From new brands launching their very first product to an established band that is looking to introduce something new to its product range, there are some lessons to be learned that provide a benchmark for marketing and branding best practices.
Branding Is A Social Experience And Conversation
One of the most important lessons to be learned from the launch of a new product is that the process of creating, marketing, and engaging with a brand is a two-way street—between the brand and its customer, not merely a broadcast from a company.
There is also data. You do remember data, right? In a great post entitled Three Ways Brands Should be Using Data Before a Product Launch on ebiquity.com the author astutely points out that in order for brands to “achieve success throughout product launches and their life cycles, it’s become more important for [them] to understand their audience, the market and competitive landscape, industry trends, and how to measure the effectiveness of marketing efforts.”
And one of those ways suggested is by gathering consumer feedback.
Maximum Marketing From Brand Ambassadors And Influencers
Other best practices for marketing and branding have worked well with new companies looking to gain traction in their industry and among their target audience. However, these best practices can also be leveraged by established brands for similar positive results.
Take, for example, a relatively new company called Future Motion and its primary product, Onewheel, which is an electric board sport product for individual transportation and entertainment. The innovative product had all the right ingredients for a winning business idea.
It addressed a problem that Future Motion CEO Kyle Doerksen saw others having in terms of a convenient way to commute that would work in all types of terrains and weather conditions. The technology was also available that could make a personal electric vehicle reliable and cost-effective.
What Doerksen quickly learned was that he could build out his brand at the same time he introduced the Onewheel with a very effective marketing tool known as brand ambassadors and influencers. The enthusiasm of Onewheel riders has propelled the product and brand within the company’s target audience.
However, it’s not only the enthusiasm of the everyday user, but success has also accelerated thanks to recognizable, unpaid brand ambassadors and influencers from the surf, snowboard and extreme sports world, not to mention numerous celebrities, including actors, entertainers and musicians such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Macklemore and Tony Hawk to name a few.
As Doerksen explained, “When others see people they admire riding the Onewheel, there is instant credibility for our product and brand. That’s all we need. People are sold and want to own one just like those they admire.”
Doerksen also realizes that a brand ambassador or influencer doesn’t necessarily have to be a recognizable face to serve the brand well. As he noted, “Every customer is a brand ambassador. They’re advocates for the Onewheel lifestyle. These riders turn heads and answer the questions of excited people who see the Onewheel for the first time. It they love what they see and hear how much the person riding it actually loves it, they will want to experience one for themselves. It’s an organic approach to marketing that continues to drive our growth.”
Branding And Marketing Lessons
Regardless of your brand’s age or stage, there are lessons to be learned that can be applied to any new product marketing effort that enhances revenues and brand reputations:
• Listen to customers as part of a conversation about your brand and product offering, including considering their feedback that could yield improvements, solidify their loyalty, and garner more customers.
• Focus on building customer relationships first as the foundation for building trust and of all marketing and branding tactics.
• Emphasize those aspects of your product that are solving a problem for the customer and link that solutions-oriented attribute to your brand.
• Leverage the influence your customers have with others by allowing them to market your brand and by providing ways where the customer can enjoy and promote your brand, and still provide valuable feedback.
@steveolenski is a writer who drinks too much coffee and knows a thing or two about marketing.