Today, Oscar de la Renta launched a new fragrance, Espirit d’Oscar. Question: what’s more interesting than the fact that they haven’t released a new fragrance in ten years? Answer: the product release was done entirely through Facebook.
While they aren’t the first company to release a new fragrance via Facebook–or even the first to announce a retail product on the social network–Oscar de la Renta’s product launch could be falling at the beginning of a growing trend in consumer products. Notable Facebook product launches of yore include 3M Canada’s Scotch Shoe, Ford’s 2011 Explorer, and Marc Jacobs’ first men’s fragrance, Bang. All these launches were considered successful by their respective companies, and Facebook continues to be a valuable resource for reaching consumers.
Chevrolet is planning on introducing their redesigned 2013 Malibu in two weeks through Facebook. Though we won’t have data on that release for a while, we can see some of the success Ford had last year when they introduced the 2011 Explorer through Facebook. They launched the 2011 Explorer on Facebook on July 26, 2010, and as you can see from the graph below, there is a clear spike for daily reach to FordVehicles.com on the 26th, probably at least in part due to the Facebook campaign.
What does this mean for consumer brands? Despite the fact that in some cases–particularly the Scotch Shoe–the Facebook launch was inspired by budgetary constraints, this can become an increasingly effective way to target and reach relevant consumers. Consider the fact that in January alone, almost half of Facebook’s unique visitors became a fan of a page. For brands that aren’t yet active on Facebook, those statistics should be a call to action. Setting up a Facebook page for your brand is an easy, low-cost way to tap into an important, active audience.
For brands that are already on Facebook, launching a product there can be an efficient way to reward social-media-savvy customers, as well as to generate some ever-important word-of-mouth buzz around a new product.
Jared is currently the Associate Digital Marketing Manager at Compete (Millward Brown Digital). He is a graduate of Northeastern University, having achieved his B.A. in Communication Studies. If you like what you read, you can connect with him on Google+, Twitter, or on LinkedIn.