How to Effectively Launch a New Product

2167eedHi retailers, this is Kira Geairn, RetailBound’s Social Media guru!

This past weekend I was sitting at home diligently working (OK watching Netflix, you caught me) when I got a phone call from one of my friends asking me to come over for her “Back to School” party. It was already pretty late, and I was already in my pajamas, so I told her that because of the late notice I wasn’t going to make it.

“But you have to come! No one is here!”

My friend learned a lesson here that all business owners already know: preparation is key. Without successfully preparing for an event, your expectations will most likely not be met.

When your business is launching a new product it should feel kind of like a party, right? There should be excitement and anticipation, and definitely lots of marketing preparation. Gathering publicity for your product can be challenging, but here are a few tips to help hype it up.

Establish a Product Identity

Before we head into some marketing ideas, let’s start with one of the basics. Can you tell me what your new product does… in one sentence? Establishing a powerful description is vital for any new product. Instead of using the manufacture’s description like your competitors, set yourself apart with something bold that helps sell the product. Using a marketing campaign can help draw attention the product, which can result in more sales. Marketing strategy is so important for brands, especially since most advertising is mainly done online. If you struggle with internet branding, you might be interested in using a top digital marketing agency local to you. They could benefit your product by boosting awareness around it and, hopefully, appealing to more customers.

While there are a lot of directions you can take to appeal to customers in your product description, really great examples are usually very concise and follow a logical storyline that will catch people’s eye when they spot your marketing campaign. For example, ModCloth, an online clothing store, uses fun product descriptions to match their personality:

“It’s time to spice up your basics collection, and these black, vegan faux-suede wedges are just the shoes for the job! Made snazzy by glossy, grey toe caps and heels, this pair is your new go-to when that chevron blouse and those cherry-red trousers need a pairing of simple, yet sophisticated footwear.”

ModCloth exemplifies brevity and allure in this product description. We love the attention to detail, the involvement of the reader, and how they even offer ways to accessorize the shoes.

Go Viral with YouTube

Some products and services can seem like a real snooze, but that doesn’t stop their marketing teams from making waves. One of my personal favorites is the Ojai Valley Taxidermy in California. Business owner Chuck Testa made national news when his hilarious commercial advertising the “most life like dead animals around” went viral on YouTube.

In 2011, YouTube had over 1 trillion views. All those eyes have marketing teams salivating, looking to get their piece of the pie. And some of them have completely rocked it. Like Dove, who struck a chord with audiences everywhere when their Campaign for Real Beauty video (The Evolution of Beauty) went viral.

Hold a Facebook Contest

Facebook has become a go-to resource for companies to quickly and easily market new products. However, many companies are taking the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach, drowning their followers in posts, likes, and comments. Instead, many companies are combining moderate updates about a new product with really great contests and giveaways. There are a few tricks to running these smoothly.

  • Make sure your Facebook page is ready for heavy traffic before holding the contest. Is all the contact information up-to-date? Does it look the way you wanted?
  • Fan-gate your contest – or in other words, only allow people who have “Liked” your page to be eligible to enter. You can also require participants to “Like and Share” for more exposure.
  • Keep the contest timeframe short – around a week. This builds up the publicity without it dragging on too long and risking it being forgotten.
  • Have a prize appropriate for your target consumer. For example, if you sell school supplies, your prize should be aimed at teachers, parents or students. The prize should also be substantial enough to peak interest (something more than a 10% discount).

Dove really hit this marketing strategy out of the park, too, when they ran a fill-in-the-blank “Real Beauty Should Be Shared” contest. Fans wrote to Dove via Facebook about a friend they felt exemplified “real beauty” and why. They competed not for an extravagant prize but instead for a chance to be the next face of Dove.

Make Use of Various Other Channels

You can keep the conversation lively on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and whatever other channels your marketing teams come up with, but don’t stress with keeping up with everything. You want to hype up the product, not drown in it! Keep the process fun and your customers will have fun, too.

For more retail and marketing tips visit www.retailbound.com or contact us at info@retailbound.com

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