Rebecca Stewart explains in The Drum how Boots took a completely new approach to product development by integrating advocates into every step of the development process.
It’s a story about how the pharmaceutical giant took three years to bring to marketing its first own-brand skincare range in over 20 years.
Kirsty McCready, global director of consumer brand PR at Walgreens Boots Alliance, told The Drum:
“The community has chosen everything – they worked on the brand name, the packaging as well as on the [product] scents and the textures.”In fact, she said, the transparent, white and gold colour scheme was not one put forward by the brand but picked out by the panel of women, who came to have a very strong sense of brand ownership.
This approach to product development echoes an article I commented on last week.
“Influencers should be incorporated into every aspect of marketing — from product creation to market research and all the way through campaign planning and marketing execution. Integrating influencers into every step of product development is the future of the industry.”
The benefits of this approach include:
- Nurturing a core of sustained advocacy between users and the brand.
- Having a ready-made fan base to promote the product as soon as it’s launched
- Increased likelihood of high engagement rates. We know that people take the recommendations of friends and family before those of ‘experts’ or the brand itself