Product launches aren’t easy. After they are released, the majority of new products and services fail to achieve a foothold. Part of this failure rate can be attributed to the fact that people are creatures of habit. It is fundamentally easier for consumers to stick with the familiar than to try the unknown. “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind,” written by Jack Trout, the influential marketing expert who introduced the concept of product positioning, found that “American families, on average, repeatedly buy the same 150 items, which constitute as much as 85 percent of their household needs.” Launching a new product often requires breaking established habits, which can be a daunting challenge.
If marketing is planned well, this challenge can be overcome. Consider, for example, the “beta” release, which is a concept that originated in the computer software space. A beta release tests a product or service prior to its market release through use by actual customers in a real work environment. Testing a product idea was referred to as “A” testing, while testing a developed product was known as “B” testing. Other companies soon adapted this process, including enterprises outside of the software industry, and the Greek letters “alpha” and “beta” eventually replaced “A” and “B.”
With the advent of Google, beta testing evolved into a promotional opportunity. When Google introduced Gmail in 2004, using this new service was marketed as a privilege. A consumer could access the “beta” Gmail only if invited by someone who had already been granted access. This scarcity created demand, and Google’s limiting of its “beta” access in this way made Gmail a hot product.
News media reported that Gmail invites were eliciting bids of up to $150 on eBay. As consumers became more desperate to have a Gmail address, using any other web email service, such as Hotmail or Yahoo, became stigmatized; having a Gmail address was like belonging to an exclusive club. In 2007, Google lifted the invitation-only restriction but continued to call Gmail a “beta” until 2009. While the term “beta” was once a label for products that were still in testing, the word became an accepted description for general product releases. While unintentional, the Gmail “beta” release has become known as one of the most successful product launches in the history of tech marketing.
The SmallCapRelations team understands how to create buzz surrounding your product launch. Our experts have assisted in many incredible launch events, generating press coverage and other publicity. We focus on marketing campaigns, investor relations and social media during those critical first few weeks and months to help ensure the success of your product launch.
We will apply effective strategies, build on initial momentum, work within your budget, and utilize the latest technology to create market exposure and attract loyal customers. Contact us today to discuss the details of your successful product launch.