Here’s Why Most Tech Launches Are Mediocre

Why don’t we pump up our tech releases the same way Supreme or Adidas would when they’re launching a new product or like musicians do when they are launching a new tour or about to release a new album. 

This tweet got me thinking about this idea… And I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. Some of the comments in the thread offer some great insight into why this happens so I’ve combined those thoughts with my own. 

Here’s why most tech launches (especially after v1) are mediocre:

– Common releases. They happen so often that people no longer care. 
– Invisible upgrades. Most products don’t promote their in-app upgrades they just let them happen. 
– Surprise model. At a certain scale these brands change the layout when they feel like it. People will still be hype (sometimes in a bad way).
– Fear. Tech brand don’t want to have a flop. If they hype the launch and it’s a flop the media will have a field day. 

I don’t think any of these reasons are enough. 

Brands can get creative with their approach and make the hype cycle an integral part of their strategy. Let’s say you run a CRM (customer Relationship Management) service and you want to launch a new feature in Q3 (third quarter)… You’re pretty much ready to launch now but want to go through some QA (Quality assurance). Here’s how you can build hype:

– Beta Users: The test flight app is real. Let’s get a small portion of your users who have a high NPS (net promoter score) and potential high level of influence in the industry to try this new feature. Let them talk about it publicly and add more gas to the fire by sharing their raving reviews as they come in. 

– Beta Onboarding: Create a landing page where users sign up for early access to the feature. You don’t want existing users to NOT feel special so feel free to give stipulations around early access based on their plan level or time with an account. Advise that they can jump the line by sharing and promoting the feature launch. 

– In-App Message: Build suspense by simply sending a quick message once or twice to users letting them know that something new is coming.

– Show The Feature But Disable It: This is kinda like what Apple Music does with an album the week before it’s live. Similar to the way Apple Music releases a playlist — you can give people a little teaser into the feature that is to come. 

– Drop Hints On Podcasts & Blog Posts: Share tidbits about the new feature until you’re tired of saying it. 

– Live Webinar Announcement: Let your customers book time in advance to HEAR the announcement. Let them know that on Day 1; everyone who attends regardless of their plan will be getting 3 month access (if you have that kind of product) or just get them hyped!  

All of this to the side… 

I think the biggest reason people hesitate when it comes to product launches with lots of hype and buzz is the fact that competition is watching. 

Fair point. 

But if the only thing holding a competitor back from beating you and taking all your customers is a one or two month heads up on what you’re about to launch (and they can launch it just as soon) you may have bigger issues. 

That’s it.

Hope ya’ll have a great weekend! 

Author: Ross Simmonds
Ross Simmonds is an Entrepreneur, Marketing Consultant, Author, and Speaker. He is passionate about technology, the future, good people, good coffee and storytelling. He is the founder of Hustle & Grind (eCommerce store for entrepreneurs), and Crate (content marketing software). He shares exclusive content to thousands of people on a semi-regular basis on a newsletter about content marketing & growth. He is @TheCoolestCool on Twitter.


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