Prelaunch.com Platform to Debut in Early 2014
A team of industry veterans is rolling out a new way that CE brands can bring products to market. Debuting during the 2014 International CES is Prelaunch.com, a website that will connect early adopters with brands at the earliest stages of product availability – something its developers say will benefit the vendor, the early-adopting consumer and eventually, the performance of the product when it reaches the retail point of sale.
The concept is based on the notion that both hardware suppliers and their brands’ consumers can mutually profit when the “first adopters” demographic gains early access to new products and product information ahead of their official retail launch, said Donald Brewer, a former Fossil vice president with expertise in CE product development and market launching strategies, who is Prelaunch’s president. In turn, that early access would give vendors early access to “launch-critical” data, including consumer opinion, user demographics and inventory planning data, along with a wealth of other data about the buyers, he added. Then, further along in the marketing chain, this will help retailers more successfully sell-through product by capitalizing on the buzz generation, and also aid them in honing merchandising and marketing messaging.
Market conditions are ripe for such an approach to the market, he said, pointing to dramatically shrinking opportunities for retail showroom exposure, as real estate within larger brick-and-mortar stores is increasingly being given over to single-brand stores-within-stores. And current ecommerce platforms, as they exist today, are also not conducive to projecting a brand’s true value, or to conveying a product story most effectively. “Brands need better ways to communicate with their customers and to engage consumers about their products,” he said – which is, in essence, the underlying philosophy of the Prelaunch platform.