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5 Brands that Nailed New Product Launches

5 minute read

Find out how Alexander Wang measured PR efforts To better understand media impact, Alexander Wang tracked the success of their SS17 show. Discover the success story.
Rosanna Ryan

Although determining the success of product launches requires careful measuring and monitoring to gain real insights, an immediate indicator that your campaign was a success is as straightforward as seeing how quickly your product sold out. But while strong sales results are a fantastic indicator, other goals are also to be considered when looking at the effectiveness of product launches, such as increasing brand awareness and your follower base, consequently building brand equity, to ensure long-term growth and success. When looking at just how fashion brands have been achieving this, it’s safe enough to say that the following companies nailed it.

5 Brands and Their Successful Product Launches:

Virgil Abloh and Nike 

Virgil Abloh’s collab with Nike, for which he re-designed a series of classic sneakers to create “The Ten” collection, was one of the most buzzworthy product launches of 2017. Abloh’s streetwear brand, Off-white, has gained a reputation in the industry for its scarce availability, heightening the desirability of his products — so it came to no surprise when everyone discovered that they’d have to register in a raffle just to win the opportunity of buying a pair of sneakers from one of the limited number of exclusive shops.

Despite the fact that the raffle never happened, that the product launch was pushed back and that the collection drop took place on the Nike SNKR app instead, the whole line sold out in a matter of minutes. And, it doesn’t stop there. The sneakers are currently re-sold on eBay for as much as $2,500 (as opposed to $190) and the line has received more than 34,000 #TheTen mentions on Instagram. The key to this successful launch campaign? Building up hype several months in advance, previewing the collection on social and offering limited availability.

H&M x Erdem

As any fashion insider knows, H&M has been forging partnerships with designer brands for years. From time to time, capsule collections are released in collaboration with well-known high-end labels, such as Stella McCartney, Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Lanvin and Marni, among others, and they’ve all proven to be quite a success! And the latest collab with Erdem was no exception.

H&M’s previous collaborations certainly helped add to the hype of the Erdem collection launch, as consumers are familiar with the limited availability of these items. However, this didn’t stop H&M from investing in a powerful campaign launch. The Swedish fast fashion company tapped Baz Luhrmann, world-renowned director of Moulin Rouge!The Great Gatsby, and Romeo + Juliet who brought “the buzzed about Erdem x H&M collaboration to life in his short fashion film, The Secret Life of Flowers. A love story set in a mysterious mansion in the countryside where it’s always spring, the house is filled with magnificent flowers that evoke London-based designer Erdem’s signature floral prints” according to Forbes. The result? Fashion crowds went into a frenzy the day of the launch, causing the site to crash at 9am the morning of, and queuing for hours outside shops around the world to get their hands on these affordable, English-countryside-inspired garments.


Last Christmas Swarovski pulled out all the stops to reach consumers worldwide for the holiday season with a message of acceptance and diversity. The Austrian brand invested heavily in the production of the #BrillianceForAll TV advert which starred Naomi Campbell, Karlie Kloss, Jourdan Dunn, Fei Fei Sun, Andres Velencoso Segura, Ruby Rose, Maye Musk, Maggie Jiang, Daya, Chiara Ferragni, Boy George, Anthony Mackie, Nolan Funk, Eric Rutherford, Bryanboy and Nathan Owens. Swarovski even launched a tailored campaign via WeChat in China, based on the Advent calendar, despite the tradition being primarily Western.

The “Advent calendar” which was made up of 24 boxes, 3 with full-priced gifts and the remaining with free items, retailed at $458—the item sold out in a matter of 10 days. Not only were the “physical” Advent calendars a hit, their digital version was too.  According to Luxury Society this digital Advent calendar “gave users access to a different, interactive mini-games. Upon winning the game, users were given a card. Once 7 unique cards were collected, users received a Christmas gift from Swarovski.Taking advantage of WeChat’s digital features was a smart move for Swarovski as they generated tons of engagement and two-thirds of the followers they gained were via organic. China is currently Swarovski’s biggest market and they crystal business brings in €2.6 billion (approximately $3.19 billion) in revenue for the company.

Forever 21

Another brand who proved to be launch-campaign savvy in China is Forever21. Carrying out a successful product launches isn’t just about having a healthy marketing budget or working with top influencers, it’s also about knowing your audience, especially when trying to break into a new market. Forever 21 opened their Tmall global ecommerce store in China and in order to build a strong follower base and reach out to prospective customers, took full advantage of social media platforms such as Weibo and WeChat. They shared content designed specifically for the Chinese audience, creating posts on topics such as “best places to visit in Shanghai”—which became one of these most visited posts. In fact, this California-based company was so successful at launching its brand in China, that it now has 16 stores in this Asian territory alone.


Under Armour 

Sportswear brand Under Armour partnered with creative agency Droga5 to create a series of films for social media, directed by Georgia Hudson of Agile Films, to launch their FW2017 collection. The videos sought to showcase atypical female athletes in action, capturing their uniqueness in movement. The campaign, titled “Unlike Any”, featured: Ms Copeland, a ballerina; Zoe Zhang, actress and Taekwondo Black Belt; Jessie Graff, a stunt woman; Alison Desir, entrepeneur and Harlem Run Founder and Natasha Hastings, the world champion sprinter. While the female athletes are in motion during the videos, poetry by Saul Williams, Aja Monet, Kojey Radical, Dominique Christina and Aristophanes 貍貓 is read.

The spirit of this thoughtful campaign is summed up in the words Adrienne Lofton, SVP Global Brand Management at Under Armour, shared with PR Newswire of  : “Our unique approach was to create these unexpected films that honor our athletes with powerful poems from the hearts and minds of some of the most thought-provoking artists in the world. Our brand aims to inspire women everywhere to continue making history in their own lives and this campaign is a reminder that we stand for and with her.” As we mentioned in our piece on the best luxury campaigns of 2017, it’s essential to create campaigns that make consumers feel that as a brand, you have “a purpose”, and Under Armour achieved this. There are currently over 7,000 #UnlikeAny hashtags on Instagram alone, proving how popular the videos are.

As always, we love to hear what you have to say! Feel free to share your thoughts on these product launches below:


Rosanna RyanContent & Social Media Specialist

Rosanna is the author of The Fashion English Bible, an English guide for Spanish-speaking fashion professionals. She studied fashion at SCAD and has worked in the industry in NYC, London and now Madrid. She is passionate about design, creativity and innovation.

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1 Response > join the discussion... “5 Brands that Nailed New Product Launches”

  1. Nocae

    Oh, yes very cool! I love it, I love this post.

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