When introducing a new product into a crowded market, sometimes the most important challenge is to get noticed. Creative approaches, executed well, can make the difference.
The Challenge: Breakthrough a crowded market to gain visibility for a new product.
Background: Ultrasound is a relatively low cost diagnostic imaging technology and is very reliant upon the operator, typically a Sonographer, to acquire a high quality image. The Sonographer is a key participant in the purchase decision process, but is often overshadowed by clinicians. Consequently, most manufacturers do not direct campaigns toward them. As a relatively low market share player, the company needed to gain traction for Xario, their new ultrasound product with a curious name.
Insight: People want to be heroes in their jobs.
Strategic Approach: Turn the Sonographer into an advocate by developing a targeted, integrated campaign in which the Sonographer is a hero when using a new ultrasound machine.
- Introduce Xario as a superhero character through a comic book that contains a series of adventures right out of the daily life of a Sonographer.
- Roll-out the concept at the industry’s largest trade show through an integrated campaign that included booth graphics, pre-show advertising, direct mail, airport signage, taxi-toppers and taxi-receipts.
- Produce serialized, animated web episodesthat bring the comic book to life.
- Highlight a specific technology in each web episode.
- Distribute new sales collateral produced and distributed to the field in advance of each episode.
- Secure online sponsorship on the industry’s most prominent website to gain high visibility.
- Generate sales leads through social sharing and free Starbucks coffee cards.
- Extend the Sonographer’s brand exposure by integrating Xario into vertical trade shows through custom ‘Take Your Photo with a Superhero’ promotions.
Results: 325 systems sold in the first year, representing over $27 million in revenue. After the successful initial launch, the product subsequently achieved top customer satisfaction ratings four years in a row.
The campaign required the coordination of several different agencies, artists, programmers, etc. to execute. Everyone involved had a great time…and it shows!
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