- by Rory Ramsden
The secret to crushing your competition and winning out big time is do what they can’t do, won’t do or just don’t ‘get‘. Doing a product launch will instantly position you as the trusted adviser in your niche and as such make you the default supplier for your product or service.
Established companies are stuck in the ‘this is how we do things round here’ mindset. They may marvel at Apple’s product marketing strategy but somehow they don’t add 2 +2 to make 4. They just don’t get it. They don’t see how layering one product launch on top of another – each one more successful than the last – boosts profits every time.
Apple is now a 300 billion dollar company as a result of doing this.
A small business or start up can break into a new niche almost instantly by doing a product launch and catch the established competition unawares. Here are 5 ways to set your launch for a win…
#1 – Look for Dramatic Growth
Disrupting the market place is about being innovative and original. It’s about stepping outside your comfort zone and doing something different. This makes dramatic growth possible even probable.
In 2007, Google was an unknown in the mobile market. Just 4 years later they are a big player. That didn’t happen by accident. They disrupted the market place whilst Nokia was ‘fast asleep’ in Finland. Now Nokia is fighting for survival and having to do deals with Microsoft just to stay in the game.
#2 – Focus on How Best To Serve Customers
A customer centric company knows what to deliver almost before their market does. It is intuitive. They are zeroed in on their pain and frustration so know on an emotional level what they are looking for.
This does not happen overnight. The demographics are not hard to find. The psychographics take longer. Your aim is to be able to join the conversation going on inside your ideal client’s head at the critical moment when a buying decision is being made. You cannot do this at arm’s length by looking at your metrics and survey results, get on the phone and validate your thinking with your existing customers. You’ll be pleased you did
#3 – Stay Focused on Your Competitive Strengths
Knowing who your ideal customer is better than he or she knows her best friend is one thing. Fixing your competition in your gun sights so that you can watch his every move is another. But if you have not taken the trouble to do a SWAT analysis on your own business, you are bound to lose.
Sun Szu, the ancient Chinese warrior sage, is clear on this point in his book ‘ The Art of War’. Your enemy is looking for your weak point so that he can attack it just like you will do to him. Be careful to have a good understanding of your own strengths so you can build these into your products or services. Look for strategic alliances to cover your weak points.
#4 – Make Strategic Choices
A start up can exploit niche markets that a big established players has no interest in. The returns offered cannot support his overheads or provide the ROI he looks for. Once you have established a bridgehead, you can rinse and repeat the process in associated niche markets and grow your business. Constant Competition analysis is essential to making successful strategic choices.
#5 – Over Deliver on Value – Under Deliver on Promises
Long term customer value is built on trust. Delighting yours by over delivering on your promises is a fail-safe way of developing the triangle of trust that you established during your product launch sequence. Do this by retaining the right to add value to your product or service unannounced.
Surprise bonuses that support the original purchase cement the relationships that you have with your customers. They know that when they buy from you in the future, they will get a lot more than they bargained on. The value of each customer will increase over time. As a result you will be able to pay more than your competitors to win more of them. This is a virtuous circle that leads everyone being in a win-win situation.
Be sure that your best customers will leave you and buy from someone else if you are not constantly offering them more relevant products or services. This is Apple’s product launch marketing strategy. It should be yours.
Planning a series of product launches is a sure way of winning big by positioning yourself as the expert authority in your market segment.
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