Creating a sense of building anticipation is a classic and useful technique when it comes to marketing strategy. This is the theory behind “sneak previews” and unveiling new products, buildings, campaigns, etc. If you are developing something new, remodeling space, or making changes to your product or service line-you may find creating some curiosity and anticipation to be a great public relations effort.
The key to building anticipation is to create interest and hold it. This means that you’ll need to have something that is interesting enough to the public or your customer base and that the timing will need to be right. Too short of a time frame and there isn’t time for anticipation to build, while extending things for too long kills the anticipation and public attention turns to something else. You’ll want to have a good estimated timeline of your product development, building project or expansion or whatever event you’ve deemed worthy of announcing.
Consider using “teasers” to build anticipation-including information about an upcoming change or new item (direction, building, etc.) in your general marketing is one way to start to build interest and curiosity. Your website, print ads, in-store advertising etc. can all feature information about an upcoming change or development. Creating a series of press releases as the unveiling nears can help generate some anticipation from the media.
Another way to build anticipation is to borrow from car manufacturers and create a prototype to unveil-giving customers a sample of what is coming. This is why new development projects have scale models and artist’s drawings of what a finished project is expected to look like. This whets people’s appetite and gives them a visual to hold on to as the project comes to fruition. This can work well with merchandise if you can give people a tangible example of what it to come.
Ceremonies and “sneak peeks” can generate excitement and a public-fueled energy around new developments and company changes. What you don’t want to do is organize a kick-off ceremony or event and let things languish until the final development. If you decide to use anticipation and building curiosity as a marketing technique, you need to feed it, manage it and keep it going. This takes staff time and focus. Back to that timeline-plan out your approach (understanding, of course that marketing has a way of taking on a life of it’s own) and pay attention to your marketing campaign-making sure to provide an adequate “release” for the much-anticipated new project, product, building, service, etc. The outcome needs to fit the hype for the process to be successful.