Finding PR Success with Product Launches: How SHIFT Helped Launch the Ultimaker 3

New product launches can be hit or miss. It’s easy to give in to the excitement and guzzle the Kool-Aid when you start hearing about a new (or next generation) product. What’s hard (sometimes) is figuring out how to get the media as excited about it.

New products are getting harder and harder to get covered by media. It’s not because people don’t care about a new product, it’s just that there’s a new product introduced to the market every day. And when you’re a reporter that gets inundated with pitches for B2B tech products they all start to sound the same, or it’s really difficult to understand exactly what is different about this new version of the product vs. the older version.  That wasn’t the case when we launched the Ultimaker 3.

Quick rewind; when Ultimaker (3D printer manufacturer) approached SHIFT in the summer of 2016, the Netherlands-based company was looking to grow its footprint in the U.S.

When we learned that there was a product launch on the horizon we started to develop the game plan immediately. The strategy involved several moving pieces including a launch event with Facebook Live streaming of the unveiling, timing for media loaners, in-person demos and a teaser campaign.

The launch event took place at New Lab in Brooklyn, New York.  It involved multiple presentations from Ultimaker partners and customers, as well as the official unveiling of the Ultimaker 3 – perfectly timed with our announcement. We were expecting coverage from Engadget, TechCrunch, Tom’s Guide and many more – right at the reveal.

So what was the problem? Ultimaker’s website crashed due to the influx of traffic on launch day. .Launch day represented one of the largest traffic spikes the company has experienced to-date. Clearly PR can’t take credit for all the traffic, but the referral traffic alone was impressive for a product launch.

Of course, we never want a client’s site to go down as a result (in part) of our efforts.  After all, our goal is to create awareness that ultimately drives sales. But, when it happens it sure does make for an interesting story about the impact a successful new product launch can have on a business and its momentum.


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