updated - June 19, 2021 Saturday EDT
Many companies become known for a particular service or product. You can look at restaurants as perfect examples.
If you ask ten individuals to name a signature McDonald's item, the majority will probably say the Big Mac. If you ask that same ten about a noteworthy Burger King item, many will say the Whopper. If you query them about Pizza Hut, they'll probably mention their popular stuffed crust pizza.
This recognition for a single item can be a double-edged sword. It helps a company establish itself, but then, when they want to expand their offerings, they might find that the general public resists their efforts.
If you're in a situation where you want to launch a new product or service in 2021, there are certain key mistakes you'll need to avoid. We'll talk about those now. If you can keep from making these blunders, your new service or product might break through and sell satisfactorily.
Your company should already have social media profiles on the proper platforms, but if you don't yet, now's the time. You can talk to a social media manager about how to pick the right ones to use if you're not sure.
There are hundreds of social media platforms now, and it's pointless to try to establish a presence on all of them. Different age groups and demographics gravitate toward various platforms, and market research should indicate which ones you'll want to use.
If you decide to launch a major social media marketing campaign as part of your product launch, but you've picked the wrong platforms, that can spell disaster for you before the initiative even begins. If your target demographic doesn't use those platforms, you're essentially spending money and dedicating time for no purpose.
Like your social media presence, it also goes without saying that you should already have a fully functional business website. You should optimize it with keywords and phrases that will keep it at the top of the SERPs. This is basic SEO, and you shouldn't neglect it.
You should also further optimize your site for your new product's name and make sure there's a nice, clear product image right there on your landing page before the fold. If you want that product to catch on, you should not make anyone who comes to your website have to hunt for it.
Some companies forego traditional TV commercials because they have a limited marketing budget, and they think they're better off spending their money on social media. Depending on your target demographic and market research, you might still determine that creating a commercial and buying air time is worth it.
You could run into problems, though, if your commercial strikes the wrong tone. You might try to be cute or funny when that goes against your brand. You may try the opposite, pushing a serious tone when you've never done that before.
An abrupt shift in marketing tone that doesn't fit your brand will confuse and alienate your customers. If you are ready to go that route, right when you're trying to launch a new product is probably the wrong time to do it. At the very least, run the ad spots by some focus groups to get a broad feedback range before you move forward.
You should also make sure your new product doesn't get anywhere near a store shelf, or online merchants, if you use an eCommerce business model, before you have tested it exhaustively. Your R and D department should make sure there's nothing unsafe about the product or any of the involved components.
If you don't have to answer to any authoritative body, like the Food and Drug Administration, that might lead you to push for a product's release faster. That can work against you, though. You might come out with a popular new product, but then the next thing you know, you're facing a lawsuit flood if it's a choking hazard or you used some hazardous chemical in its composition.
It's often helpful to do a smaller product rollout before trying a larger one with a lot more fanfare. If your early effort seems to go well, and you're seeing the sales you want, that might be the time when you choose to up the ante.
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