Creating a Good First Impression

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No doubt about it, first impressions are important - whether you're meeting a prospective mate's family or introducing a product. What you say, how you say it, and when you say it are all critical. After all, your product's only new once!
Of course, you'll create a product introduction communications plan, and stick to it. You know continuity works. And you'll set aside adequate funding for the product intro. If the product is strategically important, this is NOT a good place for pinching pennies.

Convinced about planning and budgeting? Here are three key concepts to remember when introducing a product:

1)MESSAGE You need a central promise or message for your product introduction - one that's meaningful and memorable. What problem(s) does your product solve? How important is each problem/solution to prospective buyers? How is your product different from and better than what your competitors offer? If you stumble on answering these questions, it's time to do some research.
2)MIX The most successful product introduction campaigns utilize a variety of communications tactics to deliver this central message - public relations, direct mail, web presence, trade shows, advertising and more. Why? The explanation relates to basic communication principles. Prospects need to be exposed to your message several times in order for it to sink in. By using a mix of communications tactics you're more likely to reach prospects multiple times.
3)IMPACT You want to grab attention, so this is the time to " think outside the box. " What can you do that's a step beyond the normal? Is there a trade show coming up where you can do a live presentation? Would a trade magazine be interested in doing an exclusive article? How about running a larger ad?

About the Author

Claire Cunningham has 20+ years' experience developing and implementing successful business-to-business communications programs.

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