5 Ways to Build Buzz for a New Product Launch
Are you about to launch a new product or service? Congratulations! This marks an exciting moment for your brand. It’s the culmination of a lot of research, development and hard work. Unveiling your new product to the world should be an equally exciting celebration to engage your audience and drive sales. In this post, we share a few tips and creative strategies on how to successfully – and memorably – launch your new product this year.
1) Build Big Buzz
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 an email drip campaign or social media countdown to showcase your new item, along with stories or testimonials about your inspiration for it. Even if your brand is new to the world, you can do this at a very low cost.
Fashion retailer Steve Madden, for example, builds buzz in multiple ways, including clever announcements and polls on social media and via pre-sale orders of its new products. While the company is quite established, their strategy nevertheless shows that even iconic brands employ basic marketing strategies to invigorate customers, build buzz and boost sales. This Btheory Gold Snake bag, for example, is available for pre-order now (expected to ship on 10 November). Further, the company itself might serve as inspiration for your burgeoning business; it started in 1990 with a $1100 investment; its products are now sold in over 80 countries!
Allow yourself to get creative when building buzz. A Pinterest pin on creative ads “to make you think” includes the following examples, which are striking, thought-provoking and attention-grabbing approaches to draw attention to important causes through the clever use of bag design.
2) Host a Giveaway (We did!)
Contests and giveaways are a fun and easy way to introduce your product and engage a large customer base. Host a “Like to Win” contest on your social media channels with a fun caption and compelling photo or video. It’s a great way to engage just about anyone (who doesn’t love free stuff), but also to appeal to your diehard fans who are eager to get their hands on your latest product. (Be sure to include the guidelines and entry deadline to foster a sense of urgency and encourage timely participation.)
Branded totes make a great giveaway item, as they’re incredibly cost-effective, highly functional and popular. In fact, we just did this ourselves at Rocket! (You might have noticed our new look, which includes a refreshed logo, typeface, colours and more across all of our Rocket brands; we hope you like it!) We took our own advice and hosted a tote giveaway to call attention to and our celebrate our new look.
Just as we leveraged our new look to host a fun giveaway, seek out key opportunities and plan several promotions throughout the year to remind people of your new line. For example, this might happen at key shopping moments such as the upcoming holidays or Valentine’s Day.
3) Super In-Store Promotions
Another way to build awareness of your new product is with an in-store promotion. Do you already have access to a retail location? You might host a specially designed stand in your store and give away coupons and branded merchandise, such as tote bags, wine carriers or shoppers.
If you lack a physical space for an in-store promotion, seek out other cross-promotional opportunities, such as local music, food or beer festivals or approach local businesses and charities about adding a limited-time display. In this case, you might offer to promote the establishment and its merchandise in-kind or donate a portion of your future sales to the charity. Think about logical combinations. For example, if you sell jewelry or accessories, what about offering a coupon for a local shoe shop, where each customer that buys a pair of shoes gets a discount on one of your products, and vice versa? Combining forces like this can help you both reach new and more customers and in a positive, memorable way.
4) Host an Event (With a Celebrity?)
With a bit more of an investment in time, you can turn your product launch into a memorable (and cost-effective) event. Larger or more established brands can launch products at user conferences, annual summits or other planned marketing events. For smaller brands and budgets, consider hosting an invite-only event for exclusive clients to introduce the new product and build a sense of exclusivity. Either way, be sure to include branded merchandise – like a custom bag filled with goodies and coupons – to give to attendees so that your new product stays on their mind long after the event.
Another way to build buzz is to peer into your network. Do you have a connection to a local celebrity? Perhaps a media personality, business owner, elected official, musician or athlete? Invite them to join you at a product launch event in exchange for positive public relations, self-promotion and, of course, some free samples of your product! This doesn’t need to be an A-list celebrity either; people are often intrigued to meet local members of their community who they might not otherwise have a chance to connect with. If you can swing this, promote their presence leading up to the event and make sure you capture a lot of photos or videos for use in future marketing campaigns.
5) Direct Mail: The Workhorse
Last but not least is a tried-and-true strategy for building buzz: direct mail! An oft-overlooked marketing tactic, direct mail is the perfect way to build buzz for a new product. Today, consumers are inundated with online ads and noise, and often these free, direct-to-home strategies are welcome and effective. In fact, did you know that direct mail provides a higher return on investment above paid search and online display?
To add value, consider creating a small package of branded merchandise on the theme of your new product, and send it out to your top-tier clients. You could also consult your database and target a broader swath of customers based on geography. You might include small and easy-to-mail items like badges, totes that fold flat, branded multi-purpose cosmetic bags (like below), keyrings and more. Be sure to include a personalised note from your CEO or an account or sales manager.
Launching a new product or service is a milestone moment for your brand. Congratulations, again! We hope this post helps you celebrate this accomplishment in a positive, memorable and profitable way. What other strategies are you considering? We’d love to hear your ideas and learn a little more about you and your new product line. Please get in touch with us today, and best wishes on your launch!