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Introducing a new and innovative product to today’s market can be a daunting process. It’s no longer plausible to simply put a product on the shelves and expect it to sell. Your audience may not understand how the product works, why it’s important to the industry or why there is even a need for it at all. With the right tactics and strategy, a highly innovative product can go from anonymous and misunderstood to an industry game changer.

Here are some ways to get the most out of your product’s introduction to the marketplace:

Establish an ‘it’ factor.

This also might be called your unique selling point, or USP. It answers the question: Why is your product different and better than the others? It’s important to communicate with your audience how your product will solve a problem they have, or why it is of benefit to them at all. Take for example, Apple iPod. When Apple launched this product in 2001, it was introduced as “1,000 songs in your back pocket.” This not only eliminated the woes of earlier portable music playing devices, but it became an identity device, allowing users to customize their iPod with their favorite songs. iPods let people pick and choose their favorite songs, giving one small device the power to convey a personality through the type of music it held.

Reach out to early adopters.

Early adopters are those customers who desire the latest and greatest your industry has to offer. They may or may not be among your current clients—but if they become early adopters of your products, they can become ambassadors, sharing their experiences and driving influence over others. When Apple’s iPod first came out, it was only compatible with Mac devices, instantaneously targeting existing users of the brand. As a result, Mac users began telling their friends and family about the device, which grew its popularity until it was eventually available to PC. This was beneficial to the sales of the iPod at a later phase in its life cycle.

Give early adopters a first look.

Distribute an e-mail, mail out a pamphlet or create a specific landing page. Make your product easy to find and understand by your current customers. If your audience is located within a reasonable distance of your facility, it could be beneficial to plan a training day. This could help your customers better understand the need for your product, while establishing you as an authority and innovator. Direct mail or email invitations including event details help ensure that it’ll be a full house.

Don’t let your innovation fall casualty to an uninformed target audience. Marketing your product effectively upon its introduction to the marketplace can set the stage for effective marketing that produces results throughout the product’s life cycle. To learn more about each phase and how to effectively market your product throughout its life cycle, read the white paper, Marketing through the Product Life Cycle: The Success of Apple’s iPod at Each Stage.