Rob Moshein - Austin Wine Guy
A Recipe for #Fail. or How Not to Plan a Product Launch.
May 20, 2012
A Recipe for #Fail. or How Not to Plan a Product Launch.
Now Gentle Reader, I will not reveal the names of those involved, as, frankly, Yr Mst Hmbl & Obdt Svt genuinely likes everyone involved in the tale and does not wish to shred these people in any way. However, the tale is a cautionary one for all.
One goes back a week, to lunch one fine day at a favorite spot. Seated at the bar for my meal, a pleasant chat begins with a fine fellow seated adjacent, clearly passionate about his craft. He gushes, at least three times, about his newest product, a new and unique symbol of his craft. Urging me to try the product upon its release in the near future. The 21st Century Human equivalent of the mutual dog butt sniff is made viz: Social Media connections made. Anticipation and Expectation is created.
Social Media pings of the upcoming Exclusive Product Launch further promote said Anticipation and Expectation. Exclusive Product Launch location revealed, and to Yr. Mst Hmble & Obdt Svt's pleasure, said location is another favorite regular stop for me, made better by the fact that said location is a ten minute walk from my home. This becomes key later in the tale, as Said Product Launch involves some form of alcohol consumption. One is painfully aware of the pitfalls of Driving Under The Influence in our modern world.
Friday last, I stop for lunch at Product Launch Location. Enquiry is made about the actual date of the Product Launch and response is "next week" and their location is confirmed to be the First Place in Austin to serve said Product Launch.
Saturday afternoon, precisely 5:30pm, upon return from walking the dogs and having just opened an adult beverage to enjoy pre-prandial (google it) a casual perusal of Social Media facetweets reveals said Exclusive Product Launch was scheduled for 6pm! Nary some 30 scant minutes away.
#Fail 1. Do NOT Social Media out a Product Launch Event only one half hour in advance. Especially on a Saturday. More Especially Saturday Evening around Dinner. You know, some people may actually have already made PLANS. For example, Yr. Mst Obdt Svt in fact had said Dinner plans with the Oenophobe for 6:30pm. One in fact begged and pleaded to postpone said plans for a half hour to accommodate said Anticipated and Expectation filled Exclusive Product Launch.
An thus, Gentle Reader, one shambled out into the heat to brisk walk the ten minutes over to arrive at said Exclusive Product Launch in time for the facetweeted 6pm. Upon arrival at 5:55pm, am told that Said Location did not, in fact HAVE said Product upon the premises in order to have Said Exclusive Product Launch. Nor, in fact, was said lunch companion himself present at 6pm as was facetweeted.
#Fail 2. Do NOT organize, announce and promote an Exclusive Product Launch WITHOUT ENSURING SAID PRODUCT IS IN FACT PRESENT AT THE TIME AND PLACE ANNOUNCED. This is plainly embarrassing to all involved and signals a singular lack of care and attention upon the part of those who wish to Launch Said Product to the intended consumer.
Thus, One waits. Assurances are made that said Product's arrival was "imminent" and the Crafter of Said Product was "on his way" . One waits. A most amiable co-worker of Said Crafter is present, and kindly buys Yr. Mst Hmbl & Obdt Svt an adult beverage as a small apology. A nice touch.
One waits. The time One has allotted for Said Exclusive Product Launch has elapsed. It is now past 6:45 pm. A side note here: during this wait, co worker reveals that a rival Location had in fact received Said Product the day PRIOR to the "Exclusive Product Launch" and had in fact purveyed said Product to the public for some 24 hours PRIOR to the Facetweeted "Exclusive Product Launch."
#Fail 3. Do not Promote an "Exclusive Product Launch" for one customer location and then permit a competitor to HAVE much less PURVEY said Product to the public PRIOR to the "Exclusive Launch". This is hugely disrespectful to the Customer to whom you Promised the "Exclusive" part not to mention deceptive to the final consumer who arrived at Said Exclusive Product Launch with the Published and Anticipated Expectation that they were attending the "actual" exclusive Product Launch when such was not in face the case. This shows disrespect for your customers.
#Fail 3a. Do not promote your Product Launch for a specific time and then show up an hour late. This communicates that you don't care that much about your own Product Launch and communicates disrespect for your customers who actually showed up on time, and you could not be bothered to do similarly.
One quick walks home in the heat to fulfill the dinner plans to which One has committed Oneself.
A bit over an hour now passes. It is just after 8pm. Another casual post-prandial (you Googled that, right?) check of the Social Media reveals a Facetweet at 7:30pm of Said Product Crafter happily at said not really Exclusive Product Launch at the Facetweeted and recently departed location.
Well, only half an hour ago, so One walks BACK again to the Location, walking now obligatory for the second try at Product Launch as, is One's habit, some vinous beverage had been consumed prandially (I really hope you Googled it). Upon arrival, Yr Mst Hble & Obdt Svt finds, at said Product Launch Location, for said Product Launch…..NOBODY.
A bit taken aback, a quick Social Communication is sent into the ether, and a reply of "Sorry dude. Had to Bail, better things to do" is received.
#Fail 4. Do NOT create anticipation and expectation of a Product Launch Event, when you can't be bothered to actually a) Show up on time and then b) be an HOUR late and then c) Bail on the event right away. This communicates clearly that one does not really CARE about said product launch or even said product to spend some time at your own Product Launch. If YOU don't care about your product, and the Launch, why should I?
With that last phrase ringing in my head, another Social Communication is sent to the ether that I was myself bailing and going home product untried. If you don't care enough, why should I? The response was immediate, sarcastic, and obnoxious. Really? WTF??
#Fail 5. Do NOT cop an attitude with your customer who spent their time and effort to actually attend YOUR event, TWICE, when you are the one with #Fail 1 through 4 supra. (Goggle it).
Copping an attitude after screwing up is really disrespectful to your customer and communicates clearly that not only do you not care about your own Product Launch Event, you can't even reach into your pants, or underwear drawer, or wife's purse or wherever it is you keep them and find your PAIR and own up to taking the responsibility of #Fails 1 thru 4 supra.
I don't mean to sound harsh, truly. I really like every single person involved, which is why I have not revealed any clue about them or said product. I respect the passion of the Crafter, and consider the Location Proprietors as friends and somewhat innocent victims as well.
But, still, in the interest of improvement of Product, Launch Events, and similar ilk in the future, the Tale Must Be Told.
You can do better in future. You have the talent. Not to steal from Nike, but "Just Do It." It's about meeting expectations you create and accepting responsibility for meeting the expectations created. Not Rocket Science.
Austin Wine Guy