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Launching Your Startup: Preparing for D-Day

30 November 2008   OK, so you have completed your first product/service and you are ready to launch. Now what? Planning the actual launch event/vehicle is crucial to your company’s success. Here are several items you will need to line up before the launch:

30 November 2008

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OK, so you have completed your first product/service and you are ready to launch. Now what? Planning the actual launch event/vehicle is crucial to your company’s success. Here are several items you will need to line up before the launch:

 

  • Line up at least one analyst who understands your business proposition, is familiar with your solution and who is willing to be quote in the press.
  • Locate some friendly bloggers/press who you can pre-brief and guarantee some initial coverage. If you have worked properly with a reputable PR agency, this should be a done deal.
  • Leverage your design partners – if you have worked correctly, with design partners (see earlier post), then make sure they are available for the initial launch. This includes the following:

o Quote in press release

o Speak to analysts and press about the solution

o Be reference for a limited number of interested prospects

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o Be used in a case study outlining how the product/service solved a business problem for the customer

  • Prepare release materials, for example:

o Press release with clear value proposition, analyst and customer quote, product description with availability and pricing information.

o Data sheet

o Customer case study

o Business white paper describing the market need and value proposition. A good use of objective market data is particularly important. If the product has a strong technical bent, a paper describing why the technology is special will appeal to a certain press/analyst element as well.

o Supporting website with appropriate messaging and sign-up pages for marketing materials. Make sure you can capture your visitors details and make sure contact information is easily visible.

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Next, select your the launch venue. The venue should fulfill one or more of the following criteria:


 

  • Be an event well-attended by your target market
  • Be a high-profile event with big-name press looking for stories like yours
  • Be a co-branded event arranged with a big-name that can provide some credibility to the event and will attract press. This event could be a face-to-face event or an online event. A webinar is an example of an online event, but this would need a big draw (speaker, partner, or customer) in order to be successful.
  • Be an event hosted by one of your brand-name customers or brand-name analyst covering your particular area of expertise.

 

 

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Once the release materials are ready and the venue is arranged, you will need to pre-brief key analysts/press so that you are assured a powerful launch that accurately captures your value and identifies you as a company to be contacted to solve a pressing business problem.
If you can, try and sign up for a new product award for one that addresses your particular business problem.

 

If you do this properly, you can bask in the glory of your success for a day or two…and then get back to work, because you are only getting started…

 

 

 

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About the author

A technology strategist for an enterprise software company in the collaboration and social business space. I am particularly interested in studying how people, organizations, and technology interact, with a focus on why particular technologies are successfully adopted while others fail in their mission.

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