SHOT Show kicks off in a few weeks in Las Vegas, and gun aficionados, dealers, media, shooting enthusiasts, and other industry professionals worldwide will be in attendance. Product launches are always a highlight of any SHOT Show, and this year is no exception.
Unfortunately, most brands will manage their launches without adhering to a few proven methods that lead to a successful product launch. In my research and experience, there tend to be three key factors that determine the success of any product launch in the outdoor, hunting and shooting sports industry.
Although it may be too late for you to make any changes now for SHOT 2023, the following post will delve deeper into these three factors and how to apply them when planning your product launch later this year or for SHOT 2024.
Note: Before you get to any of the below, it is vitally important for brands to have done their due diligence before launching a new product. Researching the market, understanding consumer needs, and anticipating buying trends are essential to ensure you’re not wasting time and money on a product no one wants.
1. Add Value and Activate Your Buyers
The first factor to consider in a product launch is to add value and activate your buyers (or email list). Begin by engaging with your target audience through various marketing channels and tactics by cultivating curiosity and piquing their interest in the product idea before the launch.
Utilize a a pre-launch campaign that builds excitement before the reveal and gives customers a chance to share input and what they can expect. It also allows companies to build relationships with potential customers or partners during the development process, which adds another layer of value to your launch efforts. People buy into what they invest in. This premise is the same reason crowd funding sites like Kick Starter are so popular.
Here are four ways how to add value before your launching
- Survey your email list on what they want
- Tease your new product idea through email and social media
- Get influencers to survey and ask their networks about certain aspects of your product: color, shape, function, benefits etc.
- Write a series of articles stating the current problem and the solution you are considering solving
Track engagement and feedback and make adjustments early before investing heavily in your launch.
2. Create Hype and Desire Before Availability
Top Gun opened early this year and grossed huge box office numbers due to the high levels of hype and desire created before its release. The same principle applies for product launches. Companies must create the hype and generate desire for their product with consumers before revealing it; otherwise, interest may be low and short-lived.
Top Gun Trailer
A few ways to create hype and desire before the reveal include:
- Develop a story around the product that is compelling and interesting
- Leverage content marketing to create interest and discussion
- Use influencers or celebrity endorsements to generate buzz
- Use social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter to share sneak peeks of the product
Most companies just add their product to their website and send a press release to media outlets, but it’s important to think outside the box and try to create desire before launch.
SilencerCo’s 2015 Product Teaser
3. Law of Limited Supply or Scarcity
The law of limited supply or scarcity is the third factor to consider when launching a product. Companies must create a sense that the product is in high demand and low supply to drive pre-launch interest. Scarcity can be accomplished by limiting access to certain product versions or making it available for a limited time only. Here are a few ideas:
- Price increase
- Limited runs
- Exclusive availability
- Early access/pre-order incentives
- Social media pre-launch contests with exclusive gifts, discounts, and prizes
These all create a sense that the product is highly sought after, creating high anticipation for the launch. It also encourages customers to take action sooner rather than later to get their hands on your new product. People want what they can’t have.
Springfield Hellcat Release Video
In conclusion, when planning a successful product launch, brands must remember the three key factors that influence success:
- Adding value and activate your buyers
- Creating hype and desire before availability
- Leveraging the law of limited supply or scarcity
With these in mind, industry brands can ensure that their products get off to a great start in 2023 and have ample time to prepare for SHOT Show in 2024 and beyond!
Most product launches are uncoordinated, fall flat and do not reflect the investment, time and effort you put into developing your product.
- Launch, by Jeff Walker, 2021
- Photography by Chris Dorsey