Brands Get Creative with Launches in Social Distancing Era
Brands are getting creative with product launches in this new world of social distancing.
For example, Body Glove will host a virtual media event today with Body Glove surfer Tatiana Weston-Webb from her home in Kauai to launch the new Tati West Eco-Collection, Body Glove’s first recycled swimwear line. Originally, this media event was planned as an in-person affair in New York City.
We followed up with Body Glove Marketing Director Nick Meistrell to ask him how the brand is adjusting to the new world.
The recycled polyester collection consists of bikinis, one-pieces and cross-over activewear, including leggings, shorts and sports bras that can be worn in and out of the water.
What was Body Glove originally going to do for the launch?
Nick Meistrell: Fortunately, we haven’t steered too far away from our original launch plan. Working in this digital age, the majority of our marketing efforts often span both digital and traditional activations.
We did have a few in-person events that we unfortunately had to cancel. Initially, we had planned a pop-up launch event, in-person retail visits, a media event in New York City, and a boat trip to Catalina on Body Glove’s yacht, The Disappearance, with media, athletes, customers and a few lucky fans to launch this collection.
The updated launch plan consists of a 360-degree digital approach utilizing all Body Glove digital outlets, as well as third-party media outlets. In addition, we have a strategic influencer and athlete social-media plan in place to cast a wide net of awareness for this line.
Why’d did you decide to go forward with the launch?
Nick Meistrell: It’s troubling times out there, no doubt, but the Body Glove mentality is that we are one and all in this together. Our customers mean everything to us – we owe it to our community to stay positive and go about our daily lives with a positive outlook. Our passion and love for this collection won’t be delayed, we are still coming out the gate full steam ahead. We feel our fans will back us on the decision to give them interesting content and cool product that they can enjoy during this time.
This virtual launch with media really boiled down to a few simple, but sincere things. First, we know that Tati is a compelling person – athlete, Olympian, friend. And, the public is thirsting for upbeat, positive, inspiring and honest people to engage with now more than ever. We wanted to let Tati introduce her collection to media in an intimate setting and offer post-launch one-on-one interviews for tailored storytelling. We endeavored to create a value-based venue for media to do their job while being respectful of timely “social distancing” commitments.
What are some options you explored and how did you settle on the format?
Nick Meistrell: At this moment, digital is paramount to our strategy. We are evolving our communication by creating a transparent virtual touchpoint with our customers to engage with them like never before. This will consist of live workouts hosted by Tatiana and other athletes on our roster, one-on-one Q&A’s via video chat for fans and media with Tati, and other content such as behind the scenes day-in-the-life videos.
Any concern about launching a new swim line while stores are closed? Will it be available online?
Nick Meistrell: We are undoubtedly cautious at this particular time, and continually considering our brick-and-mortar retail partners. By keeping an increased brand presence, we can ensure that our efforts will help to drive our audience back to those retailers for additional exclusives when they re-open. We will launch the Eco Swim collection with limited quantities online, and when our retail partners are ready to trade, the line will be available in-store and online globally.