Innovation methods are not just for inventing new products. Savvy marketers apply innovation methods to the “big event” – the product launch campaign. Companies spend millions of dollars to get a product off to the right start. The launch of a new product can make or break it.
Some companies excel at this. Memorable campaigns include Apple's launch of the iPhone, Microsoft's launch of Windows 95, and my all time favorite - Tickle Me Elmo - by Fisher Price. But a lot can go wrong with product launch, so marketers need ways to stand out from the crowd. Whether you have a big budget or small one, structured innovation methods take your dollars further and may be the difference between success and failure.
For this month’s LAB, we will demonstrate the use of Systematic Inventive Thinking to this critical aspect of marketing: the product launch.
The method works by applying one of five innovation patterns to components within the product launch process. The pattern morphs the component into something that unrecognizable or ambiguous. We take that "virtual product" and work backwards to uncover potential benefits, a process called "Function Follows Form."
We start by listing the components of the launch: