If you’ve been on Facebook since before Christmas you have probable seen an ad for Coin. It’s a crowdfunded app/credit card that promises to lighten your wallet by combing all of your credit cards into a single app.
The idea is cool, the marketing behind it is solid, and they absolutely CRUSHED their crowdfunding goals.
Coin had a crazy amount of momentum building up to the Christmas shopping season and what was their “deadline to pre-order.”
Coin had all the makings of a SUPER successful launch: Anticipation, scarcity, social proof, and a dynamite offer…
Here is where they went wrong:
A) They built people up to this giant crescendo of excitement and when D-day (deliver day) came…they had nothing to deliver…
B) The scarcity that helped them build the buzz around their initial launch was steamrolled when they opened up for more pre-orders and the EXACT same deal that they were offering before – there were seemingly no consequences (except a later ship date) for not pre-ordering in the original window.
C) They still haven’t delivered on their original promise.
In product launches and delivery – timing is truly everything. They executed everything so perfectly at the outset but it all snowballed into a kind of BLAH experience for everyone involved.
Here’s How The Could’ve Done it Right:
A) Had a limited quantity of pre-made pre-order cards ready to deploy for the first batch of customers. Delivering the product right after the end of the first pre-order window.
B) For the next batch of customers offer a different deal. One that isn’t as sweet as the first one but still offers a great value to people who are interested. Your early adopters and customers are extremely important to keep happy. You want to strive to make ALL customers happy but your early adopters are like your baby – they believed in your before anyone else did and they will likely be your most loyal fans over the long haul.
C) Gather more social proof from the early adopters on their experience and provide them with additional value for helping you test your product.
I was super excited like many people were for the launch of Coin. The idea was phenomenal, the execution at the outset was flawless, and really it was just fun.
I’ve got the benefit of hindsight on my side to critique this product launch. The reason I can write this article with such confidence is because I, like coin is learning now, had to learn it the hard way.
The real thing that Coin did that is unfortunate is that they tarnished the early relationship with their customers. That doesn’t mean it can’t be re-built to get back to their highest point – but they’ve effectively given their customers and future customers a little bit of doubt about them and that is going to hurt them until they can find a way to reconcile.
My advice to Coin is to re-group and re-launch when you’ve got some product ready to actually deliver.
This advice seems a bit drastic and I don’t mean to be hard on the guys at coin – at all actually – I’m a huge fan of them for their idea and boy was that first pre-launch a lot of fun to witness. They are clearly a talented bunch and I wish them nothing but the best.
This article was meant to help be a reference to those who are looking at launching their own products or businesses. Relationship is everything. Jeff Walker of Product Launch Formula says something pretty insightful and it’s this: “With each communication you’re either building position or losing position with your [customer]. You always want to be building your position and your relationship.”
He’s right about that – far too often people focus on things outside of how to offer insanely great value to your customers. If you’re able to do that and put some great customer support behind it – you’re going to build a great & long relationship.