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PRODUCT LAUNCH
CASE STUDIES

DISCOVER THE STRATEGY BEHIND THE BRAND 

TAKE OFF WITH 5 Steps To Success

The journey from factory floor to consumers fingers is going to be smoother if you can see where you are going. The product launch case studies above illustrate three successful brand strategies. A clear entry strategy is like a guiding light for any product new to market.

 

Whatever the category (food, beverage, pharmaceutical or hardware) you’re embarking on a product launch can be harrowing. Improve your chance of a success, check out my product launch case studies.

Preparing a new brand for launch should centre around one thing – the position in the market. The absolute best pathway to magnetic positioning is to identify and utilise the Unique Selling Point (USP). Then convey the advantages and benefits of the product line.

Be sure to develop a realistic timeframe. Without a doubt something will go wrong or take longer than you expect. You will see from the product launch case studies above, it takes time. Done well and in a considered manner your stress levels will be kept low and expectations met. Think of launching a product as the ‘long game’.

As well as reading the case studies it may help you to check out my 5 Steps to Success.

Step 1: Find The Gap
Before embarking on a product launch start first with finding the gap. Introducing another product that is ‘better’ is not necessarily going to draw the masses to part with their cash. Infact, failure is most likely. Better to start with an idea and tailor your concept to where there is a market gap.
 
These days its not enough to gain hearts and minds of the key target market. If a producer fails to interest retailers and distributors, then the consumer never even sees the product. Therefore reaching out to retailer buyers and distributors is vital. And the way they are engaged is just as important. Considering who the target market are in addition to the retailers and distributors is key. Find out what they see as missing from the shelf. This means networking, meeting with buyers, shmoozing distributors and become at one with key retailer to discover the gap. These people have loads of knowledge and it may take time to let you in.
 
In discovering the gap you will narrow down on your primary and secondary target markets. Think customer demographics and online behaviour, motivations, concerns and desire for your product.
 

 

Step 2: Become A Detective

In this early phase it will help to think of yourself as a detective. Discovering the positives and negatives of your product idea can be heartbreaking or enlightening. During this process, maintain an open mind and don’t be swayed by the people with the loudest voice. Most of all listen.

 
Research can take many forms from asking people in your circle for feedback to paying for focus groups. Usually friends and family will offer a somewhat ‘nice’ biased viewpoint. The best method of research I have witnessed from my 25 years in marketing a new product, is the old fashioned market stall. Allow at least 3 months, book a high volume market with in your target demographic and talk to people.
 
The types of answers you are looking for are:
• product likes AND dislikes
• reason for purchase interest
• usage perceptions
• stores they might expect to see product in
• what is the preferred ‘companion’ product
• and remember to test the price point too.
 
You may rather to go down the path of professional focus groups. You can expect to obtain consumer perceptions with a more dedicated approach that will save you heaps of time. Usually the research company will provide an assessment of the product concept and explore potential positioning pathways.
 
Regardless of your research method, remember to stay honest with yourself – unbiased feedback will be most helpful.

 

 
Step 3: The Branding Foundation

A key factor in building your brand will be it’s ethical stance and values. Clearly defining what your brand stands for and why will define many aspects of your product launch. This foundation will also consist of the name, design, packaging, website and photos, a brilliant base for marketing your product is vital.

Consumers are looking for clarity and want it delivered in a clear, attractive way. Communicate in a way that makes the consumer feel like your product is solving a piece of the puzzle of their lives.

Identify pain points for your target audience. Then ensure all the items in the brand foundation address this. Simplicity, elegance and a sense of inner peace are key to high volume sales.

During the process of creating your branding items include some time for marketing research. Repeating Step 2 – Research, is vital to many aspects of the product launch journey, including the way it looks.

There’s no doubt that marketing your product will be the fun part. However, be careful not to get too carried away with YOUR own personal preferences. Focus on what the consumer will be influenced by. Talk to your customers about the following:

• brand or product name (always start with a few as availability may be an issue)
• their assessment of the structural package (bottle, pouch, box ect)
• check they understand the main messages in the packaging design
• ask, is there additional information your consumer wants on package?
 
When I assist with a product launch, I identify the best positioning, create a name, brand, packaging and promotional design. Usually a website (built with an SEO foundation) and other digital marketing materials are also required.
 

Product-launch-case-study-brand-foundation-chart

 

Step 4: Connect To People
The marketing plan is central to creating product awareness. Planning marketing activities will be guided by the outcomes identified in researching the target markets needs and wants (Step 2). Find out what will make them keen to try a new product. The consumer is already using/eating/drinking or buying another brand, why would they want yours?
 
Similarly where the consumer is at in the buying cycle constantly moves. Consider where the bulk of your consumers are now. This will inform your of where to focus your next marketing activities.
 
Product-launch-case-study-buying-cycle-graphic
 
The choice of marketing endeavours must engender brand awareness and inevitably, sales. Spread your net far and wide. A key component of your marketing will be creating a social media content plan. The plan is to drive leads down the sales funnel from your website or other sales platforms. When it comes to a marketing plan there are many choices and more than likely a limited budget. To choose wisely, prepare costings for your marketing in increments of quarterly, yearly and over 3 years.
Product-launch-case-study-marketing-toolbox
 
 Step 5: Illuminate The Pathway

A flexible approach to launching a product is the only way to succeed. Shining a light on the successes and failures of your product launch with a case study will benefit your brand immeasureably. Revising and refining the product progression will allow you to be confident about the future for your business.

 
Various marketing endeavours and sales channels will be pursued during the launch and over the lifetime of your product. The life cycle of a product is always changing. Understanding where your sit in this cycle is important to your next action.
 
Product-launch-case-study-life-cycle-graph
 
 
At this stage you should revisit where consumers are in the buying cycle for your product (Step 3). Consider where the bulk of your consumers are now. This will provide direction for your next marketing action plan. For example you may find your customers are spending a lot of time on Facebook and are in the Intent Phase. If this was the case then a Facebook advertising campaign would be helpful. Likewise if you consumers are at in the Purchase Phase then a Google Adwords Campaign or direct mail email strategy would likely deliver a spike in sales.
 
Assess what works. Stop doing what is not creating sales. Edit your range or rebrand if you need to. Start by looking at your marketing metrics. Check your website analytics, Google My Business and your own records. Always record the source and vehicle of each new enquiry. Once you have your metrics all in one place your can easily analyse what worked and adjust. Table of metrics does not need to be complicated, see example below.
 
Product-launch-case-study-analyse-chart
 
By tracking the enquiry source and activity outcome you will be able to target your marketing in an informed manner. Revising and really honing in on the figures can provide a myriad of learnings. It is worth the time to really embrace this phase!

Evolve Brand Design connects people to brands through design solutions based on USP driven concepts. If you are interested in discussing how you can improve your chances of a successful product launch, give me a call or email. I’d be happy to answer questions about launching your product.

 

For a free custom quote contact Renee.

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