northript-600It’s no secret that one of the keys to a successful product launch is getting people involved in conversations about your product.  One of the great successes of social media marketing has been its  ability to weave products into the short stories that people are constantly telling each other using mediums like Twitter and Facebook.

The stories your customers are telling should by no means be limited to short, hash-tagged anecdotes that involve your product as a bit player.  Developing your product’s narrative will get consumers to tell each other stories not just involving your product, but revolving around it.  Your product launch, while vital in your product’s story, should by no means be its beginning.

Many of the stories that captivated audiences in the last decade, from the film adaptations of Tolkein’s works to the Die Hard saga, present the story’s hero as a solution to a problem established near the beginning of the narrative.  Middle Earth is under attack, Hans Gruber has crashed the office Christmas party–unless the hero arrives soon and solves the problem, things are going to be looking very dire indeed.

Like these blockbusters, the story of your product will be at its most compelling if it begins by explaining the problem that compelled your product’s existence.  This technique puts your company and its product in a perfect position to save the day.  If your company’s processes–like sourcing sustainable materials or using eco-friendly waste disposal technologies–are part of the solution your customers want, then implementing these processes can become an important part of the pre-launch narrative.

While your product launch shouldn’t be the beginning of the product’s narrative, it should not be its end either.  Continuing the product narrative post-launch is a critical means of getting your customers involved on a personal level with your product and your brand.  The most effective narrative for your product will depend on a number of factors, including the culture of your target market and the development processes favored by your company.  Focus on how to construct the best possible product narrative as the company enhances its story.