In the new era of online product reveals and launches, ensuring complete secretiveness among key stakeholders is critical. Perhaps you’ve already experienced an unexpected leak before a client’s major product launch. As you probably know, reassuring your client that it will never happen again is difficult and can lead to a loss in future work. The good news is that technologies and solutions are available to help reduce the risk of leaks. By simply integrating them within your processes, you can provide a greater level of transparency and reassurance to your clients and stakeholders.

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What makes a perfect product reveal and launch?

You’ve most likely seen the headlines in the press on speculation of Apple’s new iPhone models before the company’s iconic annual launch event in Cupertino. In highly competitive industries, such as consumer electronics, company executives often cited leaked details of future models as a reason for a pause in current sales. So it’s no wonder that in this new era of digital events and livestreams, the requirement to secure prelaunch digital assets has intensified. 

To create the ever-increasing need to ‘wow’ consumers and retail partners on launch day to ensure a big reveal, agencies and brands invest heavily in digital imagery. The hybrid of virtual and digital experiences is expected to last beyond the Covid-19 era as newer technologies and consumer preferences merge. For example, last August, Samsung's Unpacked livestream event included presenters pretending to gaze at giant, augmented reality images of the new models. The digital agencies preparing these events means preparing and sharing images and videos of undisclosed models many weeks before the launch date.  

 

Samsung's Unpacked livestream

Samsung's Unpacked livestream event last August included presenters pretending to gaze at giant, augmented reality images of the new models. Image: Samsung

 

The trend in hyper-digital reveals, and customer experiences are not expected to slow down. A Capgemini Research Institute study found that “62 percent of consumers expect to increase their use of touchless technologies even in post-crisis” when shopping for new products. This movement to immersive experiences is part of a growing trend where marketers are expected to drive growth within the context of online-only brand engagement events and to rely more heavily on a digital presence.

Even the traditional apparel industry embraced digital technologies in the wake of the pandemic. Luxury brands like Gucci invest heavily in digital productions to bring the same buzz and excitement to virtual and livestreamed runway shows. Ensuring a buzz means making sure that digital assets are not leaked before the launch date and that images from livestreams are not stolen or misused. Keeping digital assets safe is challenging as productions mean an even greater reliance on trust with third-party agencies to avoid prelaunch leaks.

 

GucciGucci stays relevant due to its digital footprint, pivoting during the pandemic
through livestreaming events and focusing on digital assets.

 

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What mistakes to avoid for the perfect new product reveal?

#1 - Underestimating sensitive information

Often the first mistake is underestimating the importance of the reveal to your client’s brand and future sales. And, with the heightened focus on hyper-digital reveals and customer experiences, the investment in digital assets is often substantial. In other words, there’s a lot at stake. To ensure everyone is on the same page, it's important to discuss with your client what information is critical (price, design, new functionality), in what formats, and when (launch date, embargo period). Remember, you’ll be learning just as much as your client on what elements are important and what processes need to be put in place. This will also mean establishing a predefined list of third parties with your client who will access digital assets before the launch. Again, complete transparency with your client is key.

 

Confidential informationsPreparation of a new product reveal means determining the full spectrum
of information that is confidential.

 

#2 - Neglecting third party stakeholders

The second mistake is not requiring your third-party stakeholders to uphold the same level of confidentiality as you are required to uphold by your client. This means leveling the playing field for all parties involved. As mentioned earlier, you'll need to create a defined list of all parties who will have access to confidential information and assets to ensure that everyone understands what’s at stake. This list of third-party stakeholders can be extensive, so don’t forget to think about all those who are instrumental in the launch of your campaign and product. The list can include production studios, copywriters, influencers, retailers, media, printers, and more. 

Once you have defined the complete list and shared it with your client, everyone must understand the level of confidentiality required and with whom the information, especially digital assets, can be shared. At this point, you'll need to know if any of your third-party stakeholders plan to share digital assets. 

For example, if prelaunch images are shared with a journalist, will they be required to provide these assets to a printer before the launch date. If the answer is yes, you'll want to understand how the publication will monitor and ensure no leaks will happen. As you can see, the ‘circle of trust’ becomes wider and wider as you and your agency prepare for an integrated digital launch campaign.

 

The circles of trust

Often many third-party stakeholders will need access to confidential information
and digital assets in the prelaunch preparations stages. 

Determining the best approach to ensure confidentiality when the number of stakeholders is growing is challenging and stressful. There are traditional ways to hold third-party stakeholders accountable (such as embargo and non-disclosure agreements), but these often provide little assurance that a leak won’t happen. And usually, it can mean adding a time-consuming process into an already complex workflow. Managing who has signed a document and ensuring it is understood and respected is built on trust and accountability. In addition, if your third-party stakeholders are located in varying countries or regions, laws and regulations can vastly vary when it comes to legal issues.

 

#3 Relying on non-trusted transmission tools

A third mistake often made is relying on the access to platforms used to transfer information to secure content from potential leaks. The most popular ways of sharing content are email, file transfer, hosting services like WeTransfer and Dropbox, or digital asset management (DAM) systems.

Unfortunately, these types of platforms provide ease of sharing but little to no way to keep your trusted stakeholders from sharing your confidential digital assets.  And not only is each recipient's integrity at risk, but also that of the sender and the platforms used to transmit digital assets. As a result, pro-leakers can intercept and steal information.  

 

Impacts of a content leak

Relying on email and popular file transfer services can mean putting at risk confidential digital assets that can, unfortunately, get into the wrong hands.

What you must remember 

Product launches are stressful enough for teams. To ensure a successful launch, you need beneficial trust among all your third-party stakeholders. What better way than integrating new technologies that promote goodwill and trust is foolproof and easy to implement. 

Today, agencies utilize the latest technologies, like invisible digital watermarking, to secure their digital assets against leaks and build trust with their clients, internal teams, and critical stakeholders. 

To learn where potential leaks can happen in your workflow and how to protect your client and agency from potential leaks, read our article here.

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Christine Deschaseaux

Christine Deschaseaux

Expert in digital strategies and innovation and CMO at Imatag. Christine’s 20+ year career is guided by her taste for technologic innovation and her customer-oriented mindset. Her skills mix engineering, digital economy and marketing of innovation.

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