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Public Relations: The Secret to Launching a Successful Product or Service

 The blogosphere recently has been having a collective laugh riot over a Microsoft video about holding a launch party for Windows 7. In case you haven’t seen it, the video features a group of politically correct people talking about having a launch party for Windows 7 in a way that’s totally unbelievable and horribly acted. Apparently, it’s not a parody, but meant to be for real.Microsoft would do well to remember the key factor behind any successful launch.

 The blogosphere recently has been having a collective laugh riot over a Microsoft video about holding a launch party for Windows 7. In case you haven’t seen it, the video features a group of politically correct people talking about having a launch party for Windows 7 in a way that’s totally unbelievable and horribly acted. Apparently, it’s not a parody, but meant to be for real.Microsoft would do well to remember the key factor behind any successful launch. It has nothing to do with using the latest cool technology or gimmick and everything to do with properly positioning your product or service.It never fails to amaze me how many companies spend hours developing their product or service insuring that it has all the latest bells and whistles but spend so little time on the messaging and positioning. I think it’s because there is an underlying, though misguided assumption, that the product speaks for itself.  It’s great, therefore, people will automatically understand it. Along those lines, there’s an interesting article in The New York Times about how the first automobiles were complete duds. People were confused about what to make of these new contraptions that looked like three-wheeled machines or bicycles. That all changed, however, once innovators made the machines look a little more familiar (more like carriages) and coined a term that hit home: “horseless carriage.”Mary Tripsas, the article’s author, makes a key observation. We make sense of the world by classifying things into categories. For that very reason, when we introduce a new product or service, we need to make it easy for potential consumers or clients to classify it. Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re launching a wireless product that enables companies to better track merchandise by automatically identifying the location of the merchandise. Yes, it may have the latest technology, have more features than a competitor. But what description will best capture its benefits? Sure you can call it a wireless tracking device but what does that truly mean? Why not call it a MerchandiseTracker or MerchandiseTrackingDevice.? People had no idea to make of it until innovators hit on a description that made sense then: “horseless carriage.”  Without being able to make a comparison or classify a product or service into a category, it’s tough to hook potential customers, according to Tripsas.So next time you are launching a new product or service, here’s a checklist to ask yourself:What do I most want my customers or clients to remember about my new product or service?What will get them most excited and most likely to want to know more?How can I describe it so that the description makes it easily understood and put into the right context?I’ll be talking about this and other issues in two upcoming free webinars. Click here to learn more and to register.Wendy Marx, B2B Public Relations and Personal Branding Specialist, Marx Communications, Inc.Technorati tags: public relations, new product launch, PR, new service launch, B2B PR    

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About the author

Wendy Marx is President of Marx Communications, an award-winning boutique B2B Public Relations agency known for turning companies and executives, including start-ups, into thought leaders. Follow her on Twitter @wendymarx and on Google+ @ plus.google.com/+wendymarx.

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