It seems like every time you turn around, there’s a new product on the market. The competition is fierce in nearly every industry, and small details can make or break your new product launch. More than 30,000 new products are introduced every year, and about 80 percent of new product launches fail. Many reasons explain why a new product design might fail. One thing that can catapult you to success is a strong product launch and promotional strategy.
Your product design might be a brand new item, or a new design of something you’ve offered before. Either way, figuring out how to best promote that product to consumers takes a lot of imagination and creativity. The tried and true methods are a must, but you should also think outside the box and figure out how to help your product stand out. Here are six of the best ways to make that happen.
1. Show the Product’s Relevance
Your first order of business is to figure out why the product is relevant to people’s lives and share that information in an engaging way. How will this item make their life better? If you can get new customers excited about your product’s design or what it does, they are far more likely to share it with other people they know.
Word-of-mouth marketing makes up about 13 percent of overall sales, but the power is in the branding. People are much more likely to listen to a recommendation from a peer and share reviews and posts from friends and family than they are with a post from a company. The third-party source is seen as more reliable than the brand itself.
Take a look at how Pringles promotes their new products (new flavors) and shows their relevance to the old product line. The commercial shows a film set, and when the entertainers get hungry, they head to the snack table and start trying the different flavors. Pringles offers a unique twist, suggesting that you can stack the different flavors for new combinations. Wow!
2. Keep Current Customers First
One way to promote your new product design is by reaching out to your current customer base. Loyal customers are five times more likely to buy from you again. One thing you’ll want to do to promote any product design is to reach out to your current customer base if you already have one. Let them know about the new product and what is special about it. Offer them a discount if they want to be one of the first to try it.
If this is the first product in your lineup and you don’t yet have a customer base, start a mailing list and offer a sneak peak to subscribers first. This plan gives you two advantages. First, you develop a built-in VIP customer base. Second, those customers are likely to tell others about your product, creating some word-of-mouth buzz.
3. Educate Your Audience
Whenever you interact with a customer about a new product, make sure you educate them on the use of the item or some detail that will make using it easier — but do it quickly! About 33 percent of consumers appreciate an informed response, but they want that response to be quick and on point.
Anything you can do to help the consumer understand your product better will also help you promote sales. Some of the best promotions show exactly what a product is capable of and how it improves the consumer’s life — see # 1.
Cabot Cheese does an excellent job of educating the public about the many different recipes their cheeses can be used in. Not only do they provide recipes on their website, but they also have a strong presence on Pinterest, listing dozens of ways to make an amazing grilled cheese sandwich alone.
4. Apply Color Psychology
When you design a new product, it’s crucial to pay close attention to every little detail of your design. Research what is already on the market and how your product packaging might fit easily on store shelves but simultaneously stand out from what else is already out there. If you’ve created an environmentally friendly cleaning product and all the other brands have green and brown labels, add a splash of orange to yours to grab the attention of passersby.
5. Take Advantage of Social Media
You can expand the media coverage of your new product design or redesign by using social media to keep the buzz going. In addition to reaching traditional media outlets, you will also reach blogs as well as individuals who see your social media marketing campaign. Think about ways you can reach new customers through social media.
One of the main reasons someone likes a brand page on Facebook is because they are offered a discount for doing so. You have to give them some form of incentive. However, 84 percent of those fans never go back to the Facebook page after receiving the incentive. A wiser use of Facebook advertising is to offer an incentive for the customer to sign up for your mailing list via the use of Facebook lead ads.
Sweetgreen is a company that tries to connect people with real food through fast casual locations. They promote things such as farm to table. One way that they utilize social media to grow a following is by adding videos that show the process and a countdown of how long it takes the fresh-grown products to reach the customer. This strategy is quite effective at promoting exactly what their product does for the consumer.
6. Utilize Pop-Up Shops
Pop-up shops are a great way to get the word out about a new product design without spending a lot of money on a storefront. They allow you to see just how successful that item might be in a given area or with a specific target audience in mind. The way a pop-up works is that you lease retail space for a single day or several days.
The key to a successful pop-up shop is to create a lot of buzz ahead of the event. Local media should definitely be invited to participate and cover it. You can even offer them an incentive for stopping by. You’ll also want to send out custom invitations and create social media buzz.
7. Host a Contest
Contests are a great way to introduce people to a new product. Think about some of the food manufacturers and the contests they’ve had, such as creating a new flavor of their product or naming a new product line. You don’t have to give away something extravagant. The key is to give away something your specific targeted customer would want. This way, you will mainly attract the type of person you want to reach.
Take the time to research laws about contests and sweepstakes. This action will allow you to comply with any rules and prevent issues later on. Otherwise, a contest is a great way to reach new customers and easily spread word of mouth about your product.
Be Bold and Get Started
Even though the statistics show that new products don’t always fare well, you shouldn’t be discouraged. Many success stories exist. The key to those successes is a combination of creativity, determination and tapping into what the market wants at any given moment. With a lot of hard work and a little luck, your product design and product could be the next big seller.
About The Author
The Designerly staff is committed to providing well-researched and ongoing learning resources. We're dedicated to educating you on key design concepts and showcasing strategic marketing plans to help grow your business.