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How The Lighthouse Programme Changed Our Game

Harry Marshall
August 29, 2023

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Unless you’ve got a vast network of personal, relevant, ready-and-waiting contacts, taking a new product to market is a real challenge.

We recently tried a different approach, and it worked really well.

In this post I’m going to describe what we did, why, and the impact it had on our business.

The "traditional" launch

At previous companies I’ve been involved with, product launches have roughly followed the following sequence:

  1. Build an MVP.
  2. Launch it.
  3. Promote it.
  4. Iterate on it.

It’s a logical approach, but it comes with some significant pitfalls:

  • In the build-phase, product and engineering teams are usually working in a vacuum. It’s very challenging to get the feedback needed to properly validate and refine the solution you're building.
  • Growth teams face the challenge of creating a buzz before the actual launch. Without a working product that companies can pay for, it’s difficult to set goals and measure impact.
  • Come launch-time, you don't have a track-record or credibility and, due to a lack of proper validation, the MVP is often comprised of features that don't quite align with actual customer requirements.
  • Subsequent post-launch iterations are shaped by feedback from a generic crowd of “anyone who’ll test this” rather than your ideal customers.

Simply put, it’s a flawed process.

So, what did we do differently?

We decided to take a radically different approach this time around.

We created an offer called “The Lighthouse Programme”.

It was an opportunity for 10 companies to join us as founding partners.

We would craft a remarkable, custom analytics experience for each of them using Embeddable, our new product, and give them a lifetime free pass to the core-platform.

In return, they would give us detailed feedback throughout the process, let us promote their participation on the programme, and work with us to create case-studies and examples of what could be done using our solution.

Importantly, we wanted to team up with partners that matched our ideal customer persona, so we launched an application process and selected the companies that 1. had the most interesting plans for customer facing analytics and 2. we were most excited to work with.

Overall, it was a resounding success:

  1. We, as a growth team, had a crystal-clear objective: onboard 10 dynamic, industry-relevant companies. The application process added an aura of exclusivity, which increased as spots filled up (we were significantly over-subscribed in the end).
  2. Engaging with each applicant, most of whom were motivated, relevant companies, offered our product and engineering teams invaluable insights into the requirements that companies have for user facing analytics. We were able to validate everything we were working on right away, and then refine it.
  3. The deliverables for the Programme provided a very clear bar for our MVP.

It’s been an incredibly motivating process for all of us, and a real pleasure to work with such excellent companies.

By the time we’re ready for a public launch, we’re not just another startup with an untested platform - we're a superstar team with a refined product, a proven track-record, and a legacy of satisfied early adopters.

We’d love to know, how did you take your product to market?

PS. If you’re wondering, “why Lighthouse?”: A lighthouse is a trusted navigational aid. It stands at the edge of the great unknown. It serves as a beacon of hope and solace to adventurers.

Embeddable is registered in England as TMD Technology Limited (no. 13856879), at International House, 142 Cromwell Road, London, SW7 4EF.