The Importance Of Your Pre-Launch Startup Tactics
These days, you can divide most startups into two types. Pre-Launch Startup and Traditional Startups.
The first kind follows the traditional launch strategy of announcing themselves to the world when the founders believe they are ready to start taking orders for their fully developed product. The second kind of company strives to build brand awareness and a community of prospects long before they intend to put their completed products on the market. Businesses need to consider their pre-launch strategy very carefully. Look at the example of Simply Thick with the co-founder John Holahan. He built the brand and need long before launching the product.
Understanding Pre-Launch Companies
The pre-launch stage of a business refers to companies that are still working to develop products, marketing tactics, and all of those other things that make companies viable in the long run. Some company founders may believe that they have good reasons to shroud early work in secrecy. At the same time, during the first months, new businesses may struggle to acquire funding and build credibility because nobody knows who they are. Because the startup hasn’t actually dealt with actual consumers, they may not really understand their market as well as they should.
Why Favor A More Aggressive Pre-Launch Strategy?
Often, novice business people fear that competitors will learn about their ideas and beat them to the market. The founders might hope to preempt competition by unveiling all of the details about their work only after they have ironed out every detail and are ready to begin selling the best possible product. They may feel that a failure to wait until they can offer every planned feature will hurt their reputation in the long run. These may all be valid concerns, but these kinds of attitudes may also be so excessive that they will limit the company’s chance to enjoy rapid success.
On the other hand, companies with more aggressive and visible pre-launch strategies have enjoyed better success in many different areas. Instead of waiting until they can demonstrate a perfect product and a complete marketing platform, they roll out information about their products and even prototypes in stages. They keep adding pieces to their marketing platform piece-by-piece. By the time these companies ramp up production, they can usually count upon an eager market that is excited about their efforts. They can also build the credibility that they may need to attract investors and loans. In some cases, they may even start to collect revenues before they have ever sold a completed product.
The Minimum Viable Product For Pre-Launch Startups
One tactic that has worked for several pre-launch startups has been a focus upon developing a minimum viable product. These products work well, but they may have a limited set of features. Even though the early products won’t do everything that the final product might do, they still give companies a way to offer something to consumers. A business might offer these prototype products to beta testers, use them to encourage supporters on P2P funding websites, or even sell them at reduced prices.
Developing a minimum viable product during the pre-launch phase can give companies these benefits:
- The business has something to promote on their website, social media, and other platforms in order to develop brand awareness. It’s tough to build a marketing platform if there’s nothing to write about.
- Companies can begin collecting customer feedback upon this basic product in order to figure out which features that consumers really like, which should be discarded, and which ones they should plan to add in the future.
- The business can help develop their credibility by having something to show to consumers and to potential investors. Even if the product isn’t perfect, it will help other people visualize what the finished product will do.
- Prototype products can also help engage influencers in the market. For instance, the marketing department may contact journalists, bloggers, and trade publications to find out if they would like to test the prototype and write about it.
- Best of all, companies can even start collecting revenue as early as possible, and they can use these sales numbers to help attract more financing and help with cash flow. The company might sell the product directly, find retail outlets, or use the product as an incentive for P2P funding sites.
Building a Community
Developing a minimum viable product can help startup businesses in many ways. Still, this strategy may not work for all companies or industries. In some cases, only a fully developed product will offer businesses the competitive advantage that they will need to succeed.
Even so, businesses should find ways to build an audience, so that when the company does have a product to launch, they will know how and where to market it. The startup may protect as much or as little information as they choose about the product that they plan to release.
Building A Community With No Product
Even if the founders don’t want to unveil their new product, they should still know something about the issues that this new invention will help solve. The business can begin to build their marketing platform by offering some free white papers, videos, or even online classes that discuss the problem, current solutions, and why a solution like theirs may have advantages.
This content should help the companies attract an audience, build a subscriber list, and even gather feedback about what their audience really wants. Consumers should find this information valuable enough to gain a good impression of the source so that they will be receptive when the business finally begins selling their products.
Building A Successful Startup With A Great Pre-Launch Strategy
Thee days, companies tend to perform better when they put effort into developing their market long before they actually intend to start selling their finished products. In this competitive business environment, new startups need to make their mark early to develop brand awareness. Then a business startup needs to gather feedback and create a market for people who are excited about their ideas. Some tactics that can help with this include offering a minimum viable product and offering free content.
Will is the Executive Managing Editor at Feedster. Will and his team from Content HOW work with venture capital, marketing co-ops, and companies to attract and gain qualified leads.
His primary focus on developing a sales funnel for a company and finding out of the box / growth hacking style ways to convert and drive traffic.