Launches are hugely important, and brands that do it right see much greater success, according to a new study.
Whether you’re introducing a new fragrance for men, unveiling the latest model in your automotive line, or promoting the premiere of a blockbuster film, how you launch to the public makes a huge difference in how successful these products, services, or brand messages ultimately become.
Done well, launches can stimulate interest, generate buzz, and boost sales. When executed poorly, however, they can tarnish a brand’s reputation.
How crucial is a launch strategy? To find out, Twitter teamed up with Bain & Company (@BainAlerts). Their findings suggest that making the appropriate kind of splash is crucial to the long-term success of a product, service, or message. In a world where hundreds of new goods are presented every day, a successful launch is critical.
According to Bain, the number of product launches surged by 27% on average per company in 2018 compared to the previous year, with the food and beverage industry alone launching 55 new goods every day.
At the same time, our research discovered that the window of opportunity for successful launches is rapidly closing; things that don’t show their worth through strong early sales are withdrawn from shelves, new services lose traction, and brand messaging fade faster than before.
Despite the market’s tremendous changes, Bain found that more than half of the companies it examined haven’t adjusted their launch techniques much in the last two decades. Those who have used a smart strategy to launch, on the other hand, are reaping the benefits.
In our study, brands that consistently implemented the best practices had revenue growth rates 1.5 to 2 times higher than those that didn’t.
Twitter teamed up with Bain & Company earlier this year to figure out what aspects go into a successful launch. More than 650 senior marketing executives from big US brands were interviewed, and the key approaches of launch leaders — the top 15% of brands surveyed that reported successful launches, as well as revenue and market share increases in the previous year — were identified.
From this research, we identified five strategies that separated the launch leaders from the rest of the pack, and that had the greatest impact on successful launches:
1. Learn before you launch.
While many marketers still trust their intuition, launch leaders analyze and understand their target audience before the big reveal.
These leaders are 2.4 times more likely to conduct pre-launch social listening on sites such as Twitter, and as a result, they are more than twice as likely to grasp what connects with their target audience.
2. Own your voice.
Launch leaders are more than twice as likely to express a distinct point of view during a launch and create an emotional connection with their audience.
This helps them stand out from more cautious competitors. But authenticity is important; social listening can play a key role in crafting a message that looks and feels real.
3. Influence > reach.
Launch leaders know the value of sharing resonant messaging with the people most likely to distribute their content; they also know the power of sharing resonant messages with the people most likely to disseminate their content.
Leaders understand the importance of viral material, which is why they’re 2.4 times more likely to develop shareable collateral, which aids in the launch’s success.
4. Go big on the reveal.
Launches are not the time for timidity. The most effective product, service, or brand message launches use numerous channels at the same time and invest more substantially in the early stages of the launch, particularly on day one.
The most effective launchers use an average of six channels, including digital social media like Twitter, display ads, and paid search, as well as traditional print, direct mail, and public relations campaigns.
5. Prepare to pivot.
Few things in life go according to plan, and product launches are no exception. That’s why, during a launch, launch leaders are roughly three times more likely to maintain a careful check on every channel and change their approach as needed.
However, having the proper people on board is essential; launch leaders are 2.5 times more likely to have analytics professionals on hand and to coordinate operations across marketing departments.
The whitepaper from Bain can be downloaded to learn more about this study.
Bain interviewed over 650 marketers and CMOs in the United States in April 2019, ranging in size from $10 million in revenue to multiple billions. The data was then utilized to identify the “leaders”—marketers who had a track record of successful launches as well as revenue and market share gains over the previous year.
Many Fortune 500 and 100 companies are represented throughout industries in the broader sample set, which includes both large and small businesses.
The “leader” model allows Bain to analyze not just how all companies are trending, but also to identify the behaviors of companies who are “winning” market share or revenue.
This methodology reveals both the strategies used by leaders and the methods that are the most significant differentiators for a certain skill.