10 Tips for Creating & Launching Marketing Hits

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The following practical guidelines are part of the wealth of concepts and tools designed to help you thrive in today's dynamic marketplace as presented in Dr. Dan Herman's provocative new book, Outsmart the MBA Clones: The Alternative Guide to Competitive Strategy, Marketing and Branding (http://www.outsmart-mba-clones.com).

Outsmart the MBA Clones: The Alternative Guide to Competitive Strategy, Marketing, and Branding

Marketing hits, an increasingly important type of success in today's marketing landscape, have popped up recently across the globe in a vast spectrum of industries previously not considered "hit driven". Crocs, the Hummer, the iPhone and the Da Vinci Code are just a few.

Marketing hits are meteoric successes whose economic justification lies in the fact that, for a limited time, they gain significantly higher market share than the long-term brands within their industry. They are launched by established companies, as well as by complete unknowns. They might be "front brand", while in the background lies a familiar name (the Mini and BMW), while in other instances they are stand-alone (Tamaguchi). Their growing impact in marketing, resulting from radical changes in consumer behavior, compels veteran marketers to explore "new tricks."

The following practical guidelines are part of the wealth of concepts and tools designed to help you thrive in today's dynamic marketplace as presented in Dr. Dan Herman's provocative new book, Outsmart the MBA Clones: The Alternative Guide to Competitive Strategy, Marketing and Branding (http://www.outsmart-mba-clones.com). The book cracks the secret of companies that have known immense success, adored by their customers, while not being imitated by competitors.

These 10 tips use some of those principles to help you both identify potentials and launch marketing hits:

1.    Familiarity
80% of any hit-to-be product or service must be based on characteristics that have been tried and tested. By keeping the product familiar and intuitive to use, you assure quick and easy adoption.

2.    Cool! Wow! Twisted!
20% of the product must be innovative, offering added value on top of any competition. It must cater to at least one of a certain types of needs, such as preserving your youth and attracting attention, for which consumers incessantly seek new solutions. It must include an element that induces its "viral" nature, providing customers with a good story to tell about the product to other potential customers, and thus leading to word-of-mouth propagation.

3.    Mass Appeal
In most cases, marketing hits are not intended for a niche, but rather for a wider market in which they can spread fast and rapidly reach large sales. Consequently, the price should not serve as a barrier and, where relevant, payment and financing plans are recommended.

4.    Simplicity
The product itself should be easy to identify and to understand. It is important to limit the number of versions and options for customization.

5.    Timing
Ensure that the target audience has tired of the former hit before launching yours. Identify moments of weakness among the competition. For some product categories, it is critical for the launch to coincide with a particular season.

6.    Sexiness
Create blatant packaging through striking and contemporary design. Hits (except in the luxury industry) are not a notable for refinement and sophistication.

7.    Creative dispersion
Many marketing hits are creative in their distribution channels, using unexpected partners in order to attain the largest spread in the shortest time.

8.    Tease
In the period prior to the launch use a combination of advertising, PR, word-of-mouth, or, as in the case of child-oriented hits, TV programming with the intent of developing anticipation and a trigger for a viral effect.

9.    The "Herd Effect"
By appealing to consumption leaders early on, providing them with discount prices or other special conditions, the product earns endorsers that pull in the masses.

10.    "Blitz"
The launch itself needs to create as much of a "big bang" as possible, as marketing hits (except in those industries, such as automobiles, where "short term" is calculated in years) are generally not supported post-launch. The launch plan should include a concentrated and intensive campaign of multi-channel marketing communication, promotion and field-activity in order to develop a viral effect.

Managing the lifecycle of the hit and monitoring its penetration of the market allows you to recognize when a certain hit is nearing the end of its life and the time has come to launch a new one. Proper management allows you to identify ways to lengthen the life expectancy of the hit by launching other products under the same brand, or by launching an updated version that targets a group that has previously not been engaged. On rare occasions, such close supervision allows the hit to claim a long-term stake in the market and turn into a "classic" brand. We must never forget that the consumer is the ultimate judge!

Dr. Dan Herman is a globally renowned strategy consultant, an author and a lecturer. To discover more ideas and tips from Dr. Herman's "Outsmart the MBA Clones: The Alternative Guide to Competitive Strategy, Marketing, and Branding", please visit http://www.outsmart-mba-clones.com.

Dr. Dan Herman is available for interviews. Please contact him directly.

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