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Times Are Changing

The natural world and human activity coexist in an uneasy alliance. Global climate change, the depletion of natural resources, animal and plant life are all contributing to a changing environment. Significant social and economic developments were marked in recent history by the industrial revolution and have now been overtaken by the digital revolution. The imperative for new initiatives and inventions that support our environment grows ever more pressing.

Changing markets

The challenge for innovators and entrepreneurs is to preserve precious resources and ecosystems for future generations whilst supporting an ever-growing population with better products and services. Introducing new ideas and solutions to the market place is a vital step in the process of sharing knowledge and advancing understanding. In marketing communications, one of the most dynamic ways of presenting this type of news is by staging a product launch, with all the advantages that a live event offers.

Product launches are a form of “business theatre” that creates excitement, clarity, reality and sensory impact in an atmosphere of shared celebration. At the same time, product launches allow the target audience to experience the product in a physical sense, up close and personal, as well as hearing from the suppliers about its features and seeing a demonstration of the benefits.

With the advanced technological components and software that drive modern products and service systems hidden from view, it is vital that the applications and performance capabilities are fully appreciated. Manufacturers and service providers inevitably rely on “partners” – employees, channel partners and other stakeholders – to embrace and adopt the new product or service with confidence and commitment. A product launch has all the “magic ingredients” to bring the launch to life and present the message in a powerful, compelling way.

Changing streets

An example of modern technology being applied to a growing ecological problem is the development of ‘zero emissions’ vehicles, which are particularly effective at reducing the damage to health caused by pollution in cities. New adaptations of battery-powered technology for electric propulsion have become more widespread with all the major car and commercial vehicle manufacturers now involved. National and local government authorities around the world are setting new standards for reducing emissions and demanding solutions from the industries responsible.

Electric vehicles are changing lives with small-scale solutions as well as in mass transportation [1]. Once the preserve of the rich and elite – think Tesla – these vehicles are becoming main stays across the globe in smaller formats such as rickshaws, where they provide an income stream for their drivers.

Changing cities

For the first time in history more than half of humanity resides in cities. In 2015 the world’s urban population already stood at 3.7 billion people, and this number is expected to double by 2050. The trend towards urbanisation is only accelerating and 96 percent of all urbanisation by 2030 will occur in the developing world [2]. With the tectonic plates of human society shifting so dramatically, big adjustments will be required to manage the consequences. City surface transportation systems are a critical element in the issue of air quality and public health.

One of PAEM’s clients is a leading Chinese manufacturer of zero-emission taxis and buses. They needed to talk with the public officials responsible for city transportation across Europe and beyond, to build on the trials of their electric buses that many cities were already conducting. The aim of this product launch event was to continue dialogue, answer questions and most importantly, present improved solutions to their target audience of influencers and decision-makers. A product launch provided the best “package” of interactive opportunities.

Making an impact

The launch conference opened with two screens behind the stage showing an evocative and somewhat disturbing 5-minute video of cityscapes around the world overshadowed by clouds of smog and air pollution. Scenes of dirty harmful exhaust fumes from diesel trucks, buses and cars invaded the senses. The shots came from congested cities in several continents, crawling with traffic. Pedestrians, men, women and children, struggled through the choking air covering their faces with scarves and masks.

In the background, the haunting strains of Michael Jackson’s Earth Song added to the pathos.  The lyrics of the song begin with “What about sunrise, what about rain, what about all the things you said we were to gain” and throughout the song the haunting refrain returns “What about us, what about us?”. The audience was left in no doubt that this was a momentous responsibility, but the good news was that there were solutions available. As the music faded, the company chief executive appeared on stage wearing a gas mask. He removed it and commenced his introductory speech, confirming that zero-emission urban transportation was now a realistic prospect. The video in the background was at that stage showing inspirational shots of the Earth, taken from a satellite in space, revealing the colour, beauty and brightness of the planet and offering an image of hope and optimism. The product launch went on to achieve an important breakthrough in the continued international growth of the company.

The use of innovative staging, AV, music, props, and more, provide the perfect platform in which to demonstrate a product with a full sensory message. A product launch doesn’t have to just demonstrate he product, but showcase how it fits in to, and resolves the issues resulting from, a changing world. Working with a supplier who understands the markets of today & tomorrow, you can transform your product and turn it in to a vision for all to understand!

To read more about our clients zero-emission bus and taxi product launch, click here.

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