Please enjoy this guest post from Nate Gilmore of Shipwire
Shipwire works with a lot of up-and-coming product companies – many of which are great at generating buzz, and others of which could use a leg up. As we all know, buzz is critical to the success of a new product because momentum builds excitement and sales. Without that, you end up with dust on your shelves … your product fizzles, your idea gets stale, and your inventory becomes obsolete.
During a recent tour with several product design clients, it became clear that many Shipwire customers are so busy moving product, they don’t have time to strategize how marketing can help with sales, and in fact needed tips on the fly to help product fly off the shelves.
That said, Shipwire would like to step in and help share the buzz – or share the wisdom of customers with 6 great Marketing tips to help build the buzz.
Despite what your grade school teacher may have told you, perfection isn’t everything. In fact a working prototype is excuse enough to begin creating buzz for your product. All you need is an idea, a way to demonstrate it, and a good story about what problem your product solves for its customers. The minute you have these three elements, get your product online.
Don’t wait until you have the inventory to start taking sales. Create demand to “pull” your supply…and start your marketing and sales months before you get the inventory.
Begin to identify potential brand evangelists early on in the lifecycle of your product. Grow your beta users into power users by letting them know their opinion matters, and showing they have early impact. Seed review opportunities and survey customers to see who would be willing to be an evangelist or offer media testimonials down the road. No one tells your story better than your customers.
Once you are satisfied with your prototype or first version, consider that your first 100 should go to the leading bloggers and tweeters with followers in your target market. You probably won’t have your final inventory created when you do this. That is fine.
We’ve seen a lot of great products recently coming off Kickstarter.com. For sure, designers are using it to test market an idea to see if the idea gets traction. But, they are also building a small group of motivated and inspired people that are emotionally connected to the product. Think of it as kindling for your fire.
Nate Gilmore is the V.P of Marketing and Biz Dev for Shipwire, an e-commerce product fulfillment service.
What suggestions do you have? Please leave a comment.
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