New product launches are exciting times! Your brand has gone through the process of designing concepts, building and testing, and making final tweaks. Now it’s finally ready to enter the market. And you want the world to know.
Promoting A New Product Launch
Hands-down one of the best ways strategies for new products is combining the launch with a digital promotion. Some of our successful product launches were digital promotions. They’re great for generating widespread interest while helping customers enjoy the new products first-hand.
Promotions in general are great for raising awareness, generating social media buzz, and collecting high numbers of customer opt-ins. If you’re looking for ways to build excitement and consumer interest in your new product, the below digital promotion types are perfect for you:
- Fire Drills
- Instant Wins
Fire-drills are great promotions for getting large amounts of products into consumer hands. Their best feature is generating interest through urgency. Fire-drills have a unique exclusivity appeal - anyone could get the new product but only a lucky few will actually do so.
If you’re not sure how a fire-drill works, they typically run like this: your brand announces ahead of time that a new product will be available and that limited number of people will be able to claim their own product on a first-come first-serve basis. Consumers are directed to a dedicated microsite or app at a specific date and time. At the designated time the first consumers who succeed in filling the requirements will receive the new product.
Like most promotions fire-drills can be extremely customized and creative. They can last for a predetermined set of time or until your available product stock runs out. You can let consumers receive one product for themselves or give them the option to also send the product to a friend. If your product has different versions or colors you can alternate when certain product types will be released to drive up hype. You can tease the new releases through different social media channels, and offer consumers who didn’t make the first round the option to create an account or return to try again.
One critical aspect of a fire-drill you need to know is to make the process as simple as possible. Like when a popular music artist's concert tickets go on sale, customers can be extremely excited and eagerly anticipate the fire-drill start time. You want to extensively test your microsite (or app), the sign-up process, and fulfillment process is running smoothly before the launch date. If it’s too complicated or has a glitchy user interface you risk frustrating customers and driving down participation. This could also create backlash and sour the reception of your new product.
Instant wins are also great options for product launches. They typically attract interest because of their quick gratification - participants know right away whether or not they’ve won. Instead of having to wait days or weeks to find out, they can immediately celebrate! And if they didn't win they can simply try again.
Another reason instant wins are great for product launches is they easily allow brands to include a gamification element. Instant wins can be any type of game, from spin-the-wheel to memory tests. Another possibility is releasing specific entry codes online or in physical retail spaces, and tasking consumers to seek out and find them for chances to win additional exclusive prizes.
It’s worth mentioning there are laws and restrictions against requiring customers to make a purchase for an entry; if a purchase is one way to enter then your promotion also needs to offer alternate methods of entry. However this means you can further customize your instant win promotion design to include multiple ways to enter. This also increases the likelihood of a higher consumer participation rate. Data shows consumers are more likely to take part in a promotion when they believe they have more chances to win!
Sweepstakes hold the honor of being the most traditional and well-known type of promotion. So they’re never a bad idea for a product launch!
While most digital promotions are customizable, sweepstakes especially can be easily scaled to any size or degree of complexity. Which also means sweepstakes are easy to combine with other marketing initiatives. So whether you’re looking for a promotion to take the center stage or act as additional support for your launch, you can’t go wrong choosing a sweepstakes.
Depending on the type and scale of your product launch a sweepstakes can provide the benefit of attracting consumers outside your typical customer base. Sweepstakes help incentivize participation from individuals who don't interact with your brand regularly, but who want a chance to win a new product or prize. Knowing this, your brand can prepare targeted messaging ahead of launch time specifically geared to acquiring and retaining these new customers.
One tactic is to offer a small incentive to every individual who participates in the product launch promotion. For example: while sweepstakes winners could get a large prize, each individual who signs up for the sweeps could receive a small discount code or coupon applicable to the new product or other brand products. While they may not have won, a small reward can still leave a positive impression of your brand.
Let Customers Celebrate With You
Promotions are great methods for getting new products out into the world and noticed. Their appeal is their flexibility; they allow brands to creatively showcase their new products in their specific ways and styles to large audiences.
But what's even more important, digital promotions allow brands to invite their customers to join in on the fun and excitement. And new products are exciting! It's why bookstores held special release parties for each new Harry Potter book. And why some brands make their new product announcements or launches full-fledged events. (Looking at you, Apple.)
Instead of merely telling audiences the new product exists, brands invite customers to participate alongside them in the celebration. When personalization is so important, promotions help brand show they value customer enjoyment of their products.
At Brandmovers we love building creative promotions. Plus we're pretty good at it.
If you're interested in exploring how digital promotions can launch a new product or grow your brand's reach, then get in touch today!
This blog was originally published in 2019 and has been revised to include up-to-date content.