PR Can Lead Product Innovation
A PR agency’s job is to be tapped into mainstream culture. We are constantly looking out for trends and stories that might be relevant for our clients or that we could react to; what’s new in our client’s industry, what’s happening in core cultural verticals (music, sport, fashion, film/TV, food/drink), what trending on social.
So when it comes to new product development briefs – whether it’s flavour, packaging, design, tech innovation – why are PR agencies often overlooked? Brands can work for months (or even years) developing new product innovations before even speaking to a PR team – even if the core objective is to spark conversation amongst consumers. To us, that just doesn’t make sense.
NPD shouldn’t be something brands only speak to internal or external innovation teams about. PR agencies should be used to help shape ideas that are going to make a real impact.
Our recent award-winning work on ‘The Glenlivet Capsule Collection’ is a great example of this. The Glenlivet boldly challenged us to develop an idea that would help open up the single malt category to a new generation of consumers. The Glenlivet wanted a proof point that would bring to life the brand’s new global positioning – ‘Original By Tradition’ – which is centred on celebrating originality and breaking conventions around how single malt has historically been enjoyed.
We had seen the recent media frenzy created by Notpla – a sustainable packaging start-up – when it released edible seaweed water capsules at the London Marathon. This sparked a creative thought. We created an innovative new product for The Glenlivet – something that had never been done by any spirit brand – let alone an iconic single malt. The result? Take a look here.
It’s time for brands to shake up the traditional agency briefing process. It’s time to rethink how PR can add additional value, and a different perspective, to the world of NPD.