How to Define and Market Your Brand’s Hero Product
Hero products can define a brand and get you to the next level with the right marketing and awareness. Let’s cover what hero products are, how to create one that fits your brand if you don’t already have one, and how to market it for success and growth.
What is a Hero Product?
The hero product of the brand is usually its best seller, and one that takes pride of place in displays and presentations. If you could only sell one product from your brand, this is it. Or perhaps your brand only has one product. It’s the product that your friend tells you about and insists you try—for me here at Essential it’s the Blood Orange AHA Mint Walnut Body Polish! Regardless of the number of items you offer, this one hero product likely best represents your brand.
It encapsulates the values of your brand—perhaps it is organic, made with your home-farmed Lavender. Or perhaps it was created in a lab after years of formulation work, and it matches your science-based branding. Ideally this hero product links well with your brand story and increases trust in what you’re saying as a brand by embodying those values and promises.
Don’t Have a Hero Product? Don’t Worry
If that description didn’t immediately summon an answer, there are two options at this point: either you don’t know which of your many great products you should position as your hero, or else you have yet to create your hero product. If you are in the first camp, ask around, get people to try all your products, and figure out which is the best contender. Make sure it fully aligns with your brand and represents you well, and then commit to its new position as hero!
If you are ready to create your new hero products, here’s a quick guide to designing a new product, without getting too specific for each type of cosmetic.
- Start by clearly defining your brand message and values. If you are all about organic, make sure your hero product is organic too. Write down the key points to uphold the brand promise.
- What problem do you want this product to fix? Be clear about the pain point you or your customers face that requires the help of this product. For example, targeting fine lines and plumping skin may be a better and more specific goal rather than simply “anti-aging”.
- Don’t get carried away trying to fix too many things with this product, unless what makes it a hero is that it’s a one-stop shop.
- Make sure that every part of your product is worthy of being the hero. This includes design and packaging, the name (choose one that can expand—see point 5), the price point, the ingredients, its retail location(s), etc. This can take time, but it’s important to get it right.
- Be strategic in making it the star. Give it top billing, and be aware that if you execute its rise to fame correctly, the hero product may turn into the leading product of your hero line. If the original product is good enough, then you should consider creating products embodying the same ideals that flesh out a whole routine or similar.
Market the Hero Product
Marketing your hero means having a beautiful product, with appropriate packaging, that can do most of the talking for you. Your goal is to get your hero everywhere, in front of everyone who might use it. Having just one product to promote is often easier than promoting a whole brand. Some concrete steps to increase awareness include:
- Request reviews from happy customers and publicize responses
- Send to social media influencers to get honest reviews and create peer trust amongst their followers (social proof) – Read more on influencer marketing here
- Conduct trials or studies if relevant to back up any claims (but be careful with FDA regulations)
- Create samples and provide to any willing participant, requesting feedback or a mention on social media
- Invite customers and friends to build a focus group. This can give you important outside information and opinions if you feel too close to the project.
Remember: Don’t Stop Innovating
Even though you have a hero product and its promotion is going well, don’t forget to keep innovating. You don’t need to constantly evolve your hero product if you genuinely feel it is perfect, but keep the rest of your brand busy and demonstrate that you are on top of new trends, ingredients, and science.
If your hero product happens to be innovative—all the better. Whoever introduces a new hero product and does it well can likely control the market for some time. Think about Apple’s original iPod dominating the MP3 player market—it was at the beginning of that trend and it arguably did it best. Now is your chance to make that impact with your hero.
Summary: define it, and market relentlessly
We know hero products are likely to do well, it’s just a matter of ensuring it encapsulates your brand and that you pursue as many different channels as possible to help it succeed. Don’t be afraid to tinker with formulations, alter an existing favorite, or charge in to your lab with a few ideas in mind. Try out new channels of marketing, send samples, and stand behind it.
Let us know what your own hero products are, and as always, happy making!