What Fall TV Previews Can Teach You About Business

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that Fall TV season is under way.

In fact, it seems every single day we turn on the TV there is a new show premiering, promising to be the most riveting drama or laugh-out-loud comedy.

It also means that several shows will be put on the chopping block. It’s like the network game of Survivor.

I bet your own industry feels like Fall TV season sometimes. Especially when you’re trying high leverage activities – like going after national media coverage, rolling out a high priced product or program, or trying to score a book deal (or – gasp – even get a TV Show in development). All of these strategies are ultra-lucrative, and ultra-competitive.

So how do you make sure your business is more like the first network pick-up this year “New Girl” than “The Playboy Club” (the first to get cancelled)?

Location, Location, Location

In TV land, time slot is everything. Crappy time slot = highly-probable cancellation.

Business owners should pay special attention to physical location (if you’re a brick and mortar business). What stores surround you? Is there a lot of competition? Good foot traffic? Helpful landlord?

If you run an online business, you’ll want prime real estate in the search engines and an eye-pleasing, easy-to-navigate website.

Launch Hype

If you turned on your TV in August, you were probably plagued with hundreds of previews for upcoming Fall shows. There are billboards covering every major highway and magazines plastered with ads. This buzz generation is intended to create the highest number of viewers for the show’s premiere.

In business, if you’re planning to introduce a new product or service – or even upgrade or tweak something you have – why not craft a similar launch campaign? Your campaign should be well planned and creative, and each element has a specific call-to-action for this one product or service. If you want to see a surge in sales and build a great following, launches are key.

Keep the Buzz

Many TV shows have strong promise, and then get cancelled after one season.

It’s important to keep the buzz going after your launch. Surprise your customers. Take new twists and turns. Keep them excited and buzzing about your business.

Get Critical Acclaim

Some TV shows can last with a small audience but with strong critical acclaim (think Mad Men).

This can also happen with business. Instead of the “one big bang” approach, you can rest comfortably with a business that grows slowly and organically through the acclaim of happy customers and favorable media reviews.

Find a Niche Audience

Some shows exist because they target a very specific market (the CW is filled with soapy-teen dramas that are highly-targeted to that specific crowd).

Businesses can also explode by filling a need within a specific niche. If you have a sports supplement, you might target “weight lifters” rather than “athletes.”

Business Cliffhanger

A great TV cliffhanger keeps audiences on the edge of their seat, counting the days for the next season.

As a business owner, generating anticipation is key. Apple does this extremely well with new products and new upgrades (iPhone 4S anyone?)