Launch Failure? 6 Things To Do When Things Don’t Go According to Plan

Launches certainly feel like a rollercoaster ride, don’t they? Not only is an entire team involved (and invested) leading up to launch day, but the emotions are overwhelming! Whether you’re anxious, stressed, exhausted, or excited, it’s more than just a buzzkill when the launch doesn’t go exactly as planned.

It’s a major setback, and even the most prepared teams can feel defeated. But there IS a silver lining in this story. My team and I have been working with clients for years to ensure that “launches” are a time of celebration. Today, let’s look at six of my favorite tips for planning, managing, and bouncing back from launch failure to success:

#1 Solve a Real Problem

Launching is the easy part, well, depending on who you ask.

But the bottom line is this… don’t try to solve a non-existent problem.

Period.

Businesses must solve actual problems if they want to succeed. Why? Because trying to solve something that doesn’t exist is pointless. You can have a great product or offer all day long, but it won’t be effective if it doesn’t solve a need or a want. Your business has to meet your customers’ individual needs if you want them to be loyal.

This means you must understand their problems, needs, and wants so you can be their guide and solve them. As you’ve heard me say a million times, you must know your ICA, nail your message, and define your unique selling proposition (USP). USP is a breakdown of the need your product fulfills and how it compares to other brands in the market. You give your customers reasons to buy from you, not the competition.

#2 Social Proof for the #win

Don’t underestimate the power of social proof. Social proof is essential in the launch process — and there are plenty of ways to incorporate it into your strategy. One of the best places to start is online reviews and testimonials from early beta-testers. Not only will these show off your internal feedback, but they can also be used as social proof across all other online marketing channels.

Tip: Social proof tools such as Provely are believed to boost conversion rates by 200%. Now, while I am not sure that number is valid, I can say that anywhere from a 30–50% boost is realistic. What tips do you have to use social proof in your marketing strategy? I’d love to hear them; share them in the comments below.

#3 Build Anticipation of Your Launch

There is a reason for the saying, “hype is everything.” You can have all the steps in place, but you will be sorely disappointed if no one shows up to the party. Marketing can be the secret sauce that helps your company exist in our fast-paced world. With 86% of shoppers suffering from banner blindness, it is too risky not to build up some hype.

A good marketing strategy helps you build brand awareness and a tribe of potential leads (newsletter subscribers, followers on your social channels, launch waitlist, etc.) but also assists you in reaching your goal: sales. “First, you get the audience; then you get the applause.” The saying couldn’t be more accurate. Start building your audience and connection with them from the moment you start working on your product or service, and it will better equip you for a successful launch. As Seth Godin points out, “You’ve got to build a tribe before you can build an audience.” Don’t miss your chance!

#4 Timing is Everything

Getting to market too soon or too late can be your worst enemy. Know about potential competitors and their products, and enter the market accordingly. The world is changing fast, and the last thing you want is to be too far ahead of the curve or behind it. Keep up with your deadlines, work hard, and make sure you’re launching before your competition.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the best way to plan your launch is with a project management tool. Pinning down your targets to specific blocks of time and designing a launch schedule is key. It’s essential to start and finish tasks at the right time and make sure they all fit together. Remember to keep your team organized and know who is responsible for what!

To get started planning, I have a perfect free resource for you; the Ultimate Product Launch Planner!

Click HERE for FREE Download!

#5 Post Launch Follow Up

Curbing buzz is hard to do. While you can’t stop word-of-mouth, there are ways to capitalize on its effects post-event. If you didn’t meet your sales goals, it might be because potential customers weren’t quite ready to pull the trigger. Offering incentives like discounts or add-ons can encourage customers to buy after your open cart window closes. Don’t just look the other way or forget about this short cash infusion window.

#6 Show Up For The Experience

As you all know, I am a huge fan of Amy Porterfield. In one of her podcast episodes, she talks about her launch in March 2021. You probably heard of it, and it’s all anyone could talk about because of its radically different format. She cut out her affiliates, shortened her cart window, and removed bonuses. Well, although she made millions but missed her overall goal, Amy herself admitted she went in with an all-or-nothing mentality when she should have taken a more positive approach. Mindset can play an enormous factor in “launch success.” Who is defining the success of your launch?

You are.

A quote I love is from Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” The journey is in the experience and lessons learned. Staying grounded and committed to showing up for the experience will ensure your launch is a success, no matter whether it falls on the goal line.

So What Did We Learn?

  1. Solve a real problem: Businesses must solve actual problems if they want to succeed. Why? Because trying to solve something that doesn’t exist is pointless.
  2. Social proof for the win: Don’t underestimate the power of social proof. Social proof is essential in the launch process — and there are plenty of ways to incorporate it into your strategy.
  3. Build anticipation: Start building your audience and connection with them from the moment you start working on your product or service, and it will better equip you for a successful launch.
  4. Timing is everything: Keep up with your deadlines, work hard, and make sure you’re launching before your competition.
  5. Post launch follow-up: Capitalize the cash infusion window after cart close for those one the fence buyers.
  6. Show up for the experience: The journey is achieved during the launch experience. Show up positive and take away all the good, and bad, lessons to learn.

Launches are a big part of any successful business strategy. Launches can be risky, but they’re worth it in the end. It’s understandable to be disappointed if the launch you were planning for months didn’t go as planned. The good news is that even the most aspirational business gurus and leading lights of entrepreneurship have experienced rejection and failure and managed to bounce back.

One of the best-kept secrets in marketing is realizing there is no real marketing “silver bullet” that will guarantee success. The good news is you can take steps to maximize your chances of success. A big part of creating a successful launch is making sure that your team is ready. Don’t risk failure by not preparing.

I hope you’ll find these tips helpful if you’re launching a new product or service. My goal is to help you gain an external perspective that will benefit you, so I’m here to help! Schedule a consultation today for an objective and expert point of view on your launch or vision.

Links for this episode:

Schedule a Consultation
Ultimate Product Launch Planner

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Jennie Lyon

Jennie Lyon

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