Drop It Like Its Hot – Everything You Need to Know About Drops

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By Enda Breslin, GM, Europe for Shipbob

In an era of innovation, the ‘drop model’ has proved a successful tactic for brands to generate excitement around the launch of a new product. Driven predominantly by influencers and celebrities, these ‘drops’ involve building anticipation for a product then releasing it for a limited time with scarcity a major incentive.

Made popular by streetwear brands like Supreme, the strategy has been adopted by major clothing giants like Nike and Levi’s, but also toys, collectables and cosmetic brands. One such was Kylie Jenner’s lip kit which launched in 2015 to so much fanfare that the website crashed.

While not every brand is able to generate the attention of the Kardashian’s, with the right marketing campaign and preparation, drops can be extremely effective. For brands looking to nail a drop campaign, there are some lessons to be learned.

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ShipBob partners with a number of brands to deliver these drops, including American Football legend Tom Brady’s TB12 collection and Formula 1 driver Lando Norris’ Quadrant brand. The latter took just 18 minutes to sell out the first drop with ShipBob.

While not every brand is able to generate the attention of an A-list celeb, you can employ techniques to build up anticipation.

One of the key aspects of a drop is scarcity. Marketing around the launch needs to create the impression that those that are lucky enough to get a product are part of an exclusive club. Limit the number of the products available and keep the volume small enough to ensure those that do get a product are getting something special.

The drop itself can be used as an incentive to sign-up to a membership or newsletter by offering early access to those who join.

Social Is Where It’s At

Drops live and die on the buzz they generate. While traditional media can support as part of the strategy, you’ll need to create a stir on social media ahead of the drop to have any chance of success.

Collaborating with influencers or another brand can help generate this anticipation in the build-up and create a spike in engagement once the products arrive.

Logistics Logistics Logistics

Drops require an exceptional amount of logistical nous to pull off successfully as they are essentially creating another Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a large volume of orders compressed into a few hours. Generating the buzz is only part of the battle, ensuring you can deliver effectively is critical to avoiding disappointed customers.

Partnering with a fulfilment business can help ease the burden, but planning ahead of the drop is crucial. The partner will have the people on hand to pick, package and process quickly and will have connections with multiple carriers that can handle the spike in activity during a short period of time.

Drops also require perfect coordination. Both in the build-up and during. Once everything is gone, customers will be frustrated by seeing an advert connected to an out of stock item so ensuring the marketing team is in constant communication with the fulfilment side will avoid any costly mistakes.

If managed correctly, drops offer a way of tapping into your existing customer base and driving repeat revenue by building a sense of excitement and exclusivity. They do however create a potential logistical issue if your fulfilment operations are not up to the challenge. By partnering with the right fulfilment business, this takes the stress out of the logistics and allows you to focus on nailing the advertising.