First, I would share my understanding of how Google Home works right now (Product features. Who’s this popular among in the U.S. etc) Given the historical information available on Google Home, one can answer some of these questions without asking the interviewer: Google Home is a smart speaker that works like a personal assistant in your home by helping you complete certain digital tasks at home by directly speaking to the smart speaker. Examples of such tasks are: checking weather, asking to play a music, checking the news, asking for time, setting alarm, checking bank account balance, etc.
Then I will try to determine what the goal of the product launch in Canada is. I would assume that the goal is to drive adoption of Google Home in Canada. There are a few things that come to mind when thinking about the goal of the launch:
– Creating awareness about Google Home is a key step in the process as there are currently no smart speakers in Canada (Alexa and HomePod have not launched in Canada yet). Google has to explain to the public what smart speakers are and why Google Home is the preferred smart speaker.
– The initial buyers of Google Home will be early adopters and technologists who enjoy buying new gadgets
To launch Google Home in Canada, there are a few things we can do pre-launch, during-launch, and post-launch:
a. Product Preparation:
– Integrate Google Home with a few Canadian service providers whose US competitors have proven valuable use cases with Google Home in the US market. Examples: banking on Google Home.
b. Raise awareness:
– Publish a press release, informing the media and the public of the launch date to create awareness
– Advertise in popular Canadian magazines to announce the launch of the product
– Target Canadians with ads on YouTube and TV and introduce what Google Home is and showcase its use cases (benefits)
– Ship a few Google Homes to influential Canadian bloggers and reviewers and ask them to share their experience by posting a blog, commenting on forums, and recording a YouTube video.
c. accept pre-orders
– Set up a page that allows the Google Home fans to pre-order their Google Homes ahead of the product release date.
2. During Launch:
a. Raise awareness:
– Organize launch events / parties to excite in the enthusiasts about the product. Encourage the event attendee’s to share Google Home on their social media in return for a chance to win a Free Google Home
– Offer a discount for the first set of orders coming from the Google Home website
– Announce list of Canadian companies that have integrated with Google Home as a way to showcase the use cases and utility of Google Home
– Connect with the Canadian popular figures in technology and celebrities and invite them to raise awareness about Google Home by social media marketing
– Distribute product among retail partners that are popular among the early adopters (e.g. Best Buy, telecom providers, etc)
– Set up a website that enables people to directly buy Google Home from Google
– Provide a list of retailers that sell Google Home as a way to allow people to walk to a store and purchase Google Home
3. Post Launch:
– Keep track of number of units sold to ensure that Google maintains a strong position in the market and growing in terms of popularity
– Measure % of returns and compare against the US numbers. A high return rate indicates that the lack of native Canadian on Google Home has eroded the value of the product in Canada.
Given our main objective is to drive adoption of Google Home, creating awareness about the product and the product launch is the key strategy in achieving our goal. As I’ve presented in detail above, I suggest that most of the activities during the product launch focus around introducing the product and its benefits to the Canadians, making Google Home available via consumers’ preferred channels (e.g. electronic retailers and Google’s website) and leveraging influential marketing to drive demand for the product.