Posted on October 26, 2009. Filed under: Business Strategy, Social Media | Tags: Business Strategy, communications, Communications Strategy, email, Google, Google Wave, innovation, innovations, launch new product with a bang, limited preview, marketing, new product launch, new product rollout, online collaboration, photo sharing, PR stunt, product launch, product roll-out, promotion, public relations, public relations strategy, Social Media, social network, social networking |
How do you ensure a product still in development catches fire come launch-time?
Keep things largely under wraps, while simultaneously spilling a bunch of the beans.
A neat trick that takes finesse to pull off; one recent example is the rollout of Google Wave.
Limiting who gets to test drive
Not quite ready for prime time, there’s already gobs of chatter about the Wave, which is in limited preview. You must be asked to give it a test drive.
Invitees include developers and influentials — tech writers and bloggers being a big block here — who are in turn allowed to ask 20 additional individuals to join the fold.
Google’s tactic of limiting who gets a preliminary trial ensures invitees are quick to spread the word. To clue people in on the Wave, of course, but also, it’s an opportunity to infer, without really saying so, “I’m one of the chosen people.” It’s a status symbol.
Anyone can peek under the hood
You can get a gander of the product by visiting the About Google Wave web site.
The site includes a long (80 minute) video presentation, originally given to developers, about this new collaborative communications platform that appears to be a souped-up combination of email, chat, photo sharing and other social media tools, with considerable real-time capability.
FYI, you don’t need to watch the video all the way through. The first part has demos and explanations in plain English. The rest is for developers who may want to build apps and other tools to work with the Wave.
If you’re not into tech talk stop after the first segment: You’ll still see what the ruckus is about.
Meanwhile, buzz about Google Wave continues to build.
Computerworld claims the Wave is indeed innovative, but wonders if it’s truly useful in the real world.
As yet another tantalizer, you can request an invitation to Google Wave.
Follow the leader
Few businesses have a footprint as big a Google, where this kind of rollout has such immense impact.
No matter, you can still follow the leader. Here are the basic steps.
- Unveil your upcoming product to select influentials. This group includes members of the media (both traditional and social media), prominent existing and/or potential customers, people who will eventually market your product, and others who communicate to audiences that can derive benefit from your product.
- Inform invitees of their exclusive status.
- Tell the general public you are giving pre-launch test drives to invited individuals (to elevate the status factor even more).
- Post limited information about your new product, that anyone can view, showing how it works. The “you can look but not touch” approach creates anticipation and desire.
- Tell invited influentials you are not simply looking for free PR, but want authentic feedback on how they perceive the product.
- Listen to and absorb the feedback, both positive and negative.
- Dangle a carrot to the uninvited indicating that you might let them take the product for a spin.
- Gradually increase the number of invitees.
- Launch product and watch the sparks fly.
Time will tell if Google Wave is a tsunami (or not).
Until then, the fire lighting up public interest continues to burn.
- Deni Kasrel
Have you heard about Google Wave? Are you one of the chosen few who gets to test the Wave? What do you think about Goggle’s limited preview? Can you see it working for other products? Please offer your thoughts. Comments welcome.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )