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September 3, 2018
You may or may not have picked up on the fact that I was (and still am) a major Harry Potter nerd. My husband and I first connected by talking HP and when we wrote letters to each other for a few years before we started dating, HP references came up a LOT.
Anyway, did you ever get excited about one of the new books launching? I remember when book 4 came out, we were on a family trip and I felt like I had stressed to my family enough times the importance of buying the book THE DAY IT CAME OUT. I mean, I preferred we get it as soon as the book store opened. But we were sightseeing all day and so I tried to just breathe as I felt my mouth close in silent anger and my body stiffen as the day continued on without any urgency to get to a bookstore. By about 4 pm, I was just waiting for the day of sightseeing to be done. But when we were finally ready to go get that book, we were in a tiny town on the San Juan Islands and the local bookstore was closing. My mom called ahead to see if they had it. They did. I felt enormous relief when we finally got it, and then I realized I had one book that I had to share with three of my sisters. And that my oldest sister told me it was best if she read it first because she’s a faster reader than me so she could finish it quickly and give it to me…
All frustrating. Didn’t they understand that all I wanted was to have that book in my hands and for everyone to leave me alone for several hours?
My friend, that is what an amazing launch looks like from the consumer side. My tiny little nerdy body had a physical, visceral reaction to a new product I wanted so badly I couldn’t even enjoy traveling with my family without it. There are a lot of parts to the success of that launch: JK Rowling’s three books before that left me on pins and needles waiting to see what happened next. I had spent hours pouring over fan websites to see what information JK Rowling had leaked and analyzing it with my friends to guess what would be happening next. I had looked at the illustration of the cover that was released, analyzing who was on the cover, what was happening, and what clues I could find. Anything JK Rowling said about the release, I knew about it. Any interview. Any article. Any new product the publisher released. I wanted to go to the midnight party and start reading it as soon as possible. I had waited years for this book. I wanted nothing more than to just hold that thick, magical thing in my hands.
Now maybe I’m pointing out the obvious, but maybe not so I’m going to go ahead and say it: the publisher, author, bookstores, etc. didn’t have all of this fun stuff happen because they thought it was just for fun. I mean, the fan websites were for fun, but that’s a different story. The releasing of the cover. The leaking of information. The interviews. The midnight parties. These are not just because they’re fun, although they’re definitely that too…it’s part of the strategy. When you create excitement around a new product or a new anything in your business, you sell more. People respond to fun and excitement and energy. They want to be part of it. This is a launch.
And if you’re a business? You need to be launching too to make sales. Whether you’ve come out with a new product, a new website, a new service, a new brand, you should be creating some energy around this new thing. And you should be launching at least every season.
So take a minute and sit down with a piece of paper or your calendar. Look at what different services and products you’re going to be pushing over the next 6-12 months. What can you do to create some fun around it? Create some plans to make it happen!