Will your company become the next Nintendo, Apple or Samsung? It all depends on how well you read the shifting currents of customer sentiment, balance your product launch execution and attract the eyes of your single focus: the customer.

Take some inspiration from these incredible product launches, and you’ll find ways to deliver and grow.

  1. Apple AirPods – Global Product Launch Phenomenon

Apple’s product launch sold 19 million AirPods in 2017. Another 35 million flew off their (hidden) stockroom shelves in 2018. Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, a financial analyst that advises investors, estimates that in 2019, they may sell as many as 50 to 55 million units.

In coverage about their quarterly earnings report, Tim Cook had this to say:

“This was our biggest June quarter ever – driven by all-time record revenue from Services, accelerating growth from Wearables, strong performance from iPad and Mac and significant improvement in iPhone trends.”

That all lead to earnings which beat every previous year’s 3rd quarter.

So how does Apple do it?

Not only is Apple a master of hype, they also master in-store experiences, keep employees up-to-date on trends, issues and customer needs, (instead of listening only to social media), and ensure that products are where they need to be at the time of launch – that includes their engaging displays, their store rooms, and beyond. With over 100,000 employees and hundreds of stores all over the world, that’s no simple feat.

“[…]Apple is bolstering its investment in experiential retail, with expansive flagships, and classes and workshops in every store.”

Adding to that, Apple keeps engagement for product launches up through product-centered experiential marketing events in stores everywhere.

Executing Like an Apple Genius

Knowledgeable in-store employees, perfect product distribution and display, and engaging experiential marketing all come together to make your product launch a success. Dissecting these elements boils down to some key elements:

  • Know what the strengths of your products are by collecting customer feedback from in-store representatives – online reviews of similar products are only so trustworthy.
  • Keep merchandising staff up-to-date on launch products with information like specifications, common questions, display compliance and best practices.
  • Drive accountability for stores carrying your product with visual confirmation that can’t be gamed.
  1. Ring Video Doorbell – A Product Launch that Blew the Doors Down

You’ve seen the videos of careless package delivery personnel tossing, kicking, flipping and breaking the parcels they are trusted to bring to your door.

Or, there’s this guy:


Well, we’re all treated to the delights and dismays of door-front shenanigans thanks to the popularity and successful launch of the Ring Video Doorbell.

This is another case of a product designed to match unmet needs in consumer trends. In this case, Amazon’s insane popularity created a need for better accountability and security for parcel deliveries. Not only that, but the number of households with packages sitting outside their front door created a new trend – doorway package theft.

The success of this launch led to its acquisition, in 2018, for over a Billion dollars – that’s billion with a capital B.

Let’s consider (a few) of the stores where customers are picking up their Ring.

  • Bed Bath and Beyond – 1500 stores
  • Lowes – 2000 stores
  • Walmart – 4700 stores
  • Best Buy – 1700 stores
  • Home Depot – 2300 stores
  • Target – 1900 stores

Counting only these stores, that means they executed distribution, compliance validation and merchandising displays in over 14,000 different locations.

Kick Down the Doors like Ring

Breakthrough products need to be ready for massively scaled success. After your unit sales projections are in (and agreed upon – we wish you luck in that process) you’ll need to:

  • Assess your merchandising staff’s health and capacity
  • Choose the right staff for each task, and
  • Seamlessly organize and distribute onboarding, task assignment and merchandising deliverables, regardless of scope and geographic reach.

Taking Your Product Launch to the Stratosphere

Whether you’re assessing the competition, organizing distribution to thousands of locations or training and validating the work of the merchandisers who make your product pop, Natural Insight provides visual verification, competitive reporting, accountability and transparency that put tech products in front of customers around the world – key to juggling the millions of products, thousands of stores and experiential displays that make it all pop.

Want more help? Check out this infographic to learn how Natural Insight can take the chaos out of your next product launch

Topics: Product Launch
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Mark is the Technical Writer for Natural Insight and Capango and is responsible for technical documentation, communications, and marketing efforts. Before Natural Insight and Capango, Mark worked as a government contracting reporter after graduating from James Madison University with a B.A. in English in 2012. When he's not bouncing around drafting emails and writing user manuals, Mark enjoys spending time at home with his wife as well as his two cats, Kevin and Cheese, both of whom have said, on the record, that Mark is a "cool dude."