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In business, the terms ‘soft launch’ and ‘hard launch’ refer to two different techniques for introducing a new product or service to the market. A soft launch is less aggressive, as the name indicates, where as a hard launch is louder with the goal of generating buzz.
A soft launch is a technique that introduces a product into the market quietly without drawing too much attention to it. This is a more gradual technique which is particularly good for startups releasing a beta version, minimum viable product, or are otherwise lacking features they intend to add. A soft launch refers to releasing a product/service to a closed audience as well as a public launch accompanied by little to no marketing.
A hard launch is great for creating excitement and getting your product or service into the hands of a large number of people. A hard launch builds anticipation through things such as countdowns, previews, etc. Hard launches often require a marketing budget.
There is no little to no talk of a ‘medium launch’ as this half-way approach tend to fail to achieve the goals of soft and hard launches rather than obtaining the best of both worlds.
Why do a soft launch?
Soft launches are particularly good for:
- Small teams and first-time entrepreneurs
- Testing the viability of a product
- Refining features with a small audience
- Gaining valuable feedback
- Focusing on product development
- Determine price points
- A/B testing different features
- Helps you determine how much of a marketing investment you actually need to put into future marketing.
When to do a hard launch?
A hard launch is best reserved for those who meet the following criteria:
- When you’re sure you can deliver on time and to a large audience.
- Your server is reliable.
- You’ve gotten rid of all the bugs and other problems
- You’re a big company with a bold new product/feature
- You have a marketing budget and a good idea of where and where not to spend it
- You have successfully been able to build anticipation in your target market.
A soft launch is often followed by a hard launch, as a properly executed soft launch prepares a product and team for a hard launch. A soft launch is more consistent with the concept of a lean development and has become a popular approach for release, particularly among technology startups.
Cahoots recently soft launched cahoots.com. We launched a minimum viable product, which is lacking many of the features we will be releasing over the next two months. We did a soft launch to help us learn about our product, improve it, and test it’s viability.
Thanks for reading,
This is the blog of our startup website, cahoots.com. As a startup every landmark, small or large, stands out and needs to be noted and celebrated for it is these steps that form the staircase that leads to your ultimate goal. Today we are pleased that we have captured the attention of readers in over one hundred countries from Botswana to Bangladesh, Andorra region to Argentina, and small island nations such as the Maldives and the Faroe Islands. Most of our views have been concentrated in North America, but after some posts went viral we are also seeing hot spots in unanticipated regions such as Spain. Getting views from nations with high internet penetration rates is less challenging, so we are happy to see that we are reaching countries with lower internet penetration rates or strict censorship, such as China.
Thank you for reading our blog. We are going live at cahoots.com in less than two weeks and we had hoped we would hit the 100 mark before we launched. Please continue to read and take a look when we go live in June of 2013. We hope to hit 100 countries with our product far faster than we did with our blog!
Thanks for Reading,
The obvious mascot for our brand, Cahoots, was an owl. So we made ours very unique and easy to mimic with common characters to separate us from the other owls in the neighbourhoot. Here is how it’s done:
Thats how we type our logo!