How to create demand for a new product without advertising?
It’s a pretty tall order. To create a demand for a product, you need to create awareness among its potential buyers in one way or the other. Advertising is a way for that. More direct promotion efforts are another. Even if a product is unique, customers need a way to discover what it is, why it matters to them, etc.. That’s the trouble with unique products, actually. They require more customer education. Although I wouldn’t recommend avoiding advertising entirely, I can understand putting it aside for now if you’d rather rely on brute force promotion tactics, which are generally cheaper or outright free. Let’s discuss.
Here are five ways of doing promoting and marketing without advertising:
1) Word of mouth publicity: If you are confident about the performance of your product, then you can opt to distribute your product to a few customers, say ten, either free of cost or at a discounted introductory price. This is easier if you offer a digital product since you likely have low or no cost of goods sold. If it performs well, then those customers would do word of mouth publicity for your product, thereby creating demand. Just be careful about the platforms you involve with this. For instance, if you sell on Amazon, you cannot give products away in exchange for reviews. (You actually can’t even ask for reviews at all, except for very specific circumstances, although people break those rules all the time.)
2) Making news: You can work on the ways to attract media coverage for your product, or in other words, make the news. By being newsworthy, you can get the media’s attention and increase the demand for your product. This is a silly example, but I remember a book author who got on the news by dressing up in a tiger suit and running around town (his book was about tigers).
3) Social media promotions: Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. play prominent roles in the promotion of any product, company, or brand. By frequently posting about your product on these sites, you can get the attention of people and increase demand, all without a cent paid or a single ad placed anywhere.
4) Hosting events: By hosting offline and online events, strictly depending upon your budget, you can promote your product and create more demand. This is awesome for pre-launches, to get a splash of sales on the first day you launch whatever you’re selling.
5) Demonstrating the product: Demonstrating the product and its purpose/results wherever you can. This is actually what free samples at the grocery store really are: a demonstration of how a certain food tastes, or how it can be used in a simple recipe. Demonstrations are awesome for unique products since it teaches a customer without abstract explanations. Testimonials are similar to demonstrations as well.
By implementing the above suggestions, I think you can build a pretty effective promotion campaign without actually doing any direct advertising. Since I am not aware of the reasons you don’t want to do advertising, whether for cost, shyness, or a distaste toward the very concept (the three most common I see) I would still suggest putting some money into that side of things too, in the long run. One reason why people don’t want to advertise is the expense. But, in present times, there are many smarter and cheaper ways to do it. To address a problem like yours, I have made a post: Welcome to a World Without Advertising.
In conclusion, a unique product usually gets demand provided it solves a problem and creates excitement in the ideal audience. Without advertising, more deliberate promotion tactics will be necessary. By following the above suggestions, you can create an awareness of and demand for your product.
Please feel free to reply to me if you have any questions.