product launch process

Tips for designing a product launch process for your CPG brand

Establishing the right product launch process is less about getting the product in front of everyone and more about connecting with the right consumers. Targeting is critical as consumers don’t like to change brands, statistically choosing the same 150 products over and over again. The marketing of a new product should be able to intrigue and break the habits of consumers who are accustomed to buying the same products. Mobile marketing avenues can create this opportunity while helping brands target household decision-makers willing to try a new product.

The CPG category is particularly challenging for new product launches, with as much as 75% of new releases failing to earn at least $7.5 million in the first four years. There’s no accurate way to determine if a product is going to resonate with consumers, so in many cases, products will flounder for no definable reason. However, by establishing a strong product launch process built on targeted mobile marketing, brands can increase their likelihood of success.  

Deciding Whether to Target Brand Loyalists or Aim at a Broader Market

The first part of the product launch process for a brand is determining whether to approach a new market of consumers or focus on brand loyalists. Both strategies have their benefits in specific situations. When choosing which group to target, brands should ask a few questions, including:

  • Is it a temporary product? Some new products aren’t designed to last long-term, like seasonal items for the holidays. The window to launch is much shorter for these products. In this case, targeting an existing, established audience with offers to try a product provides a faster response. We see an example of this with Starbuck’s loyalty program and how it uses its app to promote seasonal and temporary coffee offerings to existing, loyal consumers.  
  • Does it meet a unique need? Consider the current keto coffee trend. While the coffee market is extensive, the keto coffee market is much smaller. As such, a coffee brand rolling out a keto offering would want to focus its marketing on a broader demographic than just its loyal followers. This way, the brand can target potential consumers on keto diets, rather than only coffee drinkers who may have no interest in keto.
  • Is it rolling out in a new geographical market? Nestle took a broad market approach when the company chose to release its instant coffee in China. The brand was able to take advantage of a massive sales increase when the market gained about 1 billion yuan in value. As they were reaching out to an entirely new demographic, casting a wide net for the audience was necessary.

Targeting broad markets is a volume-based approach to brand recognition which can be costly. However, solely focusing on loyal users of a brand’s other products limits awareness. Data and third-party apps can often bridge the gap and help brands connect with consumers on an individual basis even during mass-marketing campaigns.

Partnering With Third-Party Developers in the Product Launch Process

product launch process tipsBrands will find that their most loyal users typically drive the growth of a new product. However, those loyal brand followers may not be numerous enough to guarantee a product’s success. Partnering with third-party app developers can help brands reach new audiences with higher loyalty potential. These third-party apps use many tactics to inspire this loyalty, including:

  • Incentivization: Shopkick uses incentives to create positive brand impressions in the store. Consumers use the app to collect rewards points for finding, engaging with, and purchasing products. These rewards drive ongoing use of the app and improve the overall impression of partner brands.
  • Priming: Most shopping apps encourage consumers to physically handle products by scanning UPCs with their phone’s camera. When feeling the product, the likelihood of purchase increases. As consumers receive the reward for scanning the UPC, they are likely to attribute the incentive to the brand, which also builds brand affinity.  
  • Consumer targeting: Third-party apps allow brands to connect with new audiences as they give them access to users of the app. These brands also benefit from the aggregate data the app provides, which helps them understand key signals of purchase intent and how to use them in their marketing strategies.  
  • Location-based marketing:  Another benefit of third-party apps is the ability to reach consumers based on where they are. Brands rolling out a new product can give consumers timely updates when they’re in a location which carries it. This strategy helps guide the consumer through the purchase funnel and provides insight on the best geographic markets for brands.

There are many strong arguments for each, and brands can gain the benefits of both by partnering with third-party apps.

The product launch process should include a thorough review of whether the brand should focus on loyal users or seek out new markets. There are many strong arguments for each, and brands can gain the benefits of both by partnering with third-party apps. Brands can connect with developers who offer the ability to incentivize consumers to engage with their products in the shopping aisle. Mobile app strategies can increase sales enough to help a brand cultivate long-term, sustainable success for a new offering.

Shopkick helps our partners reach a wide audience of active shoppers with their new product offerings. To leverage our app as part of your product launch strategy, contact us.

Image courtesy of Rawpixel



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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.