Launching a new product presents a number of challenges for businesses. Even if you are already an established player in the industry, the right mix of promotions will be required to make sure a new offering is successful when it is brought to market.
Firms need to sit down and think about who their target audience is and how they can best be influenced. Developments in technology also mean that small businesses can afford to be a bit more inventive and use mediums such as Facebook and Twitter in order to get the desired results.
Get a ringing endorsement
There is a long history of businesses using celebrity endorsements in order to add a bit of weight to a new product launch. For example, when Coca-Cola was bringing out Coke Zero, it chose to hire Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney. As part of the deal, he appeared in adverts and on cans and bottles of the fizzy drink.
This helped Coca-Cola to attract a lot of people, primarily because of the high-profile nature of Rooney. A long-established method, the celebrity endorsement is effective, but it will be out of the financial reach of smaller companies. Instead, they should look to be a bit more innovative.
Using promotional products
The targeted distribution of promotional merchandise is an effective option for firms looking to enhance brand awareness and visibility. By handing out branded T-shirts bearing your company’s logo and important information about a new product, visibility will be boosted.
For example, if a food manufacturer is launching a new product, it could deck its employees out in promotional merchandise so they are easily identifiable as brand ambassadors. They could then take to the streets with free samples of the product, gather feedback on consumer responses and report back.
Emphasise your USP
A new product should have something to say about itself and why it is different – and better – than the competition. This unique selling point (USP) has to be at the heart of a product launch strategy and if it is executed successfully, brands can expect to see some very good results.
Clear, a hair care brand rolled out in May 2012, decided against going down the ‘it will make your hair look great’ line. Instead, Yahoo reports that it focused on its USP – that it is the only shampoo and conditioner that nourishes the scalp. This kind of advertising is particularly important if firms are operating in a crowded marketplace.
Develop a social profile
Businesses are increasingly using social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter as part of their strategic launch initiatives. This draws consumers ‘into the conversation’ and should ultimately lead them to your product. From creating specific hashtags that allow people to interact, to talking directly to customers about any queries they have, social media can be very useful.
The key to success with social media is to create share-worthy content. Simply tweeting about a new product may not be enough, instead the content has to be interesting enough so that people will feel compelled to engage. For example, a video campaign, competition or product giveaway may resonate with your target audience
What methods have you used when launching a new product? Did you find they have potentially opened up new markets for investment in the future?