Disclaimer: Pooki’s Mahi’s “Why Use Celebrity Lounges For New Product Launces” provides a insight to Pooki’s Mahi new product introduction and background to benefits to using celebrity gift lounges to help launch a new product line.
Pooki’s Mahi guide does not cover:
Les Magsalay-Zeller is the Founder/CEO of Pooki’s Mahi. Pooki’s Mahi’s Founder/CEO expertise is in new product launches. Pooki’s Mahi has a detailed strategy and product launch plan for new product launches. Pooki’s Mahi™, The PMO Practice™, and Matcha Matcha Man™ are trademarks of Pooki’s Mahi. New Product Launch introductions, Go To Market Planning and supply chain frameworks are protected under VA 1-294-170. Pooki’s Mahi has a zero tolerance policy for individuals or firms engaged in cyber-bullying, slander or cyber-criminal activities.
Summary: The purpose of our “Why Use Celebrity Lounges For New Product Launches” is to provide an overview of benefits and areas to look out for when using celebrity lounges or award shows gift bags to introduce new products to market. Pooki’s Mahi’s Founder/CEO expertise is in new product launches. Pooki’s Mahi has a detailed strategy and comprehensive launch plan introduce new products to customers. There is a sizeable cost ($25,000 - $250,000) when launching new products at celebrity gift lounges or award show gift bags. Nothing is free.
Pooki’s Mahi is a frugal company. The Silicon Valley startup has been able to grow with no loans, VC funding or PEG and have little / no debt. The growing private label manufacturer of 100% Kona coffee pods successfully built a network of celebrities, athletes, brand advocates and vendors that host celebrity gift lounges.
This guide is NOT the “secret sauce” and may not work for all products or companies.
Pooki’s Mahi follows a strict NPI (New Product Introduction) framework to design, manufacture and launch new products to market.
Pooki’s Mahi follows a patented framework to launch new products to market that involves roadmap planning, digital marketing, and timelines. The new product launch framework includes cross functional agreements from product development (ecommerce), digital marketing (marcom events, product story) and operations (supply chain management). Pooki’s Mahi launches new products Q1 and Q2 of each year. Pilot launches or limited releases occur in Q3. No launches in Q4. - it is suicidal to launch in Q4 because the focus should be on selling through existing inventory built from a master demand schedule.
Pooki’s Mahi requires a 12-18 month calendar from vendors that host celebrity gift lounges. Pooki’s Mahi private label distribution partners attend celebrity gift events in Q1 - Q2 (June through June) because the execs are focused on new product introductions and prepping for new product launches. It is suicidal for Pooki’s Mahi Founder/CEO to attend any celebrity events between Q1 - Q2/Q3 (January - June or September).
Revenue Driver: Celebrity Gift Bags vs. Product Roadshow
Marketing is always tied to many metrics. The main metric are sales and inventory turns.
Celebrity gift lounges or award show gift bags do not bring in revenue. Appearing in a celebrity gift lounges will never land a purchase order from a large international retailer.
Private label product roadshows bring in revenue because Pooki’s Mahi executives are meeting with a number of decision makers (buyers, GMs and Presidents) that will either:
Pooki’s Mahi has two different product launches: Pilot (aka “Beta”) or NPI (New Product Introduction).
Celebrity gift lounges is one of many events considered to new product introductions.
Celebrity gift bags, award show gifts and Oscar gift bags are the same “product.” It is a set of products from vendors curated by the award show gift host.
A luxury event host for celebrity gift lounges is asked to curate a “bag” of high end or high quality products for one of the major award shows in the entertainment industry like Oscars, Emmys, MTV Movie Awards, ESPY, or People’s Choice Awards. The curated bag is gifted to the events attendees usually athletes, actresses, actors and Hollywood producers.
The recipients of the gift bag need to document the value and list it on their taxes. The manufacturer needs to document the value as part of the marketing budget. Recipients and manufacturers must list the information for tax purposes.
Pooki’s Mahi uses celebrity gift lounges as one of many avenues for product launches because our repeat customers want to see celebrities (specifically actors, actresses, Hollywood producers) and athletes are excited and supporting Pooki’s Mahi brand and luxury products. Celebrity gift lounges meets Pooki’s Mahi’s specs. There are different types of celebrity gift lounges. This guide covers “celebrities” in the entertainment industry - actors, actress, Hollywood producers, screenwriters, reality shows, etc. This guide covers the perspective of an attendee - not the host or producer of the celebrity gift lounge.
There is a huge cost to presenting Pooki’s Mahi’s products at a celebrity gift lounge or award show event. Do not get glamoured by the celebrity gift lounge host with promises to “press” access, celebrities or “product placement” opportunities. Do not believe vendors that promise to “significantly increase revenue for your new products.”
Definition: Press Media Access
Pooki’s Mahi defines “press access” as individuals who write for reputable media outlets like an online newspaper, food and beverage magazine, industry magazine for a vertical (like IEEE or Variety or Supply Chain Brain) or hosts an international event conference (like Specialty Foods, IR, or Oracle World). Individuals who do not have media credentials (official press passes) that do not write press releases for a company are bloggers. Bloggers lack traditional journalism training, tend to write over-zealous articles (less than 500 words) or gossip columns. Bloggers are not licensed to provide an “official” product review; bloggers will write opinions with baseless facts.
Members of Pooki’s Mahi press and media team undergo a thorough background check or due diligence and have been vetted by a third party firm that designed the largest technology and analytics platform. The platform enables Pooki’s Mahi to manage earned media programs in coordination with paid and owned channels to drive business impact. Pooki’s Mahi partnered with the technology platform because it serves 100K customers in 170 countries and in 40 languages. Vetted press and media individuals with traditional journalism training are accepted. Bloggers are not part of the network.
Definition: Product Placement
Pooki’s Mahi rarely uses “product placement” services due to the negative ROI. Pooki’s Mahi defines product placement as “paying to advertise Pooki’s Mahi private label products on a reputable movie or TV show.” It costs an average of $3000 to advertise Pooki’s Mahi as a “giveaway gift” or $15000, a 30 second TV ad spot or $300-$4500 for a half page advertising on the TV channel’s online version.
Product placement is not recommended for new product launches - entrepreneurs will waste the marketing budget.
Pooki’s Mahi uses celebrity gift lounges to obtain sound bites through videos, photos for future creative projects, identify new brand advocates while reconnecting with existing actors, actresses, athletes and Hollywood producers. Pooki’s Mahi has a standard template from “space” (booth) design, celebrity gift bag, assessing vendors hosting the event, photography, videographer and “roadshow kit” containing Pooki’s Mahi products for the celebrity gift lounge.
Do not expect an order from a large retailer.
Photos and videos are the two deliverables every brand owner will have after the event. Do not expect an increase in sales, sales at the events (requires special permits) or landing a big contract with a large retailer. Company owners expecting sales will be disappointed.
Use the photos (300 dpi) for upcoming press releases, display advertisements, social media ads, new product launch catalogue, and digital marketing to announce a new product line. Companies own the photos and videos.
The events used to showcase Pooki’s Mahi new product introductions fall under “marcomm” - short for “Market Communications” - events. Pooki’s Mahi creates the PR - short for public relations - buzz in the media.
Definition: Marcom Events
Pooki’s Mahi defines marcom events as a marketing platform to obtain creatives, sound bites and to introduce new customers to Pooki’s Mahi's 100% Kona coffee pods, custom private label tea pods or black/white truffle salts. Examples of marcom events include non-profit charities, sporting events, celebrity gift lounges, award show gift bags like Oscar gift bags, tradeshows like Specialty Foods or Private Label Products or International Expo West. Marcom events do not generate revenue. It’s to get potentially new customers excited about the brand and products in the new product launch.
Definition: Public Relations
Pooki’s Mahi defines public relations as the individual or firm that owns strategic communications like product messaging, brand messaging, new product introductions, new product launches, go-to-market partnerships, or announcing accomplishments to customers or businesses. Pooki’s Mahi owns and drives strategic communications to the media using an approved technology platform partner to share the news.
PR (public relations) is generated from accomplishments, new product launch announcements or marcom events like celebrity gift lounges or the Oscar gift bags.
Pooki’s Mahi Advise:
There are a lot of firms who will provide an opportunity to “place” your product in the hands of today’s leading trend-setters like celebrities, athletes, Hollywood Producers, etc. Many companies will claim “known for acquiring top quality products, high profile celebrities and sought-after national press that attend every celebrity gifting suite.” In addition the same firms will claim to “make loads of money” for placing products on a “well known TV network” and grow your revenue and market share.
Really?! How? Beware.
Pooki’s Mahi approved a small list of vetted firms offering product placement, celebrity gift bags or events services to expand product awareness. Refer to a separate detailed guide on how to vet vendors. At minimum refer to Pooki’s Mahi Apply to Become A Vendor or Supplier.
Pooki’s Mahi Owns PR Messaging (Strategic Communications):
Pooki’s Mahi owns messaging. All messaging is reviewed/approved by Pooki’s Mahi Founder/CEO and an executive team that includes legal, accounting, digital marketing and operations. If the host of a celebrity lounge firm wants to write a press release, then have the host submit and launch the press release through their media channels. Do not submit another firm’s press content through your media channel because press news will not come from you.
Do not let a vendor control your company’s messaging or “strategic communications.” Do not get glamoured by empty promises from untested vendors. Complete a due diligence on the vendor and require 3+ reference checks. Companies that produce (manufacture) high value products will always receive an invite to present products at events attended by celebrities, athletes and brand influencers like Hollywood producers.
To successfully launch a new product at a celebrity gift lounge is dependent on the company’s executives collaborating on a standard gift bag template. Companies that rely on the hollywood producer or the luxury gift lounge host to do the work will fail to meet their goals.
Analogy: Celebrity gift lounges are similar to weddings. The wedding planner is responsible for the venue, food, drink and making sure guests are confirming their attendance. The bride provides a list of attendees, preferences for food, music and wedding gifts to the wedding planner. Similarly Pooki’s Mahi Founder/CEO collaborates with the celebrity gift lounge host.
For example, an award show host looking for Oscar gift bags will have the same set or responsibilities as the company providing the products. The host is focused on the overall event. The company providing products for the Oscar gift bag is responsible for the “booth” area.
Celebrity Gift Lounge Hosts: Overall Celebrity Event Planning
Key Advice: Pooki’s Mahi brought/hired own team of photographers, videographers for the celebrity gift lounge events. Pooki’s Mahi did all the work on the booth design, providing the wish list of actors, actresses, and Hollywood producers to the event host.
Summary & Key Lessons:
New Product Launch Resources:
Pooki’s Mahi will add new product launch services for private label customers. Pricing is reflective of the total cost to launch new products to market using oscar gift bags, award show gift bags and increase brand recognition.
Private Label Resources:
Visit the resource links to find out more information on private labelling Pooki’s Mahi Kona coffee pods or custom tea pods. Customers can start designing private label coffee, private label Kona coffee pods, or custom Kona coffee pods for the next launch event. Private label single serve custom tea blends will be available to order in 2017.
Pooki’s Mahi will continue to update the “How To Private Label” Guide to assist new customers.
Pooki’s Mahi™, The PMO Practice™, and Matcha Matcha Man™ are trademarks of Pooki’s Mahi. New Product Launch introductions, Go To Market Planning and supply chain frameworks are protected under VA 1-294-170.
The Academy Awards® is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®. The Gift Suites where Pooki’s Mahi’s products are show cased are not authorized by and is not associated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®, The Academy Awards®, or any of its official partners or vendors.
About Pooki’s Mahi:
Pooki’s Mahi™ is a Silicon Valley-based private label coffee pods and custom products manufacturer offering Hawaiian 100 Kona coffee and award-winning private label teas in sustainable pods. Private label brands partner with Pooki’s Mahi for the efficient supply chain, go to market launch and new product introduction expertise. Pooki’s Mahi’s mission is to revolutionize the supply chain ecosystem to make it efficient by using technology in bringing the highest quality Kona coffees into market in sustainable pods with competitive pods pricing.
Follow Pooki’s Mahi on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to keep up with news insights to launching custom promotional products. Pooki’s Mahi has a zero tolerance for firms engaged in cyber-bullying, cyber-criminal, slander, negative reviews, or cultural discrimination.