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Leave Customers Wanting More

If you’re over the age of 30
, chances are you took one look at the subject of this month’s newsletter and heard Carly Simon’s famous “An-ti-ci-pa-tion” in your head.

While the song was actually written about Simon’s wait for a date with Cat Stevens, most of us know it best from its multi-year run in the memorable Heinz® Ketchup commercials.

And it’s the perfect soundtrack for this month’s installment in our Create a Sensation e-series for the building products industry: create anticipation.

Are you launching a new product in 2011? Planning an expansion of your current line? A special sale? All are perfect opportunities to draw attention to your brand and, of course, boost sales.

But with a little planning, you can generate even more brand buzz—and a stronger surge in sales—by announcing the event well in advance and building suspense in the weeks or days preceding it. When your products finally launch or go on sale, customers and prospects will already know about it and will be ready to buy without hesitation.

The key to building anticipation is to release information in small, easy-to-digest bites. Start with a save-the-date teaser and build excitement with each message in the campaign. Don’t worry that you’ll annoy customers with too many brand messages in a short period of time; the increase in frequency is expected with a major launch or sales event. Just vary the content and the medium, and not only will your customers not mind hearing from you more often, they’ll begin to look forward to the next message in the campaign. Ready to create anticipation? Let’s walk through some ideas for a new product introduction:

Set a launch date.

Set an official date, then create a temporary landing page on your website with a countdown timer. This will ensure that even random visitors to your site (not just click-through readers of your e-newsletter or blog post) will know about the new product launch and be able to plan ahead.

Create a free report.

Create a free report or whitepaper about the new product line—its inherent features, the problem it solves, or how customers will make more money because of it. Distribute it on your website, through your e-mail marketing channels or via your sales force.

Host an event.

Invite your customers in for a special event, talk, luncheon or demonstration. Give them extra incentives to attend, like a goody bag full of samples, a T-shirt or a raffle for an iPad or free sample of your new product.

Show the product in action.

Create a video—or better yet, a series of videos—showing a variety of uses or applications for the new product. Post them online and link to them from every piece in the campaign. There’s no better way to communicate the features and benefits of a new product.


Press releases are still underutilized in the building products industry. Trade publications and newspapers are constantly on the lookout for interesting things to write about. Don’t underestimate the newsworthiness of your brand’s activities; send a release well in advance of your product’s launch, and another as the date draws near. Provide photos whenever possible.


Creating anticipation is the difference between plopping a bottle of ketchup on the table…and allowing the thick, delicious sauce to slowly make its way down the neck of the bottle to the burger waiting below.

It’s all about engaging your customers and holding their interest. Straight to the point of sale.

Here’s to creating a sensation! Let’s get started.

Allison DeFord, Trailblazer

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