There are a lot of tasks on a product marketers’ plate.
You need to create a go-to-market strategy for your new product and nail the positioning. Then, it’s crucial to consider the life cycle of your product to determine how you can encourage customers to use (and love) it.
But creativity can strike at the best of times—even when you’re brainstorming ideas for a new product launch.
How can you create a launch plan that wins over tons of potential customers, and create a product that lands itself in the hall of fame for your industry?
We wanted to find out how it’s been done before. So, we put together a list of eight brands who have nailed their product marketing strategy to build an army of lifelong fans, including:
- Grow and Convert
Click the links above to jump to a specific example, or continue scrolling to see what you can learn about product marketing from these brands.
Billie, a women’s razor brand, recently launched its #ProjectBodyHair campaign. It started with a TV campaign that showed body hair in women’s razor ads—which had never been done before.
The idea for this campaign came from their product team, who researched the market to find their competitive edge: That women’s razor advertisements don’t show body hair.
Combine that competitive advantage with their target audience’s pain points of women not being portrayed accurately in the media, and you’ve got the basics of a successful product marketing campaign.
Don’t believe me? This campaign alone generated 3.3+ billion earned media impressions across 23 countries, 21+ million views (60% organic) and over 1.3 million shares and comments on social media.
2. Grow and Convert
In our guide to product marketing, we mentioned that products don’t have to be physical items. They can be software applications or services, like content marketing agency Grow and Convert.
The team behind Grow and Convert decided to change their agency’s positioning. They wanted to be seen as an elite, luxury and high-end service. Their positioning needed to embody that if they were to attract clients with big budgets.
Grow and Convert’s positioning strategy included competitive analysis to identify a gap in the market. They found three gaps:
- A content marketing agency focusing on leads
- A lack of content promotion
- Few agencies who can provide high-quality B2B content
The agency then rebuilt their service offering and product marketing strategy to play on how they’re the best solution for all three gaps.
(If you’re unsure about whether your own positioning is correct, we’d recommend scanning the books in our product marketing reading list. A handful talk specifically about positioning, including how to determine whether you’ve picked the best market—and how to change, if not.)
MailChimp is an email marketing tool that has recently expanded to become an “all in one marketing suite.” But they don’t just position themselves as a free marketing tool.
Their product marketing team identified that their customers use their tool to grow their business, which is why the majority of their product marketing campaigns focus on the tools’ ability to help small businesses grow.
They lead with this concept on their “Growing Businesses” landing page:
Sure, they could plaster the fact that their software has in-depth analytics and a design studio. But MailChimp listened to their customers and developed messaging that places the focus on how customers can use those features.
Remember: Being able to communicate this is a key skill any great product marketer needs.
Unsplash is a photo-sharing website. Photographers can upload their videos, and people can download them for free.
It doesn’t sound very exciting on the surface—but Unsplash have nailed their positioning. And, as a result, they’ve got 158,881 photographers and a collection of over 1.2 million photos.
So, how did Unsplash market their free product? It started with a book. The team at Unsplash originally had 30,000 photos on their site, and they decided to make a book to spread the love for their photographers.
They launched a campaign on Kickstarter with the aim to raise $75,000. To do so, they created a short video that explained the concept of the book.
The video was a masterclass on positioning which proved that Unsplash knew the people they wanted to reach. So much so, that the video alone raised over $100,000, beating their goal by $25,000.
It’s safe to say that Airbnb revolutionized the hospitality industry. They prevented customers from splashing cash on expensive hotels, and gave them a way to find cheap places to stay—initially in the form of someone’s spare room.
They’d cracked their brand positioning from the get-go. But recently, Airbnb rebranded and introduced the “Bélo” symbol. It focuses on the same sense of belonging they hoped to give their customers when they first launched.
You can couchsurf, hire a room, or rent a luxury penthouse, all with one underlying feeling: Belonging. The Bélo symbolizes that, as Airbnb wrote:
“It’s an iconic mark for our windows, our doors, and our shared values. It’s a symbol that, like us, can belong wherever it happens to be”.
Again, this sense of belonging gives Airbnb a competitive advantage from their branding alone. Customers don’t feel “at home” in a run-of-the-mill hotel. But when they use an Airbnb, they can find a unique place to explore and belong in.
Tesla aren’t just your standard card manufacturer. They’ve made a name for themselves based on the eco-friendliness which underlies their entire brand statement:
“Tesla builds not only all-electric vehicles but also infinitely scalable clean energy generation and storage products. Tesla believes the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better.”
Tesla excelled by nailing their market using this brand statement. It’s unlikely they’d have gained such a huge market share if they’d gone down a general automotive route. The market is too crowded, and Tesla’s products are too niche to stand out.
Instead, Tesla dominates the high-end electric car market. Their price is so high that competitor electric cars are a drop in the ocean.
As a result, they hold about 80% of the electric vehicle market share in the U.S. Their Model 3 is also the best-selling electric vehicle.
Coca-Cola, the soda manufacturer, originally began as a pharmaceutical company. It was marketed as a medicine designed to cure headache and fatigue. But after a tax issue in the late 1800s, they changed their focus to the soft drinks market.
This target market switch is a key part of their entire product marketing strategy.
Since then, they’ve honed in on their positioning. Their products have remained the same for decades—and the 7ps of product marketing have followed suit.
The result? Today, most people almost always ask for “Coke” when ordering a cola. It’s a brand association so strong that their biggest competitor, Pepsi, jumped onto the idea to create a TV campaign earlier this year:
This strong association could be why more than 95% of our global population recognizes Coca-Cola products.
How could we share a list of stellar product marketing examples without including Apple?
Every time they launch a new product, people invest hours into researching the new device. Coverage is plastered all over the news, and consumers line the blocks to get their new iPhone. Why? Because the product marketing strategy they’re using sends customers wild—and makes them loyal to the brand.
Apple’s product marketing strategy doesn’t just focus on their products. They create a community around their brand, which product marketers can tap into when developing launch strategies.
The result? Uber-targeted brand messaging, which clearly communicates their features in a way we want to read them:
Taking all of that into account, it’s no surprise why the Apple brand is valued at $355 billion.
Ready to be the next product marketing example on our list?
There’s more that goes into a product marketing strategy than meets the eye. Chances are, the brands we’ve mentioned have spent years perfecting their messaging and positioning. It’s unlikely you’ll perfect yours overnight.
However, the best way to find the winning formula is to practice—and don’t just take these product marketing examples at face value.
Take some time to research these examples in more depth. Try to pinpoint exactly what worked well—and what didn’t. (It could set you up for a perfect answer if you’re ever asked about it in a product marketing interview).