A product launch event can be a highly effective way to introduce a new product, but that’s not all a successful in-person or virtual product launch can accomplish. Make a big splash, and it can also raise your brand profile and even attract new customers. To make your event plan work, it’s important to target the right audience and use creative product launch event ideas to show off your product and your brand to their best advantage. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression—and a product launch is your chance to make that first impression the best it can be.
Step 1: Find Your Audience
For any product launch event, the most important part of your audience—aside from the press—are the people who you hope will become customers. And not just any customers. It should speak directly to the people who are most likely to buy and talk about this product right away. Once you have that customer demographic nailed down, you can expand to other markets. But first, it’s best to concentrate on the buyer persona most likely to make a purchase.
This is important for two reasons:
- Focusing on multiple buyer personas can water down the strength of your brand messaging.
- For a successful product launch, it’s important that lots of people buy, use, and love the product right away. Focusing on the most-likely customers is how you ensure that happens.
- This strategy gives you word-of-mouth and customer testimonials, which work as social proof for people who are more hesitant about making purchases.
Know Thine Audience
Step 2: Develop Your Brand Messaging
Another important aspect of launching a new product is brand and product messaging. There are a few different elements to prioritize here.
- Audience: Who is your audience? What aspects of their lives are relevant to your product? What do they care about, and what problems do they have? Most importantly, what problems do they have that your product can solve?
- Brand: What aspects of your brand are relevant to your target audience? How can your brand forge a personal connection with your audience?
- Product: What are the key takeaways about the product? What does your audience need to know about it to know they need it?
Use Storytelling to Connect with Your Audience
Crafting narrative stories is often a better strategy than listing a product’s benefits and features. For a product launch, this typically means the story of the product: how it was developed and designed, where ingredients or materials were sourced, and other factors that make the product what it is. Stories that focus on people testing and using the product can also be effective.
Step 3: Build Momentum with a Pre-Launch Marketing Campaign
The pre-event marketing campaign has a number of uses:
- Expanding your audience reach
- Building interest in the product
- Building momentum and excitement for the event itself
The pre-launch campaign could last a few days, weeks, or even months, depending on the nature of the product and the accompanying event.
Use Social Media Content to Generate Interest
Your brand’s social media channels are the ideal venue for pre-launch marketing. Use whichever channels have the best engagement and audience reach. That could be Facebook or Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter, or a combination of multiple platforms.
Use a variety of content types, including text, images, and video in your social media strategy. Focus on keeping attendees engaged and getting them excited about the product. For instance, you can post teasers about the product and behind-the-scenes video clips and run social media contests. These are all great for building social media hype and spreading the word.
Create a Hashtag
An official hashtag is useful to keep all your product and event-related social media content organized. More importantly, it helps your audience follow along with the product story. While the hashtag might be most useful for the event itself, it’s best to start using it with the commencement of your social media campaign. That gives your audience time to get used to and remember the hashtag, so when you launch the product, it’s already a familiar phrase. That familiarity can help ensure more people use and follow the hashtag at the launch event.
Event Hashtag Strategy
Start a Pre-Launch Countdown
For existing consumer brands that already have a big following, teasing a new product on social media can be a highly effective way of building interest. If you have a sizeable following of die-hard brand fans, this is often enough to ensure a big audience for the actual launch.
A countdown mini-event can be a great way to tease a product while building momentum because the act of counting down generates momentum all by itself. This can be done on social media or in an email campaign. Count down each day for a week, or up to a month, before the actual product launch. And create a stream of content ideas that lets you feed bite-sized pieces of content each day as the countdown gets lower. For instance, you might start off with teasers that tell the audience a new product is on the way. Then each day of the countdown, add a new detail about the product. Over the duration, audiences will slowly learn what the product is and what it’s all about.
This approach doesn’t work for all brands. For some B2B products, it’s not effective to tease a product in this way because professional customers don’t want to waste valuable time waiting to find out if a product is useful to them or not. It can work for a new iteration of an existing product, for a big brand with an established audience.
Use your social media channels to stage one or more competitions, with branded swag and product giveaways. Depending on the event, prizes could even include VIP invitations.
Step 4: Throw an Amazing Event
Pre-launch marketing is one side of the product launch coin; the event itself is the other. With some unforgettable product launch event ideas, you can make it one to remember.
The Guest List
It’s important to be thoughtful about the guest list for a product launch event. It’s not just fans, customers, and users of the product that you want to impress. For a product launch, guests might include:
- Members of the press
- Industry leaders
Choosing an Event Venue
A venue is more than just a place to hold an event. The right combination of event, theme, and décor is an important part of your overall strategy because it servs as a backdrop for your product. The event venue choice should reflect not just the nature of the product, but also the preferences and tastes of your target demographic and the type of event you’re holding. That could mean choosing a special location or building such as a museum, art gallery, or botanical garden. Or it could mean choosing a venue that allows for special effects such as lighting or virtual reality. However, it’s important to make sure that your product is still the star of the show. Your venue should be a supporting player, not the main event.
Perfect Venue for Your Next Event
The Event Experience
Your pre-launch marketing campaign is designed to project a certain image of the product to your target audience. Whatever that image is, the event itself should reflect it and expand on it. If your marketing campaign was polished and professional, the event should be too. If it was exciting, colorful, and dynamic, the event should reflect those qualities. Think of your pre-launch strategy as setting expectations. If the reality doesn’t match up to the expectations you set, your audience may be disappointed.
Memorable product launch events typically involve one or more activities that are themed around the product or brand, plus opportunities for guests to watch product demos or try the product out for themselves. This is another reason why it’s so important to understand your target demographic: It helps you choose themes and activities that resonate with those people.
When designing a product launch event, some points to consider should include:
- Theme: The theme of an event is the overlaying concept that ties it all together. Picking a theme helps you create a cohesive message that integrates the venue, décor, and entertainment with the product. When choosing a theme, consider your event goals, audience, and brand, along with the product itself.
- Décor: From wall backdrops and step-backs to table décor, lighting, and other visual elements, all can help promote the theme and product. Including interesting and engaging visual elements can also encourage people to take photos for social media.
- Entertainment: A live band or other high-energy live performance can be a great way to hype up an audience. But if you want to convey professionalism, a keynote or presentation is a great alternative. There are lots of options in between, from acoustic performances to illusionists to comedians.
- Activities: While the product is the main focus, it’s always good to include other activities, especially if they provide photo-ops or media interactions. A photo booth is a great way to combine all three, by letting people take staged photos then post them to social media using your event hashtag.
- Product: How do you want guests to interact with your product? Depending on the product in question, this could mean product demonstrations or inspections or hands-on product testing. It’s not always feasible to let guests use or handle the product, but they should at least be able to inspect it closely.
A Creative Product Launch Event Elevates a Product
Hosting a product launch event can be a hugely effective way to introduce a new product. But to craft a successful launch, whether it’s in person or a virtual product launch event, you must bring together the perfect combination of elements to hit just the right note. With some well-thought-out, creative product launch event ideas and the help of an expert team like ProGlobalEvents, you can start planning and ensure your next launch is a hit.