04/11/2014 05:21 pm ET Updated Jun 11, 2014

3 Memorable Ways to Launch a Product to Wow Customers

Marketing to consumers offers a brilliant challenge -- you know you have an amazing product and if only you could get people to try it, you know they would love it. What many marketers don't understand is that how you get a product to consumers is equally important to their initial, hands-on experience. When done in an innovative and unexpected fashion, it provides context, builds equity and communicates value.

Placing a product in the hands of early adopters is simple:

Surprise and Delight

People are busy. They have full schedules, plus a range of screens continually competing for their attention. If you want to capture a piece of it, you need to be clever and engaging. For instance, Coke's Happiness Machine and Honest Tea's Honest Cities campaign offered the dual benefit of stopping consumers in their tracks to sample their product as well as fueling a wave of social media chatter with videos that went viral. Uber showed consumers how easy its app was to use by creating a series of campaigns where you order (and have to sign up to do so -- clever!) something fun to be delivered to your office. Uber's Ice Cream Truck went global and their subsequent campaign, Uber Kitten delivered kittens to offices in Seattle, San Francisco and New York in honor of National Cat Day, raising funds for the ASPCA.

Borrow Equity

We are known by the company we keep. You can communicate volumes about a new brand -- or a refresh of an old one -- simply by associating them with brands who already have equity with the target audience. To introduce Lincoln's new MKZ to a target of discerning tastemakers in LA (a notoriously jaded market when it comes to cars), we created an exclusive event series structured around the brand's pillars of design, architecture, food, photography and fashion. We leveraged influencers in each segment to create engaging content and invite their networks, seamlessly integrating the car into the experience. A concierge service offering test drives at their home or office the following week gave attendees an opportunity to learn more about the car and engage more deeply with the brand -- on their terms.

Friend to Friend

According to Nielsen's Latest Global Trust in Advertising Survey, 92 percent of respondents in 56 different countries said they trusted word‐of‐mouth recommendations from their friends and family above all other forms of communication. (Source: Friends Have More Credibility Than Brands, Marketing Daily, April 2012). An introduction to a new brand from a trusted friend is incredibly powerful and can significantly collapse the continuum from awareness to trial to adoption. This is also true when the product is related to a sensitive area, such as at the health of your family. To introduce German-based Bionorica's Sinupret for Kids Syrup in the U.S., one of the key tactics of our multi-pronged campaign was to engage influencer moms in key markets and provide them the tools to share their discovery with their friends resulting in over 135,000 passionate advocates who further spread the word.