Why the best product launches all come back to surfing

Product Launch Strategy

What on earth connects a bearded Creative Director, with a background in the action sports industry, to delivering a successful sales launch?

Having jumped the fence from client to agency more than 6 years ago, I’ve now experienced my fair share of applied technology product launches in the B2B sector.

A far cry from my old world of sand between the toes, rad retailer and sales events launching ‘sic’ new wetsuit lines to hardcore surf industry stalwarts

Or is it?

Because when you look beyond the high five handshakes, the surfer lingo and the regulation camo walk shorts, it’s amazing how alike these two, seemingly disparate, worlds actually are.

Any product that has required an extensive R&D program, detailed competitor and market analysis, a complex international manufacturing and supply chain and, even more, an inter-connected multi-channel marketing strategy, must be launched effectively – whether it’s a 4mm coldwater performance wetsuit or a million-dollar BioSMB reactor.

They both demand meticulous planning, a critical path process that accounts for the knowns and the unknowns, a centralised communications process to keep stakeholders up-to-date and a strong follow-up plan in place before the ‘go live’ date… all our ducks… all in a row.

But from my limited time on this side of the fence, in this B2B world, there’s a tendency (understandably) to be more inward looking and hide behind the technical vernacular to validate the launch process.

So what can this audience gain by looking back the other way?

Well, when we’ve worked on launches for clients like Pall Biotech, Videojet and E-Leather, our track record in B2B and rigorous approach to ‘insight before ideas’ has been enhanced by our ability to look at the sales launch from a very different perspective.

It’s an angle that’s led to real innovation, greater market stand out, a more memorable experience for our clients and their customers and, more often than not, a more resourceful way of delivering ‘another product launch’ to old and new audiences alike.

So whenever and however we are involved in rolling out a new product or service to a highly discerning and expert audience, be it a fully integrated launch campaign, an international trade show event or a fully immersive experience, we tune into our beliefs:

  • Insight before ideas
  • Never trivialise technology with inappropriate creativity
  • We can find inspiration in everything
  • The Action Sports industry is creative, innovative and highly resourceful and very often a great alternative view point
  • Turn complexity into elegant simplicity

(Oh, and don’t pee in your wetsuit)