Product Launch Advice, Part 2: How Sexy Does My Launch Need To Be?

(If you missed part one, you can find it here.)

Given the spectacle that many online launches are today – I’m surprised people aren’t handing out free popcorn and balloons for the kids – a lot of people wonder if their launch is going to be sexy enough.

Now when we say “sexy”, here, what we’re specifically referring to is flashy and overt marketing and sales tactics.

It probably doesn’t help that the typical advice handed out to them tells them that launches cannot succeed if they are not big sexy affairs that get people all in a bother. (Well, I guess a big sexy affair should get you in a bother. It’s hardly sexy if it doesn’t.)

But not every business – or every product – lends itself to the Big Sexy Launch Model. Cars, for instance. For whatever reason, it seems completely rational for auto dealers to think that fireworks and balloons somehow get people to make some subconscious realization that the fact that the new Honda minivan is 5% cheaper than usual is just as exciting as a big, sexy affair. “Did you hear the news? It’s the SALE OF THE CENTURY!”

So the car dealership looks like a bunch of clowns because … well, they’ve actually hired a bunch of clowns. They’re spinning those arrow signs on the corner and waving their arms to get you to look at the auto dealer. But nobody drives by thinking “I never knew negotiating a 60-month lease was so exciting!” They do, however, notice the minivans.

The clowns and fireworks have nothing to do with exciting.

They have to do with making you stop for just a second and pay attention when you otherwise would have ignored them. Fireworks are louder than other sounds. So are clown outfits. But people aren’t “getting excited” – they’re just noticing, and that’s what matters.

Noticing is the first step towards a sale. Because fireworks are louder, however, you’ll get a lot of people talking about how fireworks are what make the magic happen.

Not necessarily. If you’re releasing the next installment of a major movie franchise, then maybe. That’s already exciting. Fireworks can help. If you’re launching the follow-up to your bestselling novel, they might help there.

But if you’re trying to create excitement for something that’s not intrinsically exciting in the first place, even if it’s a worthy product, then sending in the clowns isn’t necessarily going to work to your advantage.

But still you hear the words: “your launch should be really, really sexy.” And you wonder if you’re going to measure up.

So how sexy does your launch need to be?

Answer: Noticeably sexier than you usually are.

Noticeably is not “incredibly.” Noticeably is not “amazingly.” Noticeably is not breathtakingly, jaw-droppingly or spectacularly. (I’d like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the fact that spectacular comes from “spectacle.”)

Noticeably means that your list, or your platform, or the people that you see and communicate with on a regular basis – will notice that something’s going on.

So if you’re already running a pretty sexy brand, then noticeably more is going to equal very sexy indeed. But if your brand is not overtly sexy, then noticeably more is just going to equal … noticeable. And that’s enough.

It’s essentially the standard AIDA process, which we’ve written on before over here. Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

Your launch has to be noticeable enough to attract attention.

Your launch has to be interesting enough to pique interest.

Your launch has to be relevant enough to facilitate desire.

Your launch has to be timely enough to spur action.

Basically, you up your game during your launch window.

Better content and emails than usual. More content and emails than usual. Content that is designed to be shareable. Contact that would be difficult to ignore. You’re creating a sudden and consistent enough movement that catches the eye so people can start with attention and go through the AIDA process.

For some brands, that requires moving Heaven and Earth, because they’re already putting a lot of effort into moving Earth on a regular basis.

For other brands that are not already running fireworks every day of the week, you can accomplish the same catching of the eye with a lot less spectacle.

It’s not about pasting on some fake eyelashes and strutting your “thang.” It’s not about creating a photo shoot that looks like a P.T. Barnum circus meets The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. It’s not about dropping ten grand on a videographer.

It’s just upping your game long enough that those who know you will notice.

You don’t have to run a flashy launch to run a big launch. You have other options. In our case, you’re seeing a lot more content than usual. Quite a few more emails than you’re used to. Neither qualify as overtly “sexy” – but attention is definitely being attained.

So don’t get wrapped up in sexy for sexy’s sake. Get wrapped up in upping your game in a way that’s consistent with your brand and will facilitate attention, interest, desire and action, whatever that means for your audience.

It’s not about strapping on your leather patent boots and going out to cruise the cougar bars.

It’s about getting your husband to notice you look nice today.

This is part two of our launch advice series. Stay tuned for part three.

Tomorrow we’re going to answer the question “How long does my sales page need to be?” Keep an eye on the blog or sign up for The Letter below and we’ll email you when new posts are out.

Naomi writes more things like this in The Letter. Get it for free today. (It also comes with free marketing courses. You can’t move for free here.)

About the author: Naomi Dunford started IttyBiz in 2006. In her free time, she likes to… ha! Free time. You’re adorable. Learn more about her here and catch up with her on Twitter or Facebook.