The days of “Dancing Baby” are, fortunately, behind us. New viral videos are defining our humor, musical tastes, and, as of late, marketplace. As savvy entrepreneurs discover the potential of a memorable launch video, more and more businesses are hedging their bets on a clever sales pitch. Why exactly? Because a good launch video mixes a potent cocktail of communication, exchange, and character.
They Identify a Need
Startups sit in a precarious place in the market. They aren’t large enough to readily shift their production capabilities and product design, nor are they small enough to let the chips fall where they may and walk away unharmed. A lot of personal and financial investment goes into a startup, which is why successful entrepreneurs understand that they must make their business indispensable in order to survive.
For that reason, a good launch video identifies a need. However, the video doesn’t always come out and explicitly say, “you have trouble finding paperclips.” Often the presentation is clever, smart, intuitive, and subtle, helping the viewer commiserate, and immediately establishing the importance of the product in the lives of viewers. In doing so, whether you’ve heard what the company offers or not, you’re intrigued, and want to know more.
They Offer a Solution
The 1-2 punch of startup videos is important to their success. After establishing a need, the video then poses a solution. This is important, as it begins to establish the concept of value in the viewers mind. Since Internet viewers are tired creatures, annoyed with cheap sales pitches and corny advertising, delivering value is integral to making an impact.
They Build a Brand
This is where the brand starts to take root. A brand is not simply a company, after all, it’s an image, a sentiment, and a concept. A good brand sets expectations through positive and meaningful associations, and those characteristics help carry sales and revenue. By identifying your product as a solution to an identified need, your company effectively becomes the solution, embodying both the understanding of a common annoyance, and the compassion and ingenuity willing to fix the problem.
But brands are more than just good feelings. They have character, and that’s what makes them stand out.
Take Dollar Shave Club’s legendary launch video for example. The video identifies a need (cheap razor blades), poses a solution (we ship them to you), and does so in a manner that lets you know that:
1. They don’t take themselves to seriously
2. They have a sense of humor and
3. They believe in their product.
By taking this tone, the viewer not only understands the solution, but also provides a strong picture of the company they’re working with.
You can break down what makes DSC’s message until the cows come home but the over-arching conclusion from watching their video is simple: they’re memorable. With dozens of razor brands on the market and Amazon more than happy to ship a crate or two your way, being memorable is an extremely valuable quality in a launch video.
As mentioned earlier, Internet viewers are tired, so standing out is key when it comes time to buy. Furthermore, the business world is sink-or-swim, so standing out is an important part of survival. The net result is both notoriety and market presence for the start up, thanks to a couple calculated risks.
They Make a Request
Amidst the bear costumes and calculated language, it’s easy to miss the most important part of the video: the call-to-action. A launch video is a sales pitch, both to venture capitalists and potential customers. Just like any sale, giving a presentation without a formal request for conversion means wasted time and lowered conversion.
It’s a simple component of any launch video, but it’s a powerful statement for start-ups. A call-to-action says “believe in us” or “take a chance on us”. It’s a way of stating intent and announcing to the market that your product is available and you mean business. From the initial roll to the final request, launch videos make a powerful statement: “we’re open for business.”
To consumers, a launch video may be just another ad, but for the initiated, it’s an exciting opportunity to sit down with a company and hear their story. By identifying a need, posing a solution, accomplishing both in an expressive and memorable manner, and making a request for business, start-ups have much to gain from a high-quality launch video. If your business is just finding its footing, ask yourself, do you want to tip-toe into the water, or cannonball into the party?