Put the focus on the people, not the product
Rarely do you hear Steve Jobs talking about the various features of Apple products. Instead, he goes out of his way to emphasize how the product affects you. When you launch a product, everyone in your company is probably excited by the technical specs, and all of the different ways your product pushes the envelope, and it's easy to assume your customer feels the same way. But they don't. They care about their problems and how your product is going to fit into their life. So, that's how you have to frame your marketing. Don't just talk about what your product does or why it's superior; show them a compelling picture of how it's going to make their life better.
Get opinion leaders on board early
Apple has a knack for getting bloggers and other thought leaders on board before their product launches. What really sets them apart, though, is they get everyone talking months before the product launches, usually before there's even a demo for anyone to see. It's a strategy anyone can use, even if you don't have a history like Apple. You can start working with the media in advance of your product launch. Even if it doesn't get you much coverage, it'll give you something to build on.
When Steve Jobs takes the stage, the whole world watches, because they know Apple isn't afraid to change the world. Their products aren't incremental advances; they are revolutions. Maybe your company doesn't have quite the reach Apple does, but every company, no matter how small, has the opportunity to revolutionize their business. Do something none of your competitors have ever done before, take a position that's bold and imaginative, paint a picture of the future that your customers want to live in, and then put your whole company into motion creating that vision.
Turn your product launch into an event
When Apple launches a new product, they stage an entire event around it, going so far as to even close their online store, so that everyone knows something important is happening and they need to pay attention. If you have the budget for it, throw a big press event for your product announcement. If not, at least have some kind of online event. If you make a big deal about your product launch, both your potential customers and the media are likely to take it more seriously, and it'll be reflected in your product sales.
This is probably one of the most overlooked launch strategies out there. Apple almost always offers pre-ordering of their new products, and because of that, it's not uncommon for them to sell hundreds of thousands of units within a week or two of launch. Of course, it's not always possible. You can't offer pre-orders until you know what your final pricing will be, for example. But you can still harness the enthusiasm. Until you know your pricing, make sure you at least have a way for prospective buyers to sign up for updates. Then make sure those updates offer a link to pre-order as soon as it's possible.
Release a product your customers will want to show off
Apple knows their image is vital to their success. That's one of the biggest reasons they place such a high value on form. People know and expect that Apple products will be aesthetically pleasing. Don't underestimate the importance of your product's appearance. If it's ugly, your customers won't want to share it with their friends and colleagues, hiding it away regardless of how useful it is. At the same time, a professional design makes people want to talk about it, and online or offline, it can have a big impact on your product sales.
Draw out suspense for as long as you can
While Apple always makes a big deal about announcing new products, prior to those actual announcements their product lines are shrouded in secrecy. And Apple will do almost anything to protect that secrecy. To make use of this strategy in your own company, take your hottest product and deliberately release very, very few details about it. The mystery will drive your customer base into a frenzy.
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