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Testing New Markets or Launching a New Product? How Emerging Brands Can Make the Most of Their Marketing Dollars

testing emerging brands

Many challenges continue to prove tricky for marketers when it comes to testing new markets and launching the latest products. This mostly holds up as they look to build both consumer awareness and buy-in from retailers.

It’s a tough market. In fact, an average of 30,000 new products launch each year. Yet, according to Nielsen, only 15% of new consumer packaged goods products are still around in two years’ time. 

For small and emerging brands, it can seem impossible to stand out from the competition. This is especially true with limited budgets dedicated to driving purchase intent and awareness. To succeed in this tough climate, marketers need a way to break through the noise and reach their launch performance goals. 

So, what are the biggest pain points that emerging brands need to consider? And how can they implement an accessible go-to-market strategy that actually works?

Consider the Biggest Pain Points for Product and Market Launches

A product or new market launch can be an exciting opportunity to draw consumers’ attention and generate revenue. But to be successful, marketers must overcome key challenges that create barriers to a winning launch campaign. 

There are three common pain points for consideration when it comes to entering new markets or launching new products:

Limited Resources

Start-up and emerging brands usually do not have unlimited time and money for a full go-to-market strategy. They can’t immediately invest in a complete Omnimedia campaign as an established brand can. As a result, they need to be especially resourceful, keeping costs down in all aspects of the business, including manufacturing, distribution, supply chain, R&D, and marketing. This can be especially difficult in periods of heightened inflation. 

Team members at emerging brands tend to wear multiple hats. They often don’t have the skills, capabilities, or expertise to set up and launch impactful campaigns. 

A Competitive Environment

Established brands have already gained brand awareness and loyalty from their target audience. Because they are already well-known, they have an edge over the competition.  

The good news is that now is as good a time as any to launch new products or test new markets. According to Oracle, 43% of American households tried a new brand in 2020, compared to 32% in 2019. Additionally, Bazaarvoice found that younger consumers tended to be more willing to experiment, with 55% of people ages 18 to 24 purchasing a previously unknown brand. 

Small and emerging brands who are entering the ring must deploy strategic, differentiated advertising to stay competitive and win new shoppers. Better yet, they need a way to get their products on digital shopping lists or in carts before consumers have a chance to choose a competitive brand. 

For example, hydration-focused beverage startup Hydrant was doubling down on its goal to compete with leading brands in the electrolyte category. They do this by getting onto consumer grocery lists and into shopping carts. When Hydrant discovered its historical use of influencer marketing was too limited in its impact, it knew that it needed a way to take on dominant players. 

Lack of Purchase Intent Data

Marketers’ top priority is to spread the word about the new product or market launch. This along with using campaigns to drive measurable sales and revenue. 

However, emerging CPG brands often find that they execute a marketing strategy but lack the ability for efficient ad targeting. As well as the lack of sales data to know whether the activation drove conversion in-store. These companies often do not have the capability to find and influence the consumers who will be most receptive to the brand’s message. Additionally, certain media types, like social or display ads, are notoriously difficult to measure for true sales impact. While platforms like Google and Facebook can help drive awareness, brands still need to be able to understand purchase intent, reach the right shoppers at the right time, and understand the impact of their media. 

Overcome Barriers With Shopping List Marketing  

Creating a successful strategy despite these hurdles requires tools and processes that drive better marketing and ad performance. A solution that effectively targets shoppers with lower campaign spending.

Shopping list marketing uses digital technology. It allows brands the ability to get in front of shoppers who are in the purchase-intent phase. As shoppers add items to their mobile shopping list or cart, they are served suggestions for branded products they’re likely to buy. This all happens before they even set foot in the store. This type of targeting is especially impactful. Once a shopper puts something in their shopping cart, they intend to purchase it.

As discussed previously, Hydrant needed a way to disrupt the beverage industry and beat out competitors. The brand utilized shopping list marketing to launch a campaign. This campaign encouraged shoppers to pick up promoted Hydrant electrolyte drink mixes at Target. With shopping list marketing, the brand exceeded its KPI goal by 11.5%, reached +55K new shoppers, achieved a 96% incremental add-to-list rate, and increased repeat purchases by 35.6%.

Marketers can also complement their traditional advertising strategy with shopping list marketing. This strategy engages with the right audience at the right time. Not only does shopping list marketing create awareness, but it also provides the tools to develop highly-targeted, high-value advertising at low campaign spending. These campaigns can help emerging brands collect the relevant data they need to show stores and distributors their ongoing product success. 

Drive Successful Launch Campaigns

As a small and emerging brand, numerous obstacles stand in the way of overcoming bigger, established brands. Unfortunately, these are areas that prevent many small brands from succeeding. 

Even so, those who get started with shopping list marketing find that they can move past these barriers and get in front of audiences that they haven’t engaged before. It’s an opportunity to reach shoppers directly. It’s also a chance to implement a differentiated, new marketing solution that drives purchases and leads to a successful campaign. Equipped with this strategy, brands can create a name for themselves and win over valuable market shares. 

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