How to create brand awareness—and excitement—for new products

A new product launch is an exciting, but also nerve-inducing, event for any CPG brand. You’ve done market research and held focus groups—and you believe that you have a product that will resonate with consumers. However, even big data can’t guarantee a successful launch. For that, you need a powerful marketing campaign that will excite and engage your target audience.

creating brand awareness for a new product launchKnowing how to generate brand awareness for new products requires, above all, knowing your market. There are virtually millions of CPG products on the shelves for consumers to choose from; a successful launch is increasingly dependent on taking a digital approach in order to break through the noise of a crowded marketplace. And that means leveraging mobile platforms and social media to create buzz.

Many brands have been able to proactively gain attention for new products on a national or even global level, and thereby achieve a successful debut. Let’s explore how you can adapt one such brand’s tested strategies to ensure your own product launch sees similar results.

How to Create Brand Awareness and Buzz for New Products and Marketplaces

Whether you’re introducing a new product into an existing market or pushing an established product into an untapped market, the one thing that product needs is buzz. While the word is short, the path to earning it is not. In fact, it’s estimated that only 15% of new products succeed in the CPG industry. Brands that have faced this challenge head-on and launched a breakthrough product typically have this one thing in common: they got consumers engaged.

Let’s consider the case of Milk-Bone’s Brushing Chews. The company identified a common problem, canine dental health, and reached out to partners who could help them solve it. Prior to the product’s launch, the brand worked with several retailers to customize their message based on the demographics of the retailers’ audiences. They also spearheaded a social media campaign focused on pet dental health with the help of veterinary professionals to gain credibility and help to drive interest. In one year, sales for the product topped $50 million.

The brand successfully created brand awareness for a new product launch by:

  • Solving a universal problem: Pet parents rarely brush their pet’s teeth as it’s a challenge both for the owner and the pet. Milk-Bone saw this dilemma and capitalized on it to launch a new product that turned a task into a reward.
  • Building a social media campaign: The company used a series of online videos featuring their mascots Ted and Rudy, a man and his beloved dog. The videos featured an engaging duo demonstrating the product; viewers were excited to share and comment on it.
  • Creating mutually beneficial partnerships: Veterinarians were the first to raise concerns about the lack of dental care for pets, so Milk-Bone decided to work with them to get the word out about their toothbrush-esque product. Milk-Bone was able to get the support of these industry leaders while veterinarians received a solution to a problem they saw every day.

Through these marketing efforts, Milk-Bone was able to roll out a new CPG product launch that was one of the most successful in the sector in 2014. They gained popularity and sales for their product by focusing on the common needs of their target audience.

Adapting Milk-Bone’s Strategy to Create a Successful Product Launch

It should be noted that Milk-Bone was up against some tough competition. Their competitors’ products, however, tended to be marketed as medicinal, rather than as treats. Milk-Bone created a niche presence for themselves and leveraged partnerships with trusted industry professionals to spread a powerful message.

Regardless of the product your company is selling, you can adapt some of their strategies to improve your own launch and build brand awareness:

  • Bend categories: Milk-Bone is a company that primarily provides dog treats. However, with the rollout of their brushing chews, they moved into the health category. As they were the most dog-friendly option in the health category, they became a go-to option for many pet owners. Launching a product is often easier when you’re the stand out among a fixed group of competitors. Find your product’s unique selling point and use it to compete in a less aggressive category.
  • Leverage social media: Milk-Bone rolled out their new product on several platforms, including social media. Their online videos, in particular, resonated with pet owners. Video advertising can generate a high ROI and can be a great tool for building buzz and engagement among consumers before your product even hits the retail shelves.
  • Create partnerships: You don’t necessarily have to work with industry experts to carve out a place for yourself in a crowded market, you just need to find a partner that consumers already trust. Shopping apps are a great tool for CPG companies as they help spread your brand’s message to a wider and active audience and help you build the buzz you need for a successful product launch. They allow you to travel with the consumer through the ever-increasing shopping aisle, providing more powerful opportunities for in-the-moment messaging.

By taking a unique slant with your product and marketing it through digital avenues, you can gain more attention and brand awareness for your next product launch. Partnerships, like the ones you build with shopping rewards apps, can also help get the word out about your product to gain consumer’s interest. These apps can give you access to a new audience of consumers who are already engaged—and ready to help create buzz for your next product.

Shopkick is a popular shopping reward apps with partners and consumers alike. Our partners have found success in reaching new audiences and launching new products. To learn more, contact our team today.

Image courtesy Olivier Le Moal

Retail shopping apps for iPhone and Android to kick off your savings

I’m a huge fan of playing fantasy football on my iPhone. I’m in a league with my old college buddies and we offer our yearly champion a little reward: we all pitch in to buy the winner a gift card to his or her favorite store. It’s a nice little incentive, but let me tell you, if you break it down by the many, many, many hours you have to spend making roster moves and setting your lineup, the reward is relatively small compared to the time investment.

iPhone retail apps save money shoppingHey, that’s okay! Win or lose, fantasy football is just plain fun. Plus, these days I’ve discovered other apps for my phone that can help me earn bigger and better rewards with much less time and energy (not to mention nail-biting anxiety) than it takes to capture first place in my super competitive fantasy football league. I’m talking about an awesome concept we can all root for: retail shopping apps for iPhone and Android that help you get paid to shop.

Now I’m hauling in rewards for all kinds of stuff I’ve been doing forever, like buying all the latest electronics, getting new clothes, and even shopping for paper towels. These retail shopping apps for my iPhone even pay me for buying groceries. Crazy. Crazy but true. And now I want to share my favorite shopping rewards apps with you, because, unlike a super competitive fantasy football league, we’re all on the same team here!

How Retail Shopping Apps for iPhone and Android Work

I think the biggest learning curve when it comes to fantasy football is how the apps work. I mean, I already knew a ton about football and which players are the best, but learning the ins and outs of how the fantasy football app itself worked took some time. The first season I played, I was shocked when my lineup locked at game time and I couldn’t acquire any new players until the following Wednesday.

So, let’s start by going over how retail shopping apps work. A lot of stores have branded apps as well, but we’re going to focus today on shopping rewards apps you can use at lots of different stores because those are the ones I use the most—and the good news is that they’re all incredibly easy to use!

The exact mechanics of how they work can sometimes vary depending on which one you decide to use, but all my favorites basically function like this: you get points for the shopping that you already do and then you trade those points in for rewards, usually in the form of gift cards. The app I use gives me points for buying featured products and taking a picture of my receipt, for scanning barcodes, and even for just walking into some of my favorite stores. It’s even more awesome than my Seahawks winning the Superbowl a few years ago (maybe).

The Top Benefits of Retail Shopping Apps for iPhones and Androids

I still remember the day when my buddy in college recruited me into his fantasy football league. I was skeptical—super skeptical. It just seemed like it would be a lot of hassle and take up way too much of my time. I was there to meet people and study, after all (mostly study, I swear!). My buddy laid it on pretty thick, though, by emphasizing how much fun it would make watching football every week, something I knew I was going to do either way. That was a really convincing argument. I mean, how can you say no to something that improves and enhances something you’re already doing?

Well, that all pretty much sums up my case for why you should embrace using retail shopping apps for your iPhone or Android: it enhances something you know you’re going to be doing already. I’m talking about shopping. You can’t avoid it, so you might as well get rewarded for doing it.

I touched on some of my favorite benefits of using a shopping rewards app above, but like the details of any epic fantasy football win, I don’t mind talking about them again:

  • #1: You’ll get paid to shop. Using a shopping rewards app scores me points for my budget while I’m at Target, Best Buy, or the grocery store—even online. It’s as simple as this: I have to shop for essentials (and tech accessories, of course) anyway, so why not haul in some big rewards for doing it?
  • #2: You’ll earn gift cards to your favorite stores: I love having gift cards to my favorite stores because, believe it or not, I actually keep a pretty careful budget. Having a gift card feels like I’m getting things for free. That’s why my second favorite benefit for retail shopping apps is that all the best ones let you trade your points in for free gift cards to stores like Amazon, Starbucks, and Walmart.
  • #3: You’ll feel like shopping is a game: I don’t mind shopping, but I also don’t love it—not until recently, at least. Now that I use retail shopping apps, there’s a challenge involved, though: how many points can I accumulate in one trip? It turns everyday shopping trips into a scavenger hunt. I’m a fan.

The Best Retail Shopping Apps for iPhone and Android

I think my long-time fantasy football league has now used three different platforms over the years to keep track of our rosters: Yahoo, ESPN, and CBS Sports. They all have different features, so it was kind of confusing each time we switched; in retrospect, I kind of wish we’d just picked one and stuck with it. That’s actually what my advice is to you with retail shopping apps: find one you love and stick with it (although you can also use multiple rewards apps to maximize your rewards, but that’s a different ballgame).

My personal favorite is an app called Shopkick. I’ve tried a few others, but I love this one because it’s super simple, it pays out in gift cards to all my favorite stores, and it gives me chances to score points, called kicks, at almost every turn, starting when I walk into the store. Shopkick has really maximized my shopping game with a single mobile app, kind of like how the Patriots would be nothing without a certain QB. One major difference between Shopkick and fantasy football, though, is that there are rarely heartbreaking defeats or subsequent trash talk.

Shopkick is super simple, pays out in gift cards to all my favorite stores, and gives me chances to score points

So yeah, I highly recommend taking out your iPhone or Android and downloading Shopkick. And fantasy football season is the perfect time to do it. There have been a ton of weekends when I’ve scored serious shopping points by stocking up on snacks before having my old buddies over to watch a game. Shopkick will definitely help you kick off your next shopping trip—and that’s no fantasy.

Ready to put down the fantasy football and pickup retail shopping apps for iPhone and Android? Download Shopkick for free and join a community of loyal Shopkickers who’ve already discovered the rewards of shopping with us!

And, if you love using your smartphone to stay up on social media, join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for daily shopping inspiration.

Image courtesy Rido81