Making a Grand Entrance: How to Launch a Product
You have the vision, you have the product, and you have the funding; it’s your time to make a splash. How do you turn a brilliant vision into a successful reality? Without the proper launch strategy, even the best idea can fall flat. This panel of marketing and PR mavens will take you through best practices for taking a product from stealth to superstar, including strategies for building anticipation, managing hype, handling speculation/misinformation, providing a cure for the common launch, and how to tap into buzz to predict sales/adoption and get customers engaging.
Alex Constantinople has twenty years of experience as a strategic communications and marketing executive. Prior to joining OutCast as COO in September 2010, she was responsible for communications efforts for the business and editorial divisions of Condé Nast’s WIRED magazine and its digital properties.
Previously, Alex spent fifteen years at GE, where she served as general manager of corporate and marketing communications and marketing services. During that time she headed global marketing initiatives such as the launch of GE’s groundbreaking ecomagination platform and imagination at work branding campaign, developed innovation tools and processes for GE business teams to achieve faster organic growth, and helped GE engage in new and interactive ways with consumers, customers and thought-leaders.
She started her career with the company at NBC, working in a variety of publicity and promotions roles including television’s top morning program, Today, before rising to vice president of NBC News communications. Alex began her career with CNN, as a publicist for Larry King Live.
Alex currently serves on the Board of Directors for Schools, Mentoring and Resource Team (SMART), a non-profit organization that provides highly motivated, financially-disadvantaged students with access to educational opportunities and social support services in order to foster academic excellence and community engagement.
She is a graduate of Denison University.
Brandee Barker is an independent consultant who builds global brands through strategic communications and social media programs. Having spent nearly 20 years in the tech industry, her passion is guiding founders, executives and their teams through the crucial stages of message development and delivery, market positioning, launch planning and multimedia dissemination. Her current and most recent clients include notable Internet start-ups AirBnB, Groupon, Spotify, Square and Quora.
Prior to starting her own business in 2011, Brandee held the distinguished role of being the first communications executive at Facebook. In 2006, Brandee joined Facebook when it had 100 employees and 5 million college users and saw it through to more than 2,000 employees and 500 million users worldwide. During her tenure, she grew the communications team to 10 employees, hired and managed the first U.S. and international PR agencies, and oversaw a multi-million dollar budget. She led the PR strategy for many major business milestones including, Microsoft ($240MM) and DST ($300MM) investments, Parakey and Friend Feed acquisitions, and many strategic partnerships. She launched hundreds of products and features, most notably News Feed, Pages, “Share” and “Like,” Facebook Ads, Facebook Platform and the initial translation of the site. In her role as a public spokesperson for Facebook, Brandee navigated through many challenges including rumors of buyouts, IPO and revenue speculation, government investigations, site outages and massive user protests around privacy issues. In contrast, Brandee also served as a consumer TV spokesperson and co-hosted the live web stream of the 2009 Golden Globes and American Music Awards.
Through all of this, Brandee developed a deep and trusted network among media – print reporters, tech bloggers and broadcast producers. She built Facebook into a global phenomenon, in part, by placing countless stories in influential blogs, such as AllThingsD, GigaOm, Mashable, TechCrunch, and VentureBeat, and targeting cover stories in Fast Company, Financial Times, Fortune, New York Times, Newsweek, Wall St. Journal and Wired. In addition, she secured and managed executive appearances on 60 Minutes, Bloomberg, CNBC, GMA, Martha Stewart, Oprah and Today Show. Her final project at Facebook was directing the TIME story naming CEO Mark Zuckerberg the 2010 Person of the Year.
Brandee has a long career that has shaped her approach to communications today. She was Vice President at Zeno Group and led PR programs for Oracle’s applications business and the Gap’s corporate division. While a Vice President at Ruder Finn, she managed the Sony Electronics account and developed the firm’s West Coast consumer technology practice. Brandee was Director of Corporate Communications at Stamps.com and served as Director of Marketing at Oracle. She began her career as part of the team that established the Boston office of GCI Group.
In 2007, Brandee was named to PRWeek’s “Top 40 Under 40”, which honored people who “demonstrate innovative thinking, strong determination, and results.” She speaks regularly at conferences, including DLD in Munich and SXSW in Austin. Brandee is a VIP Donor Member of TED and proudly sits on the Board of the Somaly Mam Foundation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she graduated with honors.
Kira lives for adventure, whether it’s in the great outdoors or the early stages of a startup. She launched her own travel business straight out of undergrad at Georgetown, then spent six years leading integrated marketing efforts for Intuit’s small business division. Before joining Lytro, Kira was a principal of the customer experience consultancy Ant’s Eye View. Her keen insights into what engages and delights consumers have led to numerous accolades for innovative marketing, including the WOMMA Grand Prix Prize and Forrester Groundswell Award. She holds an M.B.A. from Duke University.