Hero Product vs. Slow Mover: How to Promote Your Clients' Offers All Year LongAug 15, 2022
Pitching is PR’s bread and butter. To keep your clients in the media, you need to promote their offerings all year long…but that’s easier said than done when you’re out of ideas. Whether there are no new launches on the horizon or you’ve just hit some major pitching writer’s block, look no further than a hero product or slow mover — putting a new twist on an older product could be the perfect, fresh pitch angle you need.
What Is a Hero Product?
Hero products are a brand’s bestsellers, the ones fit for center stage. If your client could only sell one product, this would be it. Think of it like a cult favorite: a hero product is what a brand is known for or consistently sold out of.
I know what you’re thinking: an already-popular product doesn’t seem newsworthy. But it SO is! A sold-out product is major news and can be spun as something cool and in-demand in your pitches. It’s the perfect thing to pitch between major holiday seasons and planned product launches — find a new way to use the hero product or a unique detail about it (like an ingredient or benefit) and run with it!
Hero product pitches are so powerful because they build on consumer confidence. Knowing that a product is wanted and trusted makes people even more eager and motivated to buy. You can play up that angle in your pitches so potential customers feel super confident in purchasing the hero product.
What Is a Slow Mover?
Slow movers, on the other hand, are the “under-the-radar” products. Clients might even refer to them as “duds” because they don’t sell as well as their other offerings. But just because it’s not selling well right now doesn’t mean it won’t sell well forever!
With a few killer pitches, you can turn a slow mover into the next big thing. Honestly, it might become another hero product after you land some high-quality placements! It’s all about putting a fresh, new spin on an older product and sharing it with the right audience.
Work with your clients to identify some products that they wish would sell more or get more media attention. Just like with hero products, your next step is to dig deep into the slow movers to find the fun details or new uses that you can turn into a cool pitch. Think about how you can use the media to your advantage and turn an underdog product into a brand’s best-kept secret.
How to Keep Your Hero Product and Slow Mover Pitches Fresh
Pitching a hero product or a slow mover isn’t all there is to the equation. Since it’s an older product, you’ve likely already pitched it before (even if that was years ago) or the editor has previously seen it in another publication.
You’ve got to keep your pitches interesting and focus on the new, never-before-seen details to land the placement. Here are three of my favorite ways to creatively add hero products and slow movers to your pitches!
#1: Share the Founder’s Story
If your client is open to being featured in the media, you can use it to enhance your hero product and slow mover pitches! Pitching your client as an expert is one of the best ways to give them staying power in the media. The more features you land for them, the more they become known as an authority in their space and build trust in their brand — you can use this consumer confidence to give your slow movers a major boost.
To pitch a hero product or slow mover along with an expert founder, meet with them to dive deep into the product’s details. What’s the story behind the product? Do the ingredients, name, or packaging have any significance to the founder? What was their inspiration for creating it? Build on the best, coolest details and craft a new pitch around them.
#2: Create Data-Driven Stories
Editors and journalists like data that tells a story. If your client has powerful surveys or case studies (including their hero product or slow mover, of course), you can turn them into a data-packed pitch. You need ironclad research, though — journalists are trusting you to deliver credible data and will only accept independent, peer-reviewed, quality-controlled research here.
This is a great option for when you have a reeeeeeally long gap between product launches. Take advantage of the slower period to put a lot of time and effort into the pitch (you need to get the details right!) and set up any interviews the editor requests once they accept the story. Make sure someone on your client’s team is willing to interview before you start!
#3: Take Advantage of Seasons and Trends
Hero products and slow movers might not be your best bet for the holiday season, but there are tons of other seasonal pitches you could use them for! The start of each new season can be turned into a pitch (hello, spring cleaning and summer travel!), or you could take advantage of smaller holidays like Valentine’s Day or Earth Day.
Take the time to brainstorm which holidays and seasons apply most to your client’s hero products and slow movers. And don’t be afraid to add in super niche holidays — something like World Chocolate Day can produce really fun, tailored pitches!
Leave room in your press plan for last-minute, trendy stories, too. Keep an eye on social media for any up-and-coming trends that apply to your client’s hero product or slow mover, or try newsjacking and use current events and news stories to promote each product. Make sure any input you have on current events is valuable, relevant, and tasteful — never use a tragedy, conflict, or disaster for product promotion.
How to Make Pitching Year-Round So Much Easier
Pitching hero products and slow movers year-round can be tough, even with these three strategies. Everyone gets stuck in a rut sometimes! But if you want a leg-up, I’ve got just the thing to help you: The Pitch Lab.
Inside The Pitch Lab, you’ll receive monthly Execution Plans packed with info on upcoming holidays, creative pitch ideas for each month of the year, and editorial calendars for dozens of publications in every niche.
Plus, you’ll get access to core content stacks and expert masterclasses to help refine your pitch-writing skills and improve your pitches, whether they’re for hero products, slow movers, or new launches. It’s the PR shortcut you need to take your press plans to the next level and deliver stellar service to your clients.
Transforming a hero product or slow mover into a fresh, new pitch is the key to keeping your clients in the media from January until December. These three strategies (plus a little help from The Pitch Lab) will help you put a cool spin on these older products and get the media buzzing about them all over again.