7 steps to screwing up a product release, the Google way...

Google have done a phenomenal job at alienating a large proportion of their early adopter market by turning the product release of the Google Nexus 7 Tablet into a customer service fiasco. Here's how you can do the same thing when you launch your next technology 'must have':

1) Launch an exciting product, at a great price, and encourage pre-orders from your key audience (keep the launch date vague for no good reason except to increase your risk of retailer premature despatchulation)

2) Add uncompetitive postage and packing charges to the pre-order, it's a captive market, and you've got to make those profits back somewhere, right?

3) This is the most important one, under no circumstances keep your rabidly fanatic pre-paying customers updated. Say nothing, nada, zip. That way they can spend all their time looking up rumours and talking about you behind your corporate back.

4) In case they contact you directly with queries, ignore them completely where possible, i.e. never return contact form or email requests for updates, and where they are inconsiderate enough to telephone you, fob them off with inconsistent information.

5) If order cancellations are requested simply refuse them because 'things are in progress' and inform customers to return the package, incurring possible restocking charges and several weeks delay of refunds.

6) Ship to retailers and allow them to sell to the public BEFORE your pre-orders are even dispatched. Bundle the exact same bonuses with retail sales that your pre-order customers had believed were an incentive to them, and had figured helped offset the ludicrous postage charges. Let a few faithful 'fandroids' defend you but avoid any acknowledgement that there is even a problem, let alone the majority of your early adopters swearing never to buy hardware directly from you again.

7) Spend 20 seconds coming up with a rhyming announcement that shipping has begun. Post to Twitter, do NOT communicate directly with your paying customers, and ignore the baying crowd, they'll shut up and forgive you once they have their shiny new toy, won't they! Won't they?

Copyright Simon Patrick 2012
Simon is Social Media consultant for a major international management consultancy and runs his own marketing business. He also loved Android and Google until this past week where he's seriously having second thoughts...
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