The launch of a new product is an exciting moment for a brand. It caps the culmination of a lot of research, development and hard work. Unveiling your new product or service to the public should be an equally exciting celebration to engage your audience and drive sales. This post will present some tips and creative strategies on how to successfully – and memorably – launch your new product this year.
How to Promote a New Product Launch
1) Build Buzz Early
The key to a successful product launch is to build buzz early. Think about different tactics to get people excited for your product over time, such as teaser videos leading up to the big reveal, exclusive early access to test something or pre-orders.
One company that nails this approach is Apple. Apple almost always offers pre-ordering of their products, teases new products with creative ads and videos at key events and builds buzz amongst press outlets and media. Apple runs consistent and stylised ads, such as all-white backgrounds with clear and contrasting messaging, like the example below. And, it often runs these ads from product launch through the duration of the product’s life, leveraging the power of brand recognition and consistency.
An article on Apple’s marketing mix explains that one of the keys to its success is that it doesn’t just follow the traditional path of paid advertisements. Rather, Apple builds buzz through clever product placement and generating buzz through positive reviews. Approaching influencers that have sway with the public is one strategy. If that’s not an option given your reach or budget, you can build buzz with a free trial program, in which you offer customers your product for free in exchange for a review or testimonial.
2) Host a Social Media Contest
Contests are a fun and engaging way to get your next product out there. When done via social media platforms, this strategy can have a huge return on investment as the cost is low cost and the reach is high. One tried-and-true tactic is to host a “like to win” contest on your social channels. Post a compelling photo or video with a fun contest caption and hashtag.
If you lack the resources for professional photography, there are plenty of ways to produce high-quality imagery from your home or office. For some tips and tricks, see this post on Rocket Bags, where we share some do-it-yourself photography tips, such as:
- Use a white background to display your product. This could be as simple as purchasing a piece of poster board.
- Experiment with lighting. Seek a room with windows next to a wall. The closer your product is to the window, the softer the light will be.
- Consider working with a friend who can “model” the product. This is a good way to show the true size of the item, not to mention how fun and easy it is to use!
Make sure to include clear guidelines and have an entry deadline. When hosting a giveaway contest like this, you don’t necessarily need to give away your high-value products, either. Look for low-cost, high value items like customised enamel badges or keyrings that feature your branding or the new product itself, such as an upcoming movie or book.
Take for example, how Hallmark UK and Ireland hosted this “Tuesday treat” contest on Instagram. People who liked and commented on the post were entered for a chance to win a bundle of cards and the winner was congratulated on the Instagram the next day. In this case, the photo is clear and inviting, the contest is simple and straightforward and the reward was announced in due time, appealing to the short lifecycle of social media content. Hallmark also included several great hashtags to get the contest in front of even more people.
3) Build a Super In-Store Promotion
Foot traffic is a tremendous tactic for a new product launch. Another tip to build awareness of your new product is with a dazzling in-store promotion. This could be a special stand in a strategic store location. From the stand, your staff could give away coupons and branded merchandise, such as fun oversize or mini button badges.
If you don’t have a storefront for your business, consider approaching local businesses to ask if they would be interested in making an in-kind donation of their space for your promotion. It might help them bring more people in the doors or they might be inspired to linger and make more purchases of other in-store products.
4) Throw a Great Event
Turn your product launch into a memorable event! With a little planning, this is something you can pull off no matter what your budget is. Large brands can leverage user conferences, annual summits and other marketing events to reveal a new product with a special display or on-stage announcement. Apple, for example, uses its yearly keynote speeches to promote new products; this approach has become a recognised part of the company’s brand and image.
Smaller brands and budgets might consider hosting an invite-only event for exclusive clients. Reach out to your top customers with an intriguing invitation and invite them to a special event to introduce the new product. Or open it up to everyone and build a sense of urgency by admitting only the first 20, 50 or 100 people who RSVP. You’ll not only build buzz, but you’ll build a sense of exclusivity for the invitees, which could result in greater and longer allegiance to your brand. No matter how you go about it, be sure to include branded merchandise, like badges or keyrings, as event giveaways so that your new products stays top of mind long after the event ends.
5) Send Direct Mail. It works!
Don’t overlook some of the more traditional methods for your product launch. Direct mail, for example, is an oft-overlooked marketing tactic, yet it’s the perfect way to build buzz for a new product. You’re literally getting your brand and product into the hands – and homes – of your customers!
Consider creating a small package of branded merchandise that is tailored to your new product and send this out to your top-tier clients. The package could include badges, totes and keyrings (like below, on a special backing card), with a personalised note from their customer’s account or sales manager. Be sure to include a clear call to action, such as visiting a website, returning a survey or bringing a coupon into your store for a special prize or discount.
We hope this post inspires you to plan a creative and successful product launch this year. It’s worth it! We’d love to hear more about your new product and when it will be released and offer even more strategies or merchandise options to help you celebrate your hard work, build buzz and boost your sales. Please get in touch with us today!