This little piggy went to market…

“Hi James, well you see we have been developing this product now for the past 12 months, so we really want to make sure we give it a good launch…”

Every week I get told this. Every week it makes me want to squeal.

This little piggy stayed at home…

Really? You spent the last year locked up, nose to the floor, snuffling around without a thought about how you would show your nice new juicy fat babe off to the world?

So you came up with a good idea. Good for you. Then you went off and built it. Good job. Now after a year obsessing over your product, completing many so called ‘Sprints’, it’s finally ready! Hi Five! All that’s left is for someone to buy it. Trouble is, apart from a few paid stooges in a glass cubicle – and your mum – no one has even seen it.

Now you’re in the shit…

This little piggy had none…

So what are your options?

1. Brief a Creative Agency?

Why not, these guys are pretty much at the bottom of the food chain and will eat up anything.

Write them a brief, full of your own untested thoughts and assumptions (and the CEO’s colour preference) – hey, why not pitch it out, then you don’t need to pay for it either.

2 weeks should be enough for them. They can come up with a clever twist on what you have had a year to figure out, right?

Note: At this stage, they are just servicing the client. Responding to a brief, it’s not their fault – they will have their observations and frustrations but it’s too late to share them now.

Ultimately, they going to make a right pig’s ear of it, but at least you’ll have some sort of diminished responsibility as to your audience response.

2. Brief a branding agency?

Everyone knows a brand can fix it all. Yes, this will definitely save your bacon.

The problem is, it’s all a bit late again.

A brand isn’t some logo you slap on the front; it is the emotive connection between your customers need and your offering – so how are you going to weave this into the DNA of your product now? It’s the tone of voice, it’s the message – the strategy, the attributes.  It’s the conveying of value, purpose and uniqueness – it’s your differential… oh well…

Nevermind, you already named this thing a year back – the team kinda likes it and you’ve managed to secure an obscure domain name.

3. Brief a consulting group?

What a boar… sure, they may be able to help you out with your pricing strategy as well but they’ll ultimately outsource the rest to the above – and charge
you triple. Trot on.

And this little piggy cried wee wee wee all the way home…

So you get slaughtered.

The product is a failure. It was all too late. You blew millions on the ‘launch’ campaign, yet you didn’t manage to grasp your customers imagination. You’ve convinced yourself perhaps it was all too soon – the market wasn’t ready. You wonder if it was over developed? I know… it’s a swine.

You look at the people involved. Was it the bolshy corporate entrepreneur that has waited 25 years for this moment to do something different and couldn’t quite rise to the responsibility? Or was it the power hungry start-up CEO, that thought he knew it all, and believed that dumping a great product on the app store would be enough to bathe in glory. Following all the successful companies he loved to quote, that never spent a £ on marketing?

Still, either way, it’s only some poor investors pot you have just bellied.

…What about the little piggy which had roast beef?

Well, this clever young piglet did something different. They understood that by getting out the pen, planning how they would get to market and ensuring that they would be received oh so nicely when they got there, that it all went rather well. They partnered with someone that could grab their project by the short and curlies, stay above the features and functionality and concentrate on the MVP. Together they developed a proposition with their audience involved, not just in mind.

Depending where you are in your own idea, development or launch cycle – an improved route to market for you may mean adding depth, focus and viability to a proposition, bringing it to life by looking at it from an audience perspective or developing and testing the plans, tools and platforms you’ll use to get there.

Ultimately, coming up with an idea is easy, developing a product is logical – getting to market can be as simple as an upload and an email campaign. The hard bit? Making sure that the market is hungry and ready to buy you when you arrive…

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Need a pig farmer?

This old sow is on the market for a daily fee. Drop me a line at james@the-oe.com

About James Olden

An ideas man; direct my own, invest in others.