Planning Beyond the Launch: Top Tips for Startups

You’ve got the investment.
You’ve had the initial exposure.
Awareness of your product has been created.
And people are talking about you…

BUT, how do you maintain that momentum? How do you keep people talking about you? And most importantly, how do you translate this excitement into actual sales?

According to Forbes, 9 out of 10 startups fail. One of the main reasons for failure is being unable to grow quickly enough. Fast growth provides greater opportunities for funding, cash-flow and positioning ahead of competition.

It’s crucial for startups to create a growth strategy, beyond the hype and PR coverage that is often created just prior to launch. The key is to focus on long-term market engagement. We recognise it’s not always possible, due to limitations on resources and the urgency of getting the product to market, but a longer-term plan is essential for sustainable success and its importance should never be overlooked.   

We see it all the time… startup founders and CEOs are frequently absorbed in the operational aspects of starting a business, such as product development, growing their teams or seeking their next round of investment. And of course, these are all essential for startup survival. But this doesn’t leave much energy for creating a robust launch strategy that will set the foundations for long-term success.

There’s a lot to think about. So we’ve put together our top tips for startups hoping to gain significant market penetration and growth. Whether you’re currently planning your launch, or already in launch-mode and hoping to gain further traction, this is your essential guide for getting your business off to the best possible start:

  1. Define the target audience in both the core market and the extension markets - distinguish between the users, decision-makers and influencers so that communications can be aligned to their motivations 
  2. Create a clear and concise value proposition detailing why you are the best solution compared to your competitors
  3. Create a communications strategy, including both digital and traditional mediums, and select appropriate channels and messaging for each of the segmented target audiences
  4. Understand the buying cycle and engage with the influencers on that journey. Consider the triggers for purchasing decisions within the cycle and create appropriate messaging for each one
  5. Plan presence at the right events and trade shows to ensure you’re gaining the best exposure - it’s important to get in front of the decision makers and not just the users. The message should demonstrate the product benefits that will alleviate the audiences’ pain-points
  6. Build a strong and consistent brand that resonates with the target audience and create an enticing brand narrative that goes beyond the hype of your product or service
  7. Work with market influencers so your story is shared and listened to. Support from industry leaders and influencers will help to create trust and make the proposition more appealing
  8. Listen to your customers and continue to increase the customer and market value through iterative product development. These product enhancements will help position you as a market leader, protect you from rivals, enable you to extend the product life-cycle and help you to gain exposure through the potential of press coverage

We say….build your strategy and proposition appropriate to the market, exploit the hype, move fast and focus on growth and retention. You can’t go far wrong if you embed the above in your launch strategy, but if you need support to do this effectively, we can help you.

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Tidal provided us with a clearly defined strategy for our new service that has guided the market launch and continues to be used across the business. They helped us define our tone of voice and key messaging for different stages of the buyer journey, which we are now using to help shape our marketing communications going forward.

Laura Warren, Digital Marketing Manager, MyLondonHome

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