Touching Is Believing: The Importance Of Consumer Trial In A New Product Launch

With the launch of a new product, brands quickly work to achieve several key goals: building positive brand awareness among both new and existing customers; distinguishing themselves from competitors; and encouraging trial. With the debut of a new line of denim, in an already crowded marketplace, this last goal is imperative to success.

In October 2014, French/West/Vaughan client Riders® by Lee® – a leader in designing jeans, tops and casuals that fit and flatter women of all shapes and sizes at an affordable price – launched its most recent innovation, Heavenly Touch® Denim. A breakthrough in bringing together the comfort and stretch of yoga pants, the knit-like softness of leggings and the slimming, stylish qualities of premium denim, it was important for FWV to focus PR efforts on getting the new product into the hands (and on to the bodies) of key influencers.  After all, the Heavenly Touch tagline said it all – “touching is believing.”

The launch was inclusive of strategic traditional media outreach, social media promotions and a corresponding ad campaign, but the true centerpiece of the plan was the series of interactive blogger parties scheduled in key Riders by Lee markets across the country – LA, Boston and Chicago. Heavenly Touch was developed after extensive fit testing by numerous groups of real women, so it was important that each of the parties included an opportunity for a variety of top-tier bloggers and social media influencers to wear the jeans (attendee sizes were collected prior to the event). Guests participated in a variety of interactive activities, including mini-yoga classes, crafting cocktails, indulging in sweet treats and fun “Denim Cam” photo styling sessions, all while experiencing the superior fit, style and unmatched comfort of Heavenly Touch.

Photos, videos and memorable quotes were captured during the events, highlighting the overwhelming positive results of the blogger parties and were shared across the Riders by Lee social media channels. Guests were encouraged to post to their own channels as well, tagging the brand and utilizing the event hashtag #OhSoSoft.

Key results from the blogger parties included:

  • The brand interacted and engaged with nearly 50 bloggers in LA, Boston and Chicago; nearly every blogger in attendance tried on/wore Heavenly Touch jeans for the duration of the events.
  • In total, bloggers in attendance represented a combined social media reach of approximately 3 million fans/followers.
  • Media coverage of the events garnered more than 13.6 million media impressions.
  • The parties also afforded the opportunity to leverage blogger testimonials, providing overwhelmingly positive brand insight like: “If Heavenly Touch can make it through yoga class, then they would definitely work for sitting on the couch!” and “My issue with jeans is that to fit my legs, I have to get a larger size. I end up with a waist that’s too big and jeans that keep falling down. Heavenly Touch fits perfectly, and I feel confident that I won’t lose my pants in the middle of the day!”

After trying the product firsthand, party attendees across the board made glowing recommendations to their readers, fans and followers, encouraging them to add a pair of Heavenly Touch jeans to their own wardrobes. In the months since launching, Heavenly Touch has performed so strongly at retail, the brand has already expanded the line for the upcoming spring season.

– Shannon Burton, Group Account Director

Jan, 30, 2015