In this seventh post in a series based on the Art of the Drop report, we outline key takeaways and best practices that any brand or retailer leveraging a drop-style launch should know

Presented as the final installment in a series drawn from PSFK and PCH's research report, The Art of the Drop, the following insights and guidelines will help brands and retailers in any category leverage a product drop, maximizing operational efficiency while growing their business and creating stronger emotional connections with their consumers. Here are seven key takeaways for ensuring a successful product launch in today's market:

Have A Plan In Place
In order to successfully pull off a product drop, the logistics have to be seamless, as product shortages or long delivery times can remove the excitement from the experience. Work with a third party logistics provider if necessary, determine the appropriate amount of inventory to produce, where the drop will take place and how purchases will be fulfilled.

Take A Localized Approach
Drop different items in different locations to cater to local tastes and celebrate hometown events, giving audiences a unique experience that they can’t get anywhere else.

Make Them Earn It
In an age where shoppers can purchase nearly anything they want at the click of a button, adding just the right amount of friction to the purchase path can actually enhance the experience, as consumers tend to value items more when they have to work for them.

Reward Your Biggest Fans
Consumers today are driven less by the promise of discounts and more by a desire to feel as though they’re part of an exclusive club. Reward your biggest fans with early access to new products and experiences that invite them into the world of your brand, creating an emotional connection.

Use Drops As An Opportunity To Test And Learn
Drops are an opportunity to experiment and try new methods without a large initial outlay. Use drops to test the waters for new product lines and brand extensions to help refine designs before wider release. Try different mechanisms for executing the drop, from online-only to location-specific drops, to see which generate the most excitement among your target audience.

Decide What Success Looks Like 
Determine your ultimate business objective for leveraging the drop and decide which metrics and KPIs you will use to measure outcomes, whether it’s social media buzz, units sold, or number of email sign-ups.

View The Drop Not As The End, But The Beginning
Turn the momentary excitement of drops into a long-term loyalty play by capturing and analyzing customer data in order to better understand your consumers’ needs and desires, allowing you to continue giving them more of what they want.

This article is part of a series based on PCH and PSFK's Art of the Drop report—download the full report free here