Inspirations Blog

How To Strategically and Tactically Test Your Product Launch

Posted by Ignite Partnership
April 14, 2014 at 11:00 AM

As marketers, watching your product launch explode is an exhilarating validation of your hard work. Here’s your creation, standing on its own, taking on life outside your desk. It’s when a product launch fizzles that we’re left with a sour stomach and string of questions. Where on earth, with our meticulous efforts and designs, did we go wrong? Most often, the root of this error is not the lipstick—it’s the pig. Your strategy, from the beginning, held structural flaws, most commonly due to ignorance of consumer demand.

To save you major headaches, we’ve created an easy blueprint that will help you devise a strategic and tactical product launch based on consumer insights.

BlogImage_Week_H161) Develop an audience with email marketing first: We cannot stress enough the importance of this step. An expertly detailed pre-launch campaign is useless if no one sees it. Social media campaigns are engaging, but e-mail marketing drives product awareness and heaps of referral traffic. Think of email as a digital word-of-mouth campaign. Mint.com can attribute their success to an audience of over 20,000 email subscribers they secured before their test launch.

2) Test your product in select markets: Unless your regular hangout is under a rock, you’ve heard of the infamous (albeit delicious) Doritos Locos Tacos at Taco Bell. On the heels of their 50th anniversary, Taco Bell set out to reinvent their most famous staple—surprise, the taco— to entice the appetites of Millennials. The popularity of this revolutionary, messy product stunned the market. But Taco Bell had strong insight as to how the public would react to their product prior to the nationwide launch. In 2011, Taco Bell tested Doritos Locos Tacos in select markets, creating huge buzz. When they launched nationwide, they sold millions of tacos within the first week alone.

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Topics: Brand building, Inspiration, Marketing strategy, Product Launches, Testing

How to Use the Element of Surprise to Win Consumers

Posted by Ignite Partnership
April 10, 2014 at 11:00 AM

We are living (and marketing) in the era of the educated consumer. Buyers want to know everything they can about a product or service before they buy, and as a result, marketers are more transparent than ever before.

But that’s certainly not to say there’s no room for mystery and surprise. A little mystery can go a long way in creating buzz and capturing fans prior to product launch.

To shake things up, we’ve infused this post with examples of surprise found in music industry branding:

BlogImage_Week_H151) Daft Punk, The Ultimate Party Crashers: Last year, thousands of fans came to see The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – an NYC based rock band – at Coachella. The last thing they expected was the get a special performance by the French electronic duo, Daft Punk. Just weeks after the single Get Lucky debuted during an SNL episode (which also caused quite a stir), the helmet-clad duo, along with N.E.R.D. frontman, Pharrell Williams, performed an extended version of the song. Needless to say, no one was upset to see these uninvited guests.

2) Beyonce, Hype Without Hype: Beyonce’s new, self-titled album dropped jaws and raked in some serious, record-breaking dough for Mrs. Carter. How did Beyonce sell over 800,000 units in three days, setting an iTunes record – with absolutely no promotion whatsoever? Beyonce took self-promotion to a new level when she proclaimed she was going to do unconventional marketing for her album by harnessing the power of social media. She gave fans both a complete visual album and a music video for every single track.

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Topics: Brand building, Inspiration, Emotion, Product Launches, Marketing

4 Ways to Create an Online/Offline Product Launch Punch

Posted by Ignite Partnership
April 7, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Talking to customers face-to-face is always the best way to get your message across clearly. But today, the tools available for brands to build launch excitement warrant a more robust approach. We’ll call it “face-to-face-to-screen.”

In this post, we’ll reveal four ways that you can connect the online and offline world to achieve product launch success.

The jab: Online efforts

BlogImage_Week_H141) Social media exclusivity and scarcity: From a psychological viewpoint, the scarcity of an item increases our perception of its value. The same rationale applies to exclusive products: the fewer people with access, the more valuable the product is, and by extension, the more important you look for possessing it. Dr. Dre’s, Beats by Dre, Viva Brasil! promotion incorporated both of the above elements into one strategy. A product counter told consumers how many pairs of the headphones were available in order to create scarcity. The headphones were available to purchase only via Facebook to emphasize exclusivity and drive massive amounts of social media traffic to their Facebook page.

2) Give away free samples of your product via e-commerce: Unilever is taking the idea of product sampling outside of brick and mortar retail stores and into the hands of online consumers. Unilever places samples of hair care products from their Tresemmé, Nexus, Dove Hair, and Dove's Clear Men lines into shipments ordered by consumers of Coastal.com and Beyond The Rack e-commerce sites. Unilever’s Assistant Brand Manager, Pink Tang, believes there is great potential using this strategy, stating that the program would reach more than one million households over the next several months.

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Topics: Brand building, Inspiration, Digital marketing, Online marketing, Product Launches

4 Platforms that Influence Consumers Before and After a Product Launch

Posted by Ignite Partnership
April 3, 2014 at 2:30 PM

It's 9 o'clock and the parking lot is jammed tighter than sardines in a can. About two dozen people are standing in a line that curves around the corner, and the air is charged with anticipation.

This isn't the scene of a new nightclub opening – it’s the Grand Opening of a Trader Joe's store. The supermarket chain has a loyal following and is a favorite among frugal foodies and connoisseurs of inexpensive wines. Some dismiss the brand as a cult, but the truth is that every company wishes they had just as much influence over their customers. As a brand manager, whether you’re launching a high or low-ticket item, you can impact and influence your consumer's behavior using the four platforms described below.

BlogImage_Week_H131) Dedicated website or page: Consumers want to educate themselves as much as possible before they invest in a purchase. Creating a standalone website, or separate product page on an existing website, is a great way to showcase your product and create some pre-launch excitement in the process. Acura does a fantastic job of making sure their models stand out. Each page is chock-full of in-depth details about features, available options and applicable videos. The only thing left for you to do when you arrive at the dealership is to test-drive the car.

If your product isn’t as complex as a car, a detailed website still offers insight into what your brand brings to the table. Bambooee is a reusable paper towel made from bamboo. Most people understand the function of paper towels and don’t spend time comparing brands online, but Bambooee is a new product category within an existing market, so an informational website is necessary.

In order to utilize the full potential of your site, make sure that you feature a blog about your product with information to draw your audience to you.

2) Video presentation: Blendtec has taken an ordinary appliance and turned it into a hypothesis for a science experiment. Their “Will it Blend” videos, set to the tune of a 60’s game show, are as outrageous as they are effective. In order to demonstrate the power of their blenders, the company owner blends objects that you should never place in an appliance, like electronics and Bic lighters. It’s easy to see why these videos are so popular; viewers watch in disbelief as the blender effortlessly grinds these items into dust. The videos do more than entertain, they sear the following message onto their consumers’ brains: There is no job too powerful that a Blendtec can’t handle.

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Topics: Inspiration, Rewards Program, Brand Loyalty, Web and Interactive, Product Launches

4 Brand Extensions That Moved Product Off Shelves

Posted by Ignite Partnership
March 31, 2014 at 11:00 AM

The right brand extension can leverage the power of an established brand and, in some cases, exceed the popularity of the original product line. The wrong brand extension can potentially undo the reputation that a brand has painstakingly built. In order to create the right buzz around your next product launch, here are four companies you can learn from.

BlogImage_Week_H121) Orville Redenbacher Ready-to-Eat Popcorn: Orville Redenbacher created a ready-to-eat popcorn that allows you to indulge without the need for a microwave. It’s an idea so simple; it’s pure genius. The company had the foresight to realize that consumers are on-the-go more than ever and want the ability to take their snacks with them wherever they go. Their solution was to create an even more convenient alternative to the microwave version of their product. Orville Redenbacher is no stranger to innovation; they introduced the first light microwave popcorn in the '80s and now sell eight varieties of ready-to-eat popcorn.

Reports show consumers are supportive of the company’s brand extension. Data over a 52-week period ending on March 24, 2013 showed ready-to-eat popcorn sales increased by 11.9% while microwave popcorn sales rose less than 1%.

2) ZzzQuil: It’s 2 AM, you’re congested, and you’ve lost your ability to breathe through your nose. So you reach for the one product you turn to as your unofficial sleeping aid to give you the rest you long for: NyQuil. Proctor & Gamble, the makers of NyQuil, used this behavior information to launch an official sleep aid called ZzzQuil to help you sleep when you’re not sick. Consumer response to the product has been more than promising; six weeks after the national launch it was number one in dollar and unit sales for branded sleeping-aids.

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Topics: Brand building, Inspiration, Non-traditional marketing, Product Launches, Brand Extensions