Companies like to hype products before they launch. Why? They believe it will generate interest for their product and when it launches people will buy it. Another reason to do is to prevent customers from buying the competition’s product because they will wait for the next big thing.
When preparing to launch Business Logs we did some minor advertising on our own sites that did its job of generating interest without going overboard. We could have played it so that you would think that the “solutions” we were developing would solve every problem for you and your company. Mainly we talked about the company before it launched due to our own excitement. After receiving 10,000 page views in the first 12 hours of existence we realized we did something right.
However, this was not the perfect launch for me. My idea of a perfect launch would have been if we were capable of providing you with years upon years of content so that when you arrived at the site you would stay for hours reading and come back day after day to continue to read our content. However, seeing that we developed the site in less than 6 weeks this wasn’t an option.
Having years of content on a site that just launched with little hype would have been great because the site would have gone above and beyond what anyone could have imagined. When companies hype their products they begin to build unreachable expectations. One company that does it right is Apple.
Apple loves to keep its developments secret. This in turn leads to many rumors about their computers where expectations get built up to a degree that even Apple cannot match them. However, with its other developments (eg. iPod) Apple is capable of surprising everyone and building such a quality product that the hype begins after the launch where expectations are based on realistic use of the product.
In Apple’s case, how cool would it be for them to launch a blog with each new product where the blog already contained numerous entries of scenarios and tips for the product? Not only do you have the product to look forward to, but now you have the site to go to help build up the suspense even more and possibly convince you to purchase the product. Blogs can’t be used in every situation, but they can be used in a lot of them and that is why we are constantly searching for new ways to implement the technology.
So is it better to not mention anything with regards to your products before they launch? Honestly, it depends on the market and who your competition is. Apple must remain secret because they are now entrenched in so many different industries that it is key for them to constantly innovate before the competition grabs wind of what they are doing.
I have been known to discuss new sites on Whitespace before they launch, not to build hype, but to get feedback on ideas. This has proven to be successful on more than one occassion. In this case it is okay to talk about (hype) something because I am not worried about any competition. Again the question of whether to hype a product or service lies in a case-by-case basis. Either way blogs can help magnify your decision if used correctly.