Tease employees to get them behind your product
Engaged employees are your most powerful marketers. Have a read of our Internal Communications Director Huw Morgan’s blog on how to use consumer style teaser tactics to get your employees behind your product.
The success of a new product or service launch relies on employees being able to share the benefits with passion and confidence.
Employees are your most powerful marketers, but they need to believe in your product before they’ll really get behind it.
When bringing a new product to the market, before you can start to build employee belief; you need to make them aware of the product and truly understand its advantages and benefits. You need to grab their attention.
On occasion, a looming product is so dazzling, staff will actively seek information about it. I worked at O2 when it was the exclusive UK network provider of the iPhone and there was a tangible buzz across the business each time a new model was announced.
However, most products don’t have the immediate box office pull of an era-defining smartphone, so internal teams need to work a little harder to reach employees to persuade them of its merits.
Problem is, employees have lots of distractions and reaching them isn’t easy. They’re also consumers, with ever more demanding entertainment expectations. Companies need to live up to these standards when attempting to engage employees with a new product launch and treat them with as much care and attention as they do consumers.
Employee engagement should draw inspiration from teaser marketing campaigns, which build engagement in a new product by ratcheting up a sense of mystery and curiosity.
Mystery is a marvellous way to build awareness and buzz around a launch. People love to be in the know, and they love to solve mysteries. So in your teaser campaign, you’ll want to use that to hook people into the build-up to your launch. Make them curious, make them believe that solving the mystery will be worthwhile, and you will have them itching to learn more.
Although marmite in appeal, Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown is a master of employing suspense as an engagement tool by planting cliff-hanger puzzles at the end of each chapter which compel readers to turn the page to resolve the mystery.
I’m not advocating that companies encourage employees to embark on a life-threatening adventure involving religious symbology, murderous zealots, and shadowy organisations. But, with the right creative copywriting guidance, they can adopt the page-turner technique to create curiosity and compel people to find out more.
Channel inspiration from retailers
Words are one way to build mystery, but the best teaser campaigns should use an array of channels and communications to get the message across.
Inspiration can be drawn from the major brand high street retailers who cleverly employ a mix of channels to tease their new Christmas ad campaigns.
John Lewis has famously used social media hashtags like #BounceBounce and #UnderTheBed, together with short video clips, to tease its ‘Buster the Boxer’ and ‘Moz the Monster’ Christmas ad campaigns. Meanwhile, M&S launched a Christmas campaign teaser featuring former newsreader Angela Rippon and Paddington Bear.
A little like Christmas itself, the anticipation – not to mention the contagious social speculation – triggered by these teasers in the run up to the big event is as much fun as the big unwrapping.
The curiosity countdown
Cleverly designed print and digital posters are also brilliant ways to crank up the tease. Visuals featuring countdown tickers or slogans like: ‘It’s coming’ can create a sense that an exciting happening is imminent. Similarly an image of a dimly lit or partially wrapped product with a section enticingly revealed can create an eagerness to witness the product’s unveiling. Type ‘BMW teaser ad’ into a Google Images search and you’ll see how frequently and effectively the German car manufacturer uses the approach to build anticipation.
The visual tease is ideal if you’re set to launch a luxury car or designer watch, but won’t be so effective if the offering is a service, like ultrafast broadband, or a new banking or insurance product that requires a little more background information.
Here’s where internal social channels, digital signage, desktop, and mobile can collectively be employed to create intrigue by dropping cryptic hints like digital breadcrumbs about a gap in the market or a gaping customer need that your new product is destined to meet. Visuals and videos can also be used, but in a way that hints at solving a customer or marketing problem as part of the mystery.
There you have it. The trick to building a successful internal teaser campaign is to create mystery, channel bestselling thriller writers, get cryptic, include a countdown, subtly hint at what’s to come and, most importantly, how your product will enhance customers’ lives and the world as we know it.
As it happens, we’re set to support an innovative product launch that will eliminate overnight the biggest single frustration for UK consumers.
But you’ll have to wait until next month to hear more……