I’m often in two minds about the advice that Seth Godin offers. It’s always pithy and thought provoking, but sometimes I can’t help but feel that it’s, well, a little bit vague or doesn’t go quite far enough.
His latest post questions whether start-ups need to spend large on a launch and then lists a bunch of very well known brands that didn’t have a launch. Which is fair enough, start-ups shouldn’t try to run before they can walk and a big splash at launch doesn’t necessarily translate into long-lasting success, anyone else thinking about Boo.com or perhaps Cuil right now?
What I do take some issue with is the following statement.
Here are some brands that had no launch at all: Starbucks, Apple, Nike, Harry Potter, Google, William Morris, The DaVinci Code, Wikipedia, Snapple, Geico, Linux, Firefox and yes, Microsoft.
Seth Godin, The myth of launch PR
Now it is quite likely that I’m arguing with the semantics here but most of those companies have had a launches of some sort. Firefox recently had download day as part of Firefox 3 launch. I also have a nagging feeling that CES changed the rules on allowable publicity following Microsoft’s push for Windows 3.11 in the mid 90’s. Admittedly they didn’t have huge publicity pushes when they started up, but very few companies do that, companies tend not to launch themselves, they launch products.
If you’re launching a product, and would like to be successful then it tends to be handy if lots of ppl who might be interested in purchasing your product, or service, actually know about it. To that end some publicity is most likely to be fairly beneficial.
Though I agree you don’t need to spend a fortune, you just need to talk to the right people.