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« Equity Compensation Explained | Main | Happy 4th!! »
Thursday
Jul312008

Why do companies lead their customers on?

It has been  a while since we last posted, and I almost was going to prolong our silent streak this morning until I saw this article in CMS Watch  which  spoke about  how Day CQ leading their customers on re: a new version release. Now I have no idea what Day CQ is, (personally I am a fan of squarespace.com --which powers this site)  but that is besides the point.  I see a similar trend of over promising and under delivering across the web. This only leads to one thing, disappointing and frustrated users.

Here is our advice to companies that  want to build buzz by making an "early" announcement about an undeliverable event:

  1. DON'T
  2. DON'T
  3. Refer to 1 and 2.

I understand the intention. Tell people ahead of time so they can chatter about it, and then release to a primed audience. That only works when the priming is close to the event, itself. When to much time elapses, the user you hoped to excite end up talking about your inability to deliver. When the product launch actually does come, the negative energy serves to dampen or squash the buzz around your long anticipated project, regardless of how good it is. Worse yet, if the product has flaws they are amplified 10 fold by the disgruntled chatter.

Here is our suggestion.

  1. Build your product
  2. Test the crap out of it
  3. A few weeks before launch make a cryptic announcement about new things comming.
  4. Soft launch your product (without fanfare) to see if the market is really excited about it.
  5. Let attention organically build
  6. A week after the launch, do a hard launch with a full PR push

If you product is awesome you'll be surprise how much more effective this strategy is.

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