Last week we went live with a prelaunch campaign for Pastime at http://pastimebrevard.com. It’s a big milestone for us because this is the first time we’ve introduced the brand and concept of the business. First impressions count!
In this post I’d like to share what lead up to our prelaunch and where we are headed next.
Release early, release often
On day one I said I’m not going to let myself go for many months at a time without anything to show for it. I think it’s key for any business, and a startup in particular, to be regularly delivering value to its customers. This is essential for getting the feedback you need to validate you’re building the right product. It’s also motivating because you are consistently producing results. It keeps you focused on concrete results so you don’t wander, over-engineer, or work on the wrong things.
I decided to do a prelaunch campaign so I could get the message out about Pastime now. Why wait? Let’s start sharing the message and building a base around it. Let’s use that as a way to gain some momentum and refine the message by our launch date.
I found taking this on really challenged me. I went from thinking about implementation details to thinking about the overall customer experience I’m trying to create and how I’m going to sell it to people. It forced me to answer questions like:
In one sentence, what does Pastime do for you?
Who is the target audience and what motivates them to buy?
What key problems does Pastime solve?
How should Pastime make its customers feel?
From there I started getting some results. With the help of my designer, I brainstormed product tag lines, dimensions, logos, and colors. Before I knew it, the elements of a brand started coming together. My goal became to put it all together into a single page brochure that sells the vision. I wanted it to be digitally interactive, too. If you love the concept you should be able to subscribe to get on our list and follow our progress. If you know others who would love it too, it should be easy for you to share Pastime with them.
You can see the final version of our prelaunch brochure below:
View it live at http://pastimebrevard.com. Be sure to subscribe to see the complete experience we put together!
It took three iterations over three weeks to get this done. Check out how the design evolved from my first version:
It’s okay to laugh, although I have to say the Brevard County road sign is a nice touch.
Some of the most challenging parts of the Pastime prelaunch project were:
Creating a design that appeals to both adults and youth.
We want a youthful look but not one that looks like it’s just for kids. It took us awhile to get something that feels like it’s for both adults and youth.
Creating a design that motivates people to take the next step and subscribe.
To this end, we strive to make the message as clear and concise as possible, and we use active, bold, and inviting words. We aim to connect emotionally with our audience, then invite them to join our list.
Motivating subscribers to share Pastime with their friends.
We send each subscriber a personal email thanking them and calling them to action, we integrate with Facebook for sharing, and we feature a referral incentive that has real value.
Featuring Brevard County, Florida, where we are based.
We are launching here and we will build out the first version of our product here. I believe in supporting and representing the community where you live, and the Seal of Brevard County we incorporated into our design reflects that. We will expand to other areas when we are ready.
How successful will our prelaunch campaign be? Time will tell. Our goal is to launch to over 1,000 Brevard County, Florida subscribers this spring offering a mix of team sports such as flag football, softball, and volleyball. I’m in the process of recruiting the perfect league partners now. We are off to a great start and I’m confident we will knock it out of the park!