One of the questions we get most often at SKU from our founders is about how to successfully launch a new product. Although there’s no magic bullet, there are some tactics that have worked for many emerging brands.
We talked with Austin marketing guru Chris Kocek from Gallant Branding to get some of his top tips for CPG founders to increase the chances for success. Gallant’s clients include such brands as Nada Moo!, Brainjuice and Richard’s Rainwater.
It’s got to Taste Good
So start with the basics. Make a product that tastes great. Make sure it’s priced appropriately. And make sure it’s in the right place in-store. If all of those elements are spot on, then the following strategies and tactics will help you get one step closer to launching your product successfully.
Sample. Sample. Sample
Experiencing is believing. So before your product launches on store shelves, you need to earmark plenty of product to send out to a wide variety of audiences – influencers, media outlets, etc. If they say it’s amazing, then other people will want to try it. It may not be the most glamorous thing in the world, but list-building is one of the most overlooked parts of a successful product launch, so start by building an organized list of people, outlets, and organizations who can help you spread the word.
Promos and Coupons
It’s not enough to just sample your product. You also have to offer discounts. That means consistent in-store promos and an effective coupon distribution strategy. Also, see what other promo opportunities are available inside the retailer’s marketing ecosystem. Newsletters. Apps. Promotional flyers. The closer your discounts are to the point of sale (e.g. in-store or near-store), the more likely people will buy your product.
Coordinate Your Campaigns
During those promo periods, you want to maximize awareness of the sale. That means running paid digital ads against the right target audiences, updating your website to let visitors know where your product is on sale, and working with influencers who specialize in highlighting particular retailers.
Measure and Optimize
With a new product launch, you typically have anywhere from 3 to 6 months to achieve the velocities the retailer is looking for. That means from week number one, you need to be tracking your sample packages, paid media reach/impressions, digital coupon downloads, coupon redemptions, and sales. If certain tactics aren’t working, adjust budgets and efforts as necessary.