Ready for take-off – Launching a product the way Apple does
When it comes to launching a new product, there a few major players who have shaken up the way a brand introduces a new product to the market, none more so than Apple.
It’s safe to say that Apple has set the bar high when it comes to product launches. Clever marketing strategies combined with eye catching visuals have ensured the world is eagerly awaiting any new products, and sometimes even software updates, whenever Apple dangles a carrot.
Like a lone tree falling in the forest, if you launch a product without making some noise, will anyone notice? We doubt it. Whether you’re launching something big or small, or simply updating a product, you will want to start prepping well in advance.
From creating advertising content, informing your current customers to creating media interest, it can all seem a little overwhelming. The Zakazukha team has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to launching a new product, so let’s dive straight into our six top tips for a product launch campaign.
Solve a problem through story telling
Apple makes you feel part of their journey. How do they do it? When launching the first iPhone back in 2007, Apple positioned themselves as a solution to a common problem. As part of the launch strategy, Steve Jobs announced:
“Regular cell phones are not so smart and they are not so easy to use. Smartphones are a little smarter, but are harder to use. They are really complicated…we want to make a leapfrog product, way smarter than any mobile device has ever been and super easy to use. This is what iPhone is.” Steve Jobs
It’s sounds like an oxymoron, but Apple’s solution was to create a smarter, yet simpler smartphone. This resonated with consumers, told a clear story and solved the issue many customers experienced, which was becoming overwhelmed and frustrated by other smart phones.
Zakazukha recently helped our client Ipromea with a new product launch. As an established business who sells and distributes pet probiotics and treats, Ipromea was planning on adding a new cat specific probiotic to their list of products. Like Apple, we looked at the problem and the solution and then crafted a strategic approach.
Like humans, cats have their own unique microbiome, and with their digestive system making up around 80% of their immune defence, gut health should be a top priority.
When the bacteria in your cat’s microbiome is unbalanced, health issues like diarrhoea, diabetes, gum disease or skin problems may appear.
Many pet owners are becoming more educated about the benefits of helping their pets maintain good gut health. Additionally, many pet owners are looking at alternatives to medication and seeking ways to ensure their cat’s health is in top condition.
Ipromea has experienced great success with their product range, but the focus has been primarily on dog products. With around 30% of Australian households owning a pet cat, there was clearly a need for a cat specific probiotic that was palatable to even the fussiest of eaters.
Using scientific research, Ipromea has created Paw n Purr, a cat specific clean treat containing probiotics that’s suitable for all cat breeds.
Create a catchy campaign headline
When it comes to a product launch, seamlessly pinpointing what the product intention is a key component for success.
When Apple launched the iPhone their headline was:
Apple reinvents the phone.
With four words, this headline was catchy, simple yet powerful. If there’s anything to take away from this campaign, it’s that it perfectly captures and promotes the brand’s purpose, promise and vision.
Paw N Purr
For their new product, Ipromea used the headline Probiotic Cat Clean Treats.
When a consumer reads the headline, there is no confusion. It’s instantly apparent that the product is suitable for cats, contains probiotics and is a clean treat. It is what it is; simple, clear and powerful.
Nurture your supporters and create hype
If a brand is already established, the first step to launching a new product is to nurture the audience you already have. Show them you care about them and involve them in the process.
Send out emails to your mailing list of VIP customers to let them know the product is arriving soon. Involve them in your product trials and show them behind the scenes snippets.
Apple has a way of creating suspense when it comes to a product launch through clever use of words. The company rarely explains what the product does, but talks about what the product might do which, in turn creates anticipation, speculation and conversation.
A Sneak peak
We were able to nurture the Ipromea audience through their social media channels and eDMs prior to the launch.
During the three months leading up to the launch, we would include a little snippet in regular eDM’s talking about how the Ipromea family was growing and that they are working hard behind the scenes to bring their customers a new product.
As the launch date came closer, we would share new hints, such as a photo of a cat to create some hype around the product.
In the week leading up to the launch, we shared a daily post about cats called the seven rules of cat ownership. We never said at this point what the product was but created a fairly clear story of what it might be.
Get media attention
It’s important to create a product that people want to show off. Believe or not, Apple has a smaller advertising budget than their competitors Microsoft.
Unlike many companies, Apple never pays for their product to appear in movies or on TV and has become so entrenched in popular culture, the products pretty much advertise themselves.
Creating a media tactic
Generating media interest when launching a new product simply comes down to the same old story. Having a problem and finding a solution to the problem.
Media is a great way to generate exposure for your brand and you never know who may pick up on that product and want to try it.
It can be tricky getting media attention when it comes to products, so it’s important to have a good angle, supply solid evidence why the product works and back it up with statistics, peer reviews or influential people in the industry who are willing to give quotes.
In the case of Ipromea, we were able to generate media interest by creating a media release based on the number of pets presenting to vets with various health issues. We interviewed Dr Claire Steven’s who is a veterinarian and has used the Ipromea products. She has also done her own research on gut health and the impact it can have on a cat’s health.
Pressing the go button
If you’ve done all the footwork, the actual product launch should come off somewhat seamlessly and effortlessly. Of course, a huge corporation such as Apple probably spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on launch parties etc, which isn’t realistic for most businesses.
If you’ve created the hype, generated good messaging and created enough anticipation, your customers are likely to be sitting on their phones waiting for you to press go.
The Zakazukha team spent months behind the scenes preparing for the product launch. We built anticipation through various outlets, sought media attention, and nurtured Ipromea’s existing audience.
We launched the product at the end of the week called “cat week.’ The product was introduced first on the website, followed by an eDM to the customer base and then supported with engaging social media posts and videos.
After the launch to Ipromea’s database, we then set up a paid advertising campaign across social media platforms.
Post launch strategy
After all the buzz, it’s important to have a post launch strategy. If you plan on introducing other products later down the track, it’s essential to assess what did and didn’t work and how you could improve.
There are some clever tools you can use to track site visits, email campaigns and social media success, so make the most of it and make sure you analyse the statistics after.
A few tips for a post launch campaign are:
- Set up retargeting campaigns to target those who clicked on your advertisements, but didn’t actually buy the product (perhaps by offering a discount or by sending them a little reminder email)
- Ask for feedback and reviews
- If the product is a consumable product, set up auto emails to past customers to remind them to top up their products after a certain amount of time has passed
Summing it all up
Whether you’re an established business or a brand new one, launching a new product can feel very overwhelming and there is a lot of planning to ensure it’s success.
A good marketing team, a decent timeframe and a good product is key to a successful launch. From graphic design, PR and digital marketing campaigns, Zakazukha have got you covered.