iphone-5-safari

Exceeding/Managing Expectations When You're on Top

  |  September 28, 2012   |  Comments

How to build anticipation for your new product launch while at the same time managing expectations so no one is disappointed.

I was getting very excited for the iPhone 5 announcement - not because I am an Apple Zealot, but because I wanted to see how Apple would top itself. The reality is two-fold: it didn't and possibly it couldn't.

To be clear, this column is about setting expectations and the struggle to live up to them. It's not about Apple. But the case is too strong and obvious not to use. And to be fair, Apple didn't set any expectation at all before releasing the iPhone 5. It was characteristically secretive about it. The public built up the expectation of the phone and started the rumor mill going. Considering some of the rumors included a laser-generated keyboard that emanates from the phone onto any surface, how could expectations possibly ever be met by Apple? Seriously, I heard the laser keyboard rumor from three different people - one of whom was my 9-year-old niece's best friend.

When most of us launch new products or websites, there is little fanfare. Even if we build anticipation for a new launch, there is one truth: people expect you to evolve, not transform. Or at least, that's what companies tend to do: evolve, not transform. Because of that customers aren't expecting every new website launch to be a revolution, or the newest version of your CRM software to reinvent the industry.

With large companies that are known for revolutions, new product launches are not as simple. Taking the Apple example, nothing short of a game-changing redesign that reinvented what it meant to be a phone would have impressed most people. The new iPhone is a little taller: so what? That's the impression everyone I've talked to has. To be fair, when you hold it in your hand it feels like a completely different animal. That's not the experience you have when looking at a photo. In the photo it's just a slightly larger iPhone, which isn't anything impressive.

Is there a lesson to learn here? Building anticipation can work to your advantage. It can raise the hopes of people and make them eager for the new product. But it can also set expectations so people are disappointed. In Apple's case, its shroud of secrecy hurt it more than helped because its product is not revolutionary this time around. It's a minor improvement over what Apple came out with before. Perhaps dispelling some of the more outlandish rumors would have helped remove the disappointment people felt over the iPhone 5.

When you are launching a new site or product, think about these issues carefully. Odds are your launch won't garner as much speculation or excitement as Apple's launches do. But that doesn't mean you can't build anticipation for your launch and manage expectations so no one is disappointed.

Until next time...

Jack

Tags:

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Aaronson

Jack Aaronson, CEO of The Aaronson Group and corporate lecturer, is a sought-after expert on enhanced user experiences, customer conversion, retention, and loyalty. If only a small percentage of people who arrive at your home page transact with your company (and even fewer return to transact again), Jack and his company can help. He also publishes a newsletter about multichannel marketing, personalization, user experience, and other related issues. He has keynoted most major marketing conferences around the world and regularly speaks at Shop.org and other major industry shows. You can learn more about Jack through his LinkedIn profile.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Analytics newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

Jobs

    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Fort MillWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager to join the...
    • Online Marketing Coordinator
      Online Marketing Coordinator (NewMarket Health) - BaltimoreWant to learn marketing from the best minds in the business? NewMarket Health, a subsidiary...
    • Call Center Manager
      Call Center Manager (Common Sense Publishing) - Delray BeachWanted: Dynamic Call Center Manager with a Proven Track Record of Improving Response...