Creating a new product really is like going through an out-of-body pregnancy and birth. You put everything you have into creating and nurturing this new little beast.
Designing, developing, prototypes, liaising, manufacturing, packaging, photography and more… So it’s only natural that you want to see it go gangbusters when it finally hits your store!
The last thing you want when you finally get it into your store is crickets.
By the time your product is finally ready to go you are probably just about over it, with very little left in the tank for talking it up.
However this is the crucial time when excitement needs to be created within your customer base. You want to encourage them at first to be curious and interested, and then make them WANT it!
So today, we’re going to do a little analysis and unpack a mega-successful launch.
Specifically, let’s look at how one HOT brand has nailed their product launch.
Building anticipation to epic proportions so that by the time the products hit the website fans are falling over each other to get what they want.
Sounds like every Productpreneur’s dream, right?
Blackmilk Clothing is an Australian brand creating edgy clothing.
Whether Blackmilk is your cup of tea or not is irrelevant right here, because we’re going to look at how they launched their recent product drop. “Hyperspace” is a collection of gym and active wear styled around their hugely successful galaxy print designs.
Here’s how the Hyperspace launch went down.
You want to study this, because this format tends to be used by BlackMilk for many of their releases.
Around one week before launch:
New collection is announced!
The BlackMilk Facebook page cover photo announces what the new collection is and gives a clue as to what fans can expect. There are also announcement posts on the BlackMilk Facebook and Instagram pages.
These posts set the mood and tone of the release and give a tiny sneak peek into the collection.
No details of particular pieces are shown as yet, which allows fans (“Sharkies”) to speculate in the comments of the posts, sending their social media into a flurry of engagement (increasing their reach further and further).
Fans also tag their friends in the post to make sure they don’t miss out on the news. The BlackMilk social media crew reply to questions without giving too much away: they are cryptic on specific designs and straightforward on fitting tips.
Their dynamic text inform fans that they will give a preview of the collection via Pinterest in 5 days time.
This preview on Pinterest is a clever tactic the brand always employs
By showing a preview of the new range on Pinterest, BlackMilk allows fans to plan their purchases in advance. And it gives the fans something to look forward to with anticipation.
I mean, who doesn’t love a sneak peek before product launch?
Something important to note: BlackMilk take the time to style and photograph their collections right on point.
Getting incredible photos of your product can take a chunk out of your bank balance, but it is money well spent!
And by interacting with their fans each and every day on different platforms they know what they want and they can give it to them. And the fans lap it up, with each collection selling out in the blink of an eye!
One week before launch:
Now that the stage has been set, BlackMilk keeps their fans’ interest right *up there* by posting about the new collection every day.
For this launch, it is a video giving sneak peeks at the pieces to be released. Music is pumping to set the mood and the video finishes with the drop date and time.
Again, BlackMilk’s social media team are fielding frantic questions from fans, but no specifics on pieces. Fans will get a little further peek at the collection when the Lookbook is released.
Talk about building up the anticipation, right?
At this point, BlackMilk has their fan base eating out of their hand and stalking their social media for ANY specific news on the new Hyperspace collection.
This is social media at its best!
6 days before launch:
As promised the Hyperspace Lookbook is released. Fans can browse images from the photoshoot and begin to plan their purchases.
No prices are given as yet and the social media posts announcing the Lookbook invite fans to return to the post after viewing it to engage in conversation about which pieces they love and want to buy.
There is a reminder that the entire, final Hyperspace collection will be on Pinterest in two days time. This is where fans find out for the first time exactly which pieces are in the launch and prices.
BlackMilk gives the fans a little and dangles a carrot of more in a day or two.
Encouraging conversation gives you extra reach for little effort.
Interestingly, this is the first day that an email is sent out about the new collection. Do make sure that you cover all your customers and fans communication points!
5 days before launch:
More sneak peeks! This time we are looking behind the scenes of the collection’s photoshoot.
More questions from fans and the level of anticipation goes up a little more. Another reminder of the drop day and time.
4 days before launch:
2 hour before the collection is launched on Pinterest, BlackMilk remind their fans that they’ll be able to view the entire collection and prices.
You might think that keeping a high level of interest for this long might be difficult, but when you create excitement and exclusivity around your product, fans can’t help but be drawn in.
Drip-feeding “sneak peeks” to your fans shares your excitement for the new product, but it also helps your fans to feel a part of your brand.
And we all know, customers who feel an affinity for your brand are the ones who keep coming back for more.
3/2/1 days before launch:
For the Hyperspace launch, these days were over a weekend and a Monday. Tease posts are given across Facebook and Instagram each day, with reminders of the drop date and time.
There are not only product posts, but also other images that reinforce the theme of the new collection.
BlackMilk don’t want their fans getting bored with looking at the same images all the time, so breaking that up with something different whilst also reinforcing the theme is crucial.
A quick BlackMilk voucher giveaway helps to keep their social media interesting and keeps fans interacting with their posts, keeping their reach nice and high!
This is the downhill stretch – keep your social media interesting and varied, but stick to the theme!
WOOHOO! It’s here!
Social media posts announce that the new collection will drop in a few hours time, asking if fans have prepared their lists of what they want?
Once the collection goes live there is an announcement and an invitation for fans to come and tell which pieces they have bought. This again helps to increase their reach and encourage fans to interact and feel a part of the brand.
Responses from the BlackMilk social media team encourage fans to post pictures of themselves wearing the products when they receive them, further encouraging engagement and a sense of belonging.
Just because they’ve bought a product doesn’t mean that’s the end.
Encouraging customers to share images once products are received fosters a group identity. It also provides a valuable testimonial for those yet to buy, turning browsers into buyers.
Anyone can use this strategy. (Yes, even you!)
“But,” I hear you say, “This is all well and good for a big brand with their own social media department! It’s just little old me here doing everything on my own!”
You don’t need to do everything exactly as BlackMilk has here. Indeed, this is just one example of how one brand does a product launch very well. (We’ll feature more similar stories over the coming months!)
What you can do is take these ideas and plan your next product launch with the same degree of awareness that you have put into the development of the product itself.
Think about how you can build anticipation and excitement with your own customer base.
Then go back to your customer avatar and work out what will appeal to them, then build your campaign around that.
Go gangbusters on launch day!
Want a little bit of BlackMilk sales success for yourself?
BlackMilk nails their marketing and their new collection launches every single time. And one of the reasons for their success is that they are very clear on their unique selling proposition (USP).
They know what makes them different from their competition. Their product designs and fabric patterns are so different and so unique, it’s impossible for people NOT to talk about them!
BlackMilk’s USP is: Bold and outrageous products that you only buy from them, plus access to a community of likeminded individuals (Sharkies!).
Download my free guide, “Discover Your USP”