The Value of Experience in New Product Launches

Whenever Apple launches a new product, there is a familiar scene—long lines and even a pack of enthusiasts that camp outside stores to get their hands on the newest gadget first. With the announcement of the new Apple Watch and a set release date for April 24, 2015, consumers expected the familiar ritual. However, a leaked internal memo from the company suggested otherwise. This time around, there will be no mega-event at stores for the watch’s release as it will only be available for online orders (until a later projected date in June).

Obviously not all brands have the same loyal following or hype surrounding each new product launch, but there may be something to learn from Apple here.

First of all, one of the main hurdles that could have contributed to the delayed in-store release is the nature of the product. The watch enters a new territory for Apple (wearable tech), but also, it is highly customizable with various bands, case types and sizes. This appears to be a challenge that the brand faced, does a traditional one size fits all launch work for build your own products?

Perhaps one of the most significant considerations that this specific launch raises for brands is the value and importance of being able to buy an anticipated product in-store. Of course, there is still hype surrounding the online orders, but does a lack of in-store availability take away from the experience and excitement of buying the new watch?

We’ll soon see how this new launch strategy will impact sales—although no official numbers have been released, researchers have estimated that pre-orders in the US are just shy of 1 million.

With this in mind, there are a few considerations that brands can take away from the Apple Watch launch: How do you tailor your launch to fit your product? What role does physical, in-store accessibility play in garnering excitement for your new product?

Photo Source: Apple