Trade shows are a great place for brands to unveil a new product, brand, line extension or a package refresh. For the biggest ones, the entire industry is there. Brands can interact with retail buyers and the decision makers who influence them. They can meet with distributors, investors, press and even suppliers and service providing partners.
But these shows are big and time is scarce. This year, the industry is feeling the impact of the biggest and arguably the most important trade show for food and beverage having been postponed due to force majeure. But whether the show occurs and you participate or not, the entire job of brand and product awareness creation cannot be accomplished solely during the show. Smart brands make a plan to have the best possible conversations with their audience when they are in front of them. This means making the most of your new product launch news includes planning for paid, owned and earned channels and dripping out the information before you have your most important meetings. Waiting for the “big unveil” at the trade show means you are not on the must-see lists of retailers and that if or when they happen by your booth, you have to tell the story of the product.
Free, also called “earned” awareness is awesome and there is a great deal of free exposure to be had. For instance, you can post your news on your social channels. Linkedin is a great place because most of us have big, relevant networks. Brands can submit their news on NOSH and they can submit their news on BevNET. Brands can submit news for free to many industry and consumer publications. From there, it’s a black box. Brands can also pitch or have PR agencies pitch podcasts and interviews. If they accept the pitch, and designated interviewees perform well, these hits are great for awareness.
But then there’s the old saying: “You get what you pay for.” Free exposure is good, but it can only take your news so far because it is both unpredictable and unsustainable. Rewards can be high, but the risk of receiving them is also high. It is a grind!
Paid Industry Awareness
In our eBook: Cutting to the Taste, we teach brands:
- The difference between consumer and industry marketing and why it is not the same as “trade spend”.
- The importance of industry awareness.
- How to generate industry awareness.
- The major event stages and how to build your plan – Pre, During and Post
- Creating a playbook focused on getting your brand on the must-see list of your audience whether its retailers, investors, press or other potential partners.
If you want to talk to someone about your plans for product launch, our brand specialists and our CMO are happy to talk to you about your strategy.