Why rushing to launch will never take off

“We just need to get out to the market. Quickly!”
“I know it’s a new service, but it’s so good everyone will get it”
“We don’t need a brand strategy at the moment – we’re good”

Yep, we’ve heard all those. Quite a few times actually. And mostly from very smart, well intentioned tech innovators.

Sometimes, they’re people who’ve been sent to us by their investors who, having recognised that these entrepreneurs have got a great idea, know that they can’t be taking 45 minutes to tell people about it.

But why do some resist or undervalue what developing a solid brand can do for their fledgling venture? We think it’s mostly about getting caught up in the excitement of product development and the genuine belief that their creation is so seismic it really speaks for itself.

But here’s the thing. No matter how great the idea works in the familiar surroundings of your own head – that is not how your audience will see it.

They will not take the time to work out if they like it or not. They are not that invested. Not yet anyway.

The history of branding is littered with stories of the best product or service losing in the market because the owners made assumptions at the start of the journey that tripped them up shortly into it. Lately, the tech space leads the way in these tales of woe.

Many products that make it to market focus on what they do in a purely technical sense. They miss out a fundamental element for success: the promise of what their product will deliver. Too often tech brands obsess on the ‘what and how’ and forget the ‘why’ altogether – leaving the audience to work that out.

Regardless of the type of business you’re in, the amazing piece of tech you’ve developed or the nature of your game-changing-industry-shifting idea – you will need to amplify how it will improve the life of the customer in a creative way so they can get it in 15 seconds (or less). And then – most importantly of all – help them remember all that, when you (and your baby) are long out of sight.

Some call this the brand promise. Others refer to it as the value proposition. You can call it what you like. Just don’t ignore it.

In a nutshell it’s the real reason your product or service is great – beyond what it offers on face value. And despite what anyone says and how all-consuming the desire to launch, this really needs to be nailed to ensure success.

Why? Well without it you don’t have a (short) story to tell. And audiences love a story. It’s how they relate.

So do it. And preferably do it early. Define that narrative, develop your brand’s point of view and spell out your brand promise – that big difference your ‘thing’ is going to make.

And for God’s sake – have some respect for your audience – whoever they are.

They don’t know what you’re on about so take some time to find out what makes them tick and then use that as the on-ramp into their consciousness. Do it well first time and they might just invest their time and money in your great idea. And who knows what could happen from there.

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