By Sue Bradbrook, Managing Director, Bradbrook and Wills

Are you the business that has done the hard work of developing your new product? It might be ground breaking or it might simply be a product that’s been modified for a different customer. You have secured distribution for the product. Maybe in a store, online or both.

But now you have the challenge of getting customers to recognise your brand and be persuaded to try it.

Here are 7 ways to make a real difference:

1. Raising awareness with key opinion formers

Before your launch build a following and nurture relationships with key journalists and bloggers. Take part in discussions about industry issues. Write a press release about your launch but make sure that it adds value to their audiences.

2. Train sales staff

Raise the profile of your range with the staff on the shop floor. You need these people to recommend your product. Training needs to be delivered in bite size pieces and regularly updated.

3. Offer product samples

These are great way of raising awareness of your range or range extensions. They could be used as your launch offer e.g. two free samples for every product purchased. Include a voucher for the full sized versions of the samples to give customers a reason to return and purchase.

4. Put together launch offers

This will give store staff a reason to give your products extra space and to promote them. Make the offers simple. The main objective is for customers to try the product.

5. Employ agency staff

Get them to demonstrate the products and raise awareness of the product benefits. They can use the launch offers to close the sale.

6. Organise Promotional Events

The objective of these are to drive new customers to your product. The event might be linked to a newspaper or radio channel. Keep the communication on brand and make the promotion an additional feature. Always maximize every opportunity to talk to customers. Third parties will have many partners that can all be used to communicate your brand and the reason to purchase now.

7. Create a Program of Marketing Activity for the first year

It can be modified if the needs of the product change but it is important to have a clear idea of what you will do next and how much it will cost.