attract customers of all spheres of life. Also, they use it to eliminate new market entrants and possible competitors.
For example, Samsung has a product line of mobile phones. But, the phones have different models which range from cheap and affordable phones to expensive ones.
This different models of phone for different classes of customers is known as product line.
Some attributes of product lines are:
Line Stretching: This occurs when companies increase their products beyond the current range. This can be Downmarket stretch, Upmarket Stretch, and Two-way stretch.
Line filling: Adding more products within the present range. It is more like filling out the missing items so that customers will buy all items from you thereby increasing profit.
For example, a phone shop like Samsung adding earphones, memory cards to their collection. They already did.
Line modernization deals with upgrading to new technologies so that customers will upgrade to higher priced and valued items.
Line featuring deals with featuring a few products in the line just to attract customers into a showroom where all models will be exposed. This can be likened to a promotion.
We have to understand that the product line is a subset of product mix. For example, Samsung offers mobiles, T.V’s, A.C’s, washing machines, etc. Mobiles phones are one product line, T.V is another one. These product lines put together is called a product mix.
Product Mix Examples
One of the examples of product mix is Coca-Cola.
In this post, we will assume that Coca-cola has two product lines which are soft drinks and juice. In the classification of soft drinks are Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Diet Coke, Zero coke. And for Juice, we have Guava, Mango, and Mixed fruit.
Now, using the elements of the product mix.
The Width is two: soft drinks and juice.
The length is the total number of products eight.
Depth: Using the example above, there is just one flavor/variation in the products. So, the depth is eight.
Consistency: This will be very high because all the products are beverages. In addition, production and distribution channels remain similar for each product.
Product Mix Strategies
When companies are starting out, it is important, to begin with a product mix limited in width, depth, and length; and have a high level of consistency. However, over time, the company may want to differentiate products or acquire new ones to enter new markets. They may also add to their lines similar products that are of higher or lower quality to offer different choices and price points.
This is called stretching the product line. When you add higher quality, more expensive products, it’s called upward stretching. If you add lesser quality, lower priced items, it’s called downward stretching.
Do you want to scale your business? Do well to follow these product mix strategies for your business to boom. Contact us in the comment box if there are any questions or ideas you’d like to share.
Competitor Analysis: All you need (+ How to Start Guide)
How do you see competitors in your industry? Do you see them as a threat, a motivation, or an information bank to learn from? Hopefully, important competitor analysis tools provided in this post will help you in using your competitors to serve your customers better.
WHAT IS COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
Competitor analysis is a way companies in an industry get to see the full picture, which is the strength and weakness, of their current and potential competitors. So, it helps companies realize opportunities and strike decisively against their competitors. Clearly it is handy to every business no matter the size or the stage. That is small business owners, big business co-operations, and start-ups.
TYPES OF COMPETITOR ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK
There are different types of competitor analysis framework which you can use for effective competitor analysis in your marketing strategy. And these frameworks have their differences and individual peculiarities that make them more effective in different marketing conditions. Let’s look at them and know when best to apply them.
SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s a popular and easy framework used by firms to analyze internal and external factors that can affect their business. The internal factors being strengths and weaknesses and the external factors being threats and opportunities. The constituents of each component of SWOT analysis are organized based on hierarchy by companies. So, SWOT analysis of a company will look like the image below.
Porter’s five forces:
This type of competitor analysis framework has five components as summarized below.
Level of competition within the industry:
There can be an inverse relationship between the number and strength of your competitors to your market relevance. Your power to influence the market can diminish when you have more competitors with a better product than yours.
If you have suppliers above you in your industry. How easy can they increase the prices of their supply? Clearly, the more the number of suppliers with quality products the more your alternatives. So, this could force them to cut down prices to attract customers.
How much will it cost buyers to influence your price in the market? Obviously, if you have a large customer base whom you provide with an affordable quality product better than that of other rivals. It will be quite difficult for customers to dictate terms for you.
The threat of substitution:
If there are lots of options for your customers to choose from then they will likely choose the cost-efficient ones. For example, if they could DIY your products. Then they are likely to cut you out. So, you have to constantly strive to make your product among the few options available to them.
The threat of new entrant:
The cheaper, in cost and time, it is for new competitors to enter a market the easier they can become a formidable competitor and weaken your hold of the market share.
Strategic Group analysis:
By applying this type of framework. You will be able to group companies within your industry based on their strategy in the market. Know the ones that possess more threat to you in the industry and how to deal with them. Then know the ones that are less threatening and keep an eye on them.
Growth share matrix:
The growth-share matrix categorizes products based on their growth potential and market share. They are the cash cows, the dogs, the question mark, and the cows. Hence you can use this tool to know the stand of a competitor’s product in the market and how to rival it.
COMPETITOR ANALYSIS TOOLS
Let’s check out some examples of important competitor analysis tools that will help you gather and analyze data of competitors in your industry. We’ve categorized them based on these 4 areas of specialization.
Competitor analysis tools for social media:
These tools enable companies to monitor their competitor’s social media presence. Examples are Sprout social, Phlanx, Social blade.
Competitor analysis tools for SEO:
Helps sites to discover keywords that drove the most traffic to the competitor’s site. And more than providing trending keywords they also provide data on SEO attributes like backlinks, organic, and paid searches. Examples are SEMrush, Ahrefs.
Competitor analysis tools for content:
They help businesses in the analysis of a rival’s content. So, this could help them learn and make adjustments to their subsequent contents. Examples of the tools are Buzzsumo, Similarweb.
Competitor analysis tools for ads, emails:
Tools like isPionage help businesses monitor a rival’s paid ads. It helps in the analysis of multiple aspects of pay per click campaigns. Also, email analysis tools like Milecharts and Owletter are handy when businesses want to dig into their rival’s Email marketing.
HOW TO DO COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
So, you now have an idea of competitor analysis is all about. Now let’s guide you on an easy to use steps for your competitor analysis.
Discover and categorize your competitors:
This is the very first thing to do in competitor analysis. It involves you finding out your competitors and classifying them based on the type of competitor they are to you. A simple google search of keywords in your industry could help you with these. Other tools like SEMrush and Similar web will also automatically list your competitor’s websites when you enter your own website in the search field. Then, when you are done identifying; categorize them based on the type of competitor they are.
Provides similar products to solve the same problem for the same consumer base.
Different solution competitors
Provides similar products to the same customer base but using a different technique.
Different customer competitors
Solves the same problem with a similar product but to a different customer base.
For a detailed and thorough analysis, it is advisable to get at least one competitor for each of the categories.
When you have discovered your competitors. Then, it’s time to do some digging on some information about them. This information includes
the company’s overview like the number of employees
their funding and estimated revenue and
customer base features.
You can get information on the company’s overview on their website or social media platforms. And for their funding and estimated revenue, you can dig something up from their media interviews and conference presentations.
You need to know everything about the product your company provides. For example, product features, pricing, and customer benefits. If they have an e-commerce platform check it out to get product information.
Customers’ details and reviews:
Customers’ detail like their geography helps you know your competitor’s target location. Their reviews let you know their sentiment. Tools like Awario and Mention will be handy to gather information about your competitor’s customers.
The information you should gather here is as follows.
SEO, social media presence, influencers and partners, content marketing, Advertisement. The competitor analysis tools will help you out with these.
Use the appropriate competitor analysis framework:
Feed your garnered intel to the most suitable type of competitor analysis framework. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your rivals. Then act based on the result of your analysis.
IMPORTANCE OF COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
If you call it espionage. Fine. If you calling it an intrusion of privacy. No comment. But it’s apparent that competitor analysis is important to businesses. And some of these importance are as follows
Identification of threats and opportunities:
This is the major importance of every competitor analysis. So, you recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors after analyzing them. Hence, these strengths serve as a threat to you, so you need to adjust well, and the weaknesses an opportunity for you to strike at.
Increase market share:
If you are far low in ranking in your industry. Then, this is the long-run importance of competitor analysis. Realizing your customer’s taste from a competitor and fine-tuning it will have an impact on your market share.
Proper channeling of resources:
You don’t get to waste resources on low yield products or marketing strategy after conducting a comprehensive competitor analysis.
When you have a sizeable market share; your sales increase. Hence, this is another importance of competitor analysis.
Ansoff Matrix Explained: Practical Examples, Theory, & Strategy
You are probably trying to get your head around some questions like “what Ansoff matrix is,” “Ansoff matrix theory,” “Ansoff matrix examples,” “Ansoff matrix strategy.” Well, you’re at the right place cos this post has been designed to clarify all the questions you have in mind on this subject.
What is Ansoff Matrix
The Ansoff Matrix theory was developed by Russian-American mathematician and business manager Igor Ansoff. It’s a framework that’s designed to help firms decide their market growth as well as product growth strategies. Clearly this tool is not just handy to big business but also to small businesses and start-ups. Because a big business might want to diversify its products but a start-up might just want to penetrate the market. Having this knowledge, let’s take a look at the breakdown of these strategies.
Breakdown of the Ansoff Matrix Strategy
There are 4 quadrants in the matrix, and as a company you can choose from any of the quadrants, the strategy that maximizes your market potential. So, let’s breakdown this Ansoff Matrix Strategy by taking a look at all the components of the framework. The picture below gives a nice summary of the strategies.
Market penetration in Ansoff matrix:
This is the least risky in the Ansoff Matrix strategy. It focuses on getting more out of an existing product in an existing market. So, a company tries to sell more of its products in its present market through any of these. Increase in advertisement and distribution support, reduction in price, acquisition of a rival. One prerequisite for this is having a small market share. So, you try to get more hold of the market through this strategy. But if you already have a sizeable chunk of the market, then you may want to select any of the other three.
Product development in Ansoff matrix:
In this strategy the firm creates more products in it’s existing market to satisfy consumer needs. In this you already have a customer base for a certain product but the product has attained a level of market saturation. So, to solve this you offer consumers another product within the same market. The new product can be actualized by patent acquisition to produce someone else’s product, badging a bought product as your brand, investment in research and development of additional product.
By applying this Ansoff matrix strategy a firm aims at reaching out to a new market segment with their existing products which has gained market penetration in another market segment. For instance, some companies after gaining national market penetration in a given country, they move forward to reach out to consumers in other countries where they’ve not been established. You can actualize this in a local business by moving your product which has gained market penetration in a state/province to other states. However, it’s advisable not to take up this strategy until your products have penetrated at least one market.
When companies adopt this Ansoff matrix strategy they introduce new products to a new market. Because the company is investing in both a new market and a new product this causes a two quadrant move in the Ansoff matrix. So, this makes this strategy the riskiest. Diversification strategy could be related or unrelated. In related diversification there is relationship and hence potential synergy between the firms. In un-related there is no relationship between the firms. So, un-related diversification can also be called conglomerate growth.
Hence, you can select any of these strategies depending on your position in the market.
Some Ansoff Matrix examples in reality
We are going to list the different Ansoff Matrix examples in reality based on the component of the quadrant they best fit in.
Android is a good example of this. Apple and blackberry dominated the U.S smartphone industry about 12 years ago. But today Android shares almost equal amount of the market with Apple and we can’t find blackberry nowhere.
Smartphone companies like Apple and Samsung putting out new phone models every few years is an example of product development in the Ansoff Matrix.
A good example of market development strategy is PayPal. They initially started their service in the US and expanded to other countries. Another example is Apple, after releasing iPod which is an expensive device for music lovers. They released iPod shuffle which is cheaper and targets a market segment of consumers who love music but are less willing to pay a premium price for it.
Alphabet incorporation exemplifies this. They started on the internet with google search but gradually moved into different markets, including the oil sector.
Finally, the Ansoff matrix is good for startups, small business owners and big business owners. So, you need to know you position in the market and select the strategy that will work best for you.
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