The A-Z of Experiential Marketing – P for Product Launch

Posted by: The A-Z of Experiential Marketing on December 10th, 2013 IN Product launches


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A great product launch is an exhibition of the product’s properties and personality targeted to the right people, at the right time in a relevant and engaging manner.  Breathing life into a product relies on understanding the audience, the brand and the product inside out.

 It’s therefore no wonder that experiential marketing has again and again proven itself as a powerful way to bring something to life, to present your intended audience with a live embodiment of the product promise.  Building relationships and leaving lasting impressions that help fuel those all-important purchase decisions.

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This week, in our ongoing series the A-Z of Experiential Marketing, we thought we’d quiz three Line Up experts to find out about some key considerations and tactics they champion when approaching the launch of a new product.

ROB LEACH – Managing Director

On choosing the right approach for your consumer product launch

Marketers and agencies have been segmenting audiences for years, introducing new products to key influencers first, following that up with a wider launch and then letting the message seep out to the general public over time.  What is interesting is that we have come into an age where finding your target audience has never been as ‘easy’ yet devising connections that resonate with them specifically, hold their attention and control this osmosis has become more ‘difficult’.

In a socially connected world brands need to focus more on timing, delivery of key messages and letting people develop relationships with new products.

Here are some ways to reach audiences at different stages of the new product cascade.

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Influencer focused events: dropping the pebble in the pond

The recent tussle between Xbox One and PS4 has provided some great examples of live experiences that are focused on engaging the right audience at the right time.  Alongside national roadshows and stunts designed to engage a wider audience, both brands created highly targeted niche events that gifted the first experience of the product to the real fans.  Enabling them to be there at the beginning, to touch the product, to experience the gameplay to feel like they are part of the brand’s story.  If they feel like a connection is there, they will become natural product advocates and share their experiences creating the first tier of the desired cascade.

Roadshow: creating wider interest and driving desirability

This is the opportunity to connect with specific local audiences taking the product to them in an environment that resonates with their lifestyle and bringing its personality to life.  It is imperative to understand each location and to cater to the local mindset and culture in each place.

Online/digital: sharing, creating communities and peer endorsement

Of course experiential marketing these days is not, by default, ‘live’.  The most critical part of any campaign is the online fallout.  Establishing a digital presence for any new product and creating a community around it is essential.  Crafting exciting and engaging experiences that will be shared and talked about will help develop lasting consumer/brand relationships.  Always ensure that you are seeding content that will enable this kind of online brand building.

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Neil Thompson– creative director

On fusing product and culture

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I am fascinated by environmental design, giving people a chance to step inside a world and experience things not just with their eyes, but with all their senses. When it comes to launching a product, creating an immersive environment can leave your key product messages ringing in the ears of the audience and embed associations that cement consumer/brand relationships.  But how do you get there?

At Line Up we make it our business to not only understand the product and the brand but also the culture behind it.  If you thread these three elements together and use it as the foundation of the launch then you can bring people into your bespoke ‘world’ and enable them to leave with an understanding of the brand, what it promises and how it fits into their lives.

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In 2012 we helped devise a pan-European tour to launch the new Volvo V60 Hybrid.  The launch challenged audiences to ‘Switch to Pure’ highlighting the car’s different driving states.   But this did not call for a blanket approach; to really seed the car in the hearts and minds of the people who attended the events (and get them to spread the word online) we set about working closely with each market to create bespoke events that would resonate locally with the culture, the surroundings as well as the political and environmental climate.  In the end the launch tour comprised of eight tailored brand experiences, each specifically adapted to suit the needs of the local market but all positioning Volvo at the forefront of sustainability and electrification in the luxury sector.

 

Whether you are creating a one-off event or rolling out a multi-country campaign there is no need to compromise on creativity if you place it in the right areas, focus on your audience and craft a unique experience that is going to set your product in their hearts and minds.

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Kath Wallace – associate director

On getting your salesforce behind your product

When a prospective buyer walks into a shop or showroom looking for a television, a car, a phone, a fridge or any kind of product they are likely to have done their research before hand.  They have probably tapped into online competitor comparison sites and done their homework on features and price.  So what really sells a product now has shifted from hard sell based on product benefits, to a much softer, subtle and individual nurturing of the consumers’ relationship with the product.

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Experiential events are a proven way to introduce your sales force and dealers to you product, setting the right tone and arming them with the right language to bring your product to life.  They need to not only understand who the audience is, but also what makes them tick.  Events can work as a fantastic incentive, a break from the norm where they get to feel appreciated, valued and needed.  But further than just incentivising them, well constructed, immersive events give them the tools to forge the connections, to talk about product features and benefits with a fluid understanding of its place not only in the market but in lifestyle of the consumer.

When Hotpoint celebrated its centenary we were asked to launch future products within a celebratory event, positioning the brand as 100 years ‘young’ and showcasing past innovations and future thinking.  It was a great opportunity to launch a new range to dealers and engage them with both product and brand.  We invited delegates to an industrial space in Bloomsbury where we created an experiential journey into Hotpoint’s rich heritage, showcasing current innovations and presenting new ideas.

The experience was carefully orchestrated to bring the brand and product into sharp focus and enable delegates to walk away talking about the products with a genuine, palpable interest and an armoury of ideas they could draw on to instigate conversations with potential customers.

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Over the past 30 years we have made it our business to understand what makes a killer product launch.  We’ve launched 40 new cars alone, not to mention white goods, newspapers, soft drinks, life-saving drugs and confectionary to name a few.  And we’ve talked to every audience from internal stakeholders right down to the consumer.

New products don’t launch themselves, however incredible and groundbreaking they are.  It is vital to understand each and every stakeholder audience, their role in the process, their relationship with the competition and to have a fix on their future relationship with the brand and product you are launching.  A launch strategy based on this kind of solid foundation will lead to greater creativity in conception and a more memorable and relevant experience for each and every audience.

Want to read more of our A-Z of Experiential Marketing posts? You can now download and keep A-N as a PDF ebook.

Or select another of the posts from the series to view online:

Audience | Brief | Content | Digital | Engagement | Fun

Global | Hindsight | Insight Journey | Knowledge | Logistics

Mobile | New | Old | Product Launch | Q&A | ROI | Social Media

Target Market | User Experience | Venues | Word of Mouth | X for X Factor | Y for Youth | Z for Zeitgeist

a-zilineupebookDownload our ebook!

You can now download the first part of our A-Z of Experiential Marketing series as a ebook to keep for reference or read on the daily commute!

We are well on our way to Z, but in the meantime click here to get hold of the A-N ebook!

 

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