COVID-19 changed lives and business forever. Brands that had planned to introduce new products also decided to make when the pandemic was declared. Do they postpone the launch or go ahead anyway? United Sodas of America was one such brand that launched anyway and saw sales exceed pre-pandemic forecasts 500%. Ghia, another non-alcoholic beverage, postponed its March launch in restaurants to refocus on online sales beginning in June. Their new strategy resulted in hitting their pre-pandemic projections.
An earlier article reported on a study done after the pandemic began showing that more consumers were willing to try new products. Whether it was because they were quarantined or not is unknown. What other studies did show, however, is that more consumers relied on digital media for their searches and shopping than before, with many saying they would likely continue to do so after the pandemic is over. For companies thinking about launching a new product now, here are some tips to consider.
Customers are loyal for many reasons, and exclusive previews can be priceless. One reason is that they feel valued and special. Extending a special invitation for them to sample a product before it’s on the market is like inviting a loyal moviegoer to the preview of an upcoming movie. Not only are these loyal customers likely to purchase the new product, but they’ll also promote it within their own networks.
Who doesn’t like specials? Whether it’s BOGO or a discount or double points on the loyalty program, announcing a special introductory deal will generate excitement and sales. Reduced prices for a bundle of gifts for referrals also appeal. Just be sure to place a deadline on the offer to create a sense of urgency.
Brands with Google My Business accounts should take advantage by adding the new product on their “What’s New” and “Offer” posts. Also, be sure to add it as a new item in the product/services tab and include a photo.
Yet another option is hosting contests on social media. They’re fun and attract potential customers. A consumer survey by EasyPromos, a promotion and contest platform, showed that Facebook helped brands average 34% new customers per campaign. This could have a domino effect when applied on every platform on which the brand publishes. A good thing about contests is that it also provides brands with a valid excuse to follow up with customers by announcing the winner, his/her prize, etc., on every platform they announced the contest.
Email continues to be a reliable channel to get the word out about a new product. Open rates remain high among subscribers, especially when the brand’s logo and name are clearly displayed and a pre-header text is employed. Highlighting the offer in the subject line can also help generate interest.
And if it’s not already being done, publish a blog that goes in-depth about the new offering. Include its features and benefits. And to leverage its reach, including the link to the blog on all brand’s other social media sites as well as in emails.