Product launches are like the Super Bowl for startups. At Zipcan, we picked a lucky day, 11/11, to introduce our creation to the world. The response was amazing.Here is what we learned and how customers responded.
Being concise pays off. Producthunt.com has a variety of features but one of them is discussions. Lluís Ventura, Co-founder of Comeet.me, posted a challenge to describe your product in 4 words or less. This was my answer.
Spenser and I were surprised how quickly people got the concept of Zipcan. We expected it to take some explaining. It didn’t 👍
People with a reputation matter. I guess they call them influencers? But I would say Chris Messina is more than someone with a reputation. He dug in with us, helped on messaging, timing and even recorded our launch video with me (see below). Chris is the inventor of the #hashtag, among many other cool things, so he knows his stuff when it comes to tech products.
PR is important. Not because it’s another article related to your press release, but because reporters and bloggers have a special sauce. The ability to capture story, trend, information and a fun call-to-action in less than 250 words. Geekwire did a great summary too; Zipcan...."The idea is to save time and money on potential development, and offer something better than a link to a Zoom call." - Taylor Soper
Ask all stakeholders to share. We never would have come across a museum administrator in our network, But our investors did. Finding customers that “get it” and come up with their own ideas for how to use your product is the goal.
Finally, do something creative. I learned this trick from Andy Bown. “Ship a pizza” he called it. Back then we would send a pizza to the customer’s office on the day they got the contract to sign. I think one time we even got the delivery guy to put the contract in the box. Everybody loves a good pizza and it is cheap. If they sign the contract they get a little celebration, if not, they are forced to chat with colleagues about what this pizza is and why your product is even being considered.
So I tried it on launch day. Hussein Y made the best comment on our Product Hunt page so I sent him a pizza as a thank you. This was not to buy a vote. The goal was to delight a customer in a remarkable and personal way - both attributes we want to build in our brand.
I hope this simple outline is helpful for your next product launch strategy. Contact us to learn more or brainstorm. We will do the call on Zipcan of course!
Product Hunt Video: