Innovative Product Launch Ideas to Get Your Channel Partners and Customers Excited

By: ITA Group
Person looking at shoes in a retail store on a mobile phone

When marketing to consumers you have an exciting challenge: You know you have an amazing product. Once people try it, they’ll love it!

But as any marketer can tell you, the product alone isn’t enough—the way you furnish that product to consumers and channel partners for their initial hands-on experience can be just as important as the product itself. When done in an innovative and unexpected fashion, it provides context, builds equity and communicates value.

The Power of Consistent Cross-Channel Marketing

Your customers want to be communicated with where they want to receive information. If you limit your launch to an event, you're undoubtedly going to miss customers. Engage your customers and channel partners by making it easy for them to learn about your new product or feature by creating a central hub, sharing information across all customer channels and making your team available to answer questions across channels.

Additionally, these trending tactics have proven invaluable for getting customers and partners excited about new products coming through the pipeline.

An Event That Shows (Not Tells)

Making your product launch a big deal is an excellent way to get the media and your audience to take it more seriously. Don't simply go on and on about the features of your new product. Place emphasis on how the product can affect and benefit your audience. For instance, if you're launching a product that will make it easier to do a certain task, talk about the challenges of accomplishing that task and how your product can help alleviate them. If there’s a feature that makes it superior to similar products, stress how that features can be used in consumers' daily lives.

Lend Me Your Ears

The best way to capture a millennial's attention is through their ears. At least, that's the prevailing thought among brands that are recognizing major changes in the way that people are consuming content (it was one of the most buzzed about topics at Advertising Week New York).

There's good reason podcasts are supplementing blogs as a major marketing tool. Around 67 million people ages 12 and over listen to podcasts each month, according to a study by Edison Research. And a whopping 85% of people who start a podcast listen to all or most of it. All this has led to an increase in podcast advertising revenue. What’s more, Business Insider Intelligence states listeners pay more attention to ads on podcasts versus ads in other formats, with 55% claiming to either “always” or “sometimes” pay attention, versus 45% for radio ads and 44% for TV.

Teasing Builds Anticipation

Video is a powerful medium for spreading the word and generating buzz around a new product. Video gains 1,200% more shares than text and image-based posts on social media sites. Teaser campaigns work by priming the consumer to focus on a specific problem. They don’t typically include a lot of hard advertising content but instead, focus on engaging consumers.

Brands utilize video teasers in their product launch strategies to attract the attention of a potential consumer. If you want your video to resonate, it should be about more than just the product. It should be about the problem, the solution, the experience and the larger vision of what you're trying to build. Like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, creator of The Little Prince, said, “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

Experiences Can Pop-Up Anywhere

People are busy. They have full schedules, plus a range of "screens" continually competing for their attention. Pop-up shops inherently evoke a sense of urgency with “limited time” offers, which helps boost sales and often converts to larger purchases. If you want to capture a piece of their time, you need to be clever and engaging.

Pop-ups that launch a new product resonate especially with younger consumers, particularly the guys. Millennial males (57%) and millennial females (42%) are “very or somewhat likely” to feel more connected or loyal to clothing brands that offer exclusive product launch parties, according to the Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor™ research. They get recognition, status and buzz among their friends by showing up at these places and being the first person with the venue’s exclusive product which, in turn, gives them bragging rights. For instance, Honest Tea's Honest Cities campaign stopped consumers in their tracks to sample products, which fueled a wave of social-media chatter with videos that went viral.

Turn Exploration Into A Hunt

In-store scavenger hunts offer a unique way to engage with consumers in the shopping aisle by providing a gamified marketing experience. Through a mobile app, consumers are incentivized to find specific products in-store and scan their UPC codes to gain rewards points. Getting consumers to physically interact with a product significantly increases the chance they will purchase it. When a consumer is familiar with the feel of a product in their hand, it leads to a connection with that brand. Even if the consumer doesn’t purchase that product at the time, they may make a purchase in the future because they’re already familiar with the brand, the product and its features.

The bottom line is that you need to create a strategic, holistic incentive experience that connects your brand and your newest product with your customers and channel partners. Regardless of what you're launching, determine the information you’ll release, the people you’ll work with and how you’ll create a buzz.

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