3 Product Launches and What You Can Learn from Them
According to Clayson Christensen, every year, at least 30,000 new products are launched into the market, but only 5% of them succeed. This figure is alarming.
The market is becoming saturated with similar products and services, making it difficult for new offerings to make the impact they had hoped for. As a result, the first hurdle most products face is the product launch hurdle because of how crucial it is to the product’s success.
The questions boggling many product managers/marketers include: how do I create compelling products that offer the value my customer deserves? How do I ensure I stand out in a highly competitive market? How do I create a robust go-to-market strategy to make the right impact?
To answer the question about creating a compelling product to offer the value your customer deserves, you should read our resource on business model examples.
This article highlights significant product launches, the product launch method, and lessons you would find applicable to your product.
3 Product Launches and What You Can Learn from Them
Have you ever had multiple landing pages or opt-in pages, but you worry that your customers will get lost trying to figure out the exact link for a particular action?
Have you ever said “link in bio” to more than one product or information on Instagram?
How do you ensure your customers easily find links and engage with them?
All these and more were questions creators and brands were asking before Linktree.
Linktree is an Australian-based product that experienced lightning growth when it launched — it has gained one million users per year for the last three years.
The idea for Linktree started when Alex Zaccaria started experiencing troubles with multiple links every time he had to do a post for the Instagram accounts he was handling. This frustration made him ask, “what if we had a simpler way to manage that link?”
The first industry to pick it up was the music industry (the early adopters) because it was easier to manage multiple links to different albums, tour tickets, and streaming platforms. As they organically reached more music personalities and creators, the digital manager for Alicia Keys found Linktree on Product Hunt. Now, Linktree has several high-profile personalities signing up for Linktree every day.
The Linktree vision
Linktree aims to simplify and democratize the internet, and thanks to its users, its growth strategy is now focused on other social platforms and website builders.
Linktree started as a free platform serving the needs of many creators and brands across different verticals. However, as they grew, their community began to make interesting demands that drove them to build a Pro version with new additions like analytics, custom branding, and integrations with MailChimp and Facebook.
It was a story of “they asked for it, we made it irresistible.”
Hundreds of users upgraded to the Pro version within the first few weeks, which further validated that the product provided value that people would pay for.
What is the future of “link in bio”?
Linktree may have started as a quick fix to the #linkinbio problem on Instagram, but it has developed to be more than that. They have grown to have 40% of their traffic coming from external sources outside Instagram. Nowadays, people even use it as a resume or portfolio.
A platform that was first loved by the music industry has now grown to allow photographers to manage links to their online stores, ticket sales pages for artists, and fundamental facets of marketing campaigns for brands. You can also enable newsletter signups and payments powered by PayPal and Stripe.
- Solve a personal problem
- Create collaboration with your users
- The original idea can always evolve. So don’t be afraid to scale and evolve.
Let’s tell you a story about what the world used to look like before Uber.
In the past, if you had to go somewhere, hailing a cab was a nightmare. You would either take a bus or motorcycle, leaving you tired and frustrated on most days. If you find a taxi, you have to spend some time negotiating with the driver and deal with a shabby car and when you get to the destination you need to count the exact amount of cash plus a tip, or you negotiate with the driver who never has changed or whose credit card is broken.
With all these troubles, only a few people found taxis enjoyable. So Uber tapped into these pent-up frustrations and demands from customers eager to find something better.
The Uber Advantage
Uber carefully mapped out the dissatisfaction experienced by these customers and created solutions for each one. It disrupted the monopoly of taxi cab transportation in many cities. Amongst the many problems they solved were poor cab infrastructure, poor customer service, limited payment methods, late cars, and poor service.
Uber set out to reimagine the entire experience to be seamless and enjoyable across boards. As a result, it has successfully created a wow experience that has redefined what it means to use a car service.
The Deep Bench Strategy
Uber discovered early on that they needed to identify the early adopters, engage them and get them to be loyal to them to make a breakthrough in the market.
When Uber started in San Francisco, they knew they would interact mostly with the tech community, continually looking for new tools and services to improve their quality of life. Uber targeted these people by sponsoring tech events, providing free rides, and generally driving awareness amongst this audience. The early adopters, who were already fed up with the cab situation in their city, tried Uber and posted on blogs and social media about the “new way to ride.”
The exceptional customer experience Uber provided with its service created a growth engine leveraging a growing network of passionate customers who were happy to show off their first Uber experience.
Uber’s Growth Opportunity Model
In addition to the overwhelming superior solution, Uber provided with its services, Uber leveraged real-life situations to spur growth. They used a model marketers like to call “accelerants.” Some include
- Holidays and events, restaurants, and nightlife.
They discovered that some of these situations make driving problematic in many cities. So the idea was to help customers have a good riding experience regardless of the situation.
- Look for a frustrated market and completely solve the problem.
- Identify early adopters and leverage them.
- Word of mouth is the best kind of marketing strategy.
- Leverage unique growth opportunities.
- Create a benefit for every segment of the market.
Before Canva, what many people described as graphic design was the ability to create art from scratch. This means that if you can not visualize it yourself, you can barely/not at all create it. Canva envisioned a different approach and thought that it could make everyone and anyone a designer.
Canva is not one of those SaaS products you will hardly use when you sign up. It is a product that you have no choice but to fall in love with, especially because of the plethora of templates it provides and evolving features that create an opportunity for everyone. In fact, in 2021, users made 3.5 billion designs, and on average, 150 new Canva projects start every second. All this value is from a product that started as an online yearbook.
Solve a frustrating need…for free
When social media “came of age” in 2012, many businesses and company pages were interested in using images and graphics to communicate with their audience. They had social media managers, but not many of them could afford a graphic designer simultaneously.
Merlanie Perkins saw this need and decided to create a platform for poster making, picture editing, and easy creation of infographics.
With its free platform, Canva changed the game for many professionals by creating an IKEA effect such that when users create a design and get compliments, they can easily say, “Thank you, I made it!”
Make everything a marketing channel
Canva’s goal is straightforward and it is to make visitors easily see jobs-to-be-done from the homepage and sign up with one click. They made it easy by immediately asking users what they want to design from the first page. Once the users indicate the design they hope to create, Canva provides a number of designs for them to choose from, making it easy to sway users and optimize them for conversions and subscriptions.
Connect and communicate with content marketing
The first place Canva saw a need was on social media, so using it to its advantage was the best thing to do. They made it easy to share on social media and also encouraged users to share their designs with the hashtag #canvalove. That hashtag created a community of people who love to create designs and encourage more people to use the platform.
Asides from launching the product with social media, Canva saw a need to put a lot of work into driving significant traffic, user growth, and retention. It decided to focus on two areas — design school and blog/articles to promote design skills and encourage more users to take on the skill and consequently the product.
- Be intentional about the product’s value proposition
- Focus on the buyers and prioritize their experience.
- Empower your customers
It is not just about creating the best software or product but about creating great experiences that your users can relate to and sell to others. Regardless of the problem you hope to solve, you must be sure to critically analyze your users, pinpoints the pain points of these users, and create a product launch and marketing plan that will help you go to market successfully.
Over to you, what key takeaways did you get from all three products?