Beautiful idea, beautiful PR – how you can get it right too

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Water-saving shower crowdfunds almost $1m in less than 2 days

To read the full story of this incredibly exciting new product, which looks set to be in thousands of homes soon, go to edie.net, the market-leading information resource for sustainability in business.

“A new shower that is 70% more water-efficient than regular models is nearing $1m of funding in its Kickstarter campaign less than 48 hours after launch. Nebia’s campaign raised $100,000 to reach its original target in its first eight hours before driving on to half a million dollars within 15 hours. The Nebia shower, which claims to save water and energy compared to standard shower technology, has more than 2,700 backers and support from Silicon Valley bosses, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google chairman Eric Schmidt.”

Why has this idea been such a hit and how can you learn from it?

The Nebia shower story has ticked all the following boxes and by doing so been an instant success:

  1. Meets a need.
  2. Authentic back story.
  3. Handles objections head on.
  4. Double benefit to the consumer – intellectual and emotional.
  5. 360 degree communication offering.

Old school sales people will recognise some classic sales techniques in here, so let’s unpick them and complement them with some new digital techniques, to create a check list for an outstanding product launch.

Meets a need

Why would anyone want your product? This is the oldest ‘check list’ in the book. You have to make your customer aware of their need. Not hard in Nebia’s case, where people are living through the worst drought in California’s recorded history.

Authentic

People crave authenticity and humanity in our highly engineered world now. The individual who triumphs, the pioneer who makes a breakthough, that lightbulb moment…“ Co-founder and fitness company manager Carlos Andonaegui found his gyms were using high levels of water in their showers.”…  Yes that makes sense, I can see that’s an issue, is the response you’re looking to achieve.

Handles objectives head on

Another classic sales technique – draw out the hidden objective, and then ‘overcome’ it..  Here it is done so nicely: “We set out to create a better shower experience first and save as much water as possible,” said Winter. “It turns out the age-old belief that more water equals a better experience isn’t necessarily true.”

Benefit to the consumer

You never miss out the benefit do you, it’s such an old chestnut! …. “According to Nebia, the new shower also saves energy due to its system being 13 times more thermally efficient than regular shower heads. The founders claim the shower could save an average Californian home of four 21,000 gallons of water per year, as well as saving $397.”

360 degree communication offering

This story includes a choice of  good quality images showing the product being used in different ways, plus there’s also the original Kickstarter video. There are two good reasons to include a video. Firstly some people like to watch them, they increase engagement, and secondly Google measures them, so they boost SEO.

So to summarise here’s your checklist for great product launch communication:

  1. Explain, in human terms, not ‘corporate speak,’ what the product does and why it was created, be honest.
  2. Describe the story, including any set – backs you had along the way in product development, be authentic.
  3. Drill down into the questions people will ask  – and then think even harder about how you answer these questions.  Make sure you communicate these points, don’t duck issues.
  4. Provide information in a range of styles: words + website + picture + video = every angle covered
  5. Get your message out, send it out to the right channels and influencers.
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