How to nail a product launch: an interview with Tara Wigley

How print can take your event from ordinary to extraordinary.

Tara Wigley's book with MOO Postcard and Business Card, displayed next to toast and buttered knife.

We are big fans of well-buttered toast as well as meeting our customers IRL. So we were so excited to recently welcome Tara Wigley, cook, in-house writer for team Ottolenghi, and author of ‘How to Butter Toast’ to our London HQ. 

We supported Tara on her book launch this summer and witnessed first-hand how print can bring any event to life. (It’s the secret ingredient, didn’t you know?).

So if you’re looking for the perfect way to fry an egg or are busy planning your own launch party, we’ve got all of Tara’s top tips right here.

Tell us about your new book ‘How To Butter Toast’

How to Butter Toast’ is a collection of rhymes about recipes, without any actual recipes in it. Each rhyme takes a really simple recipe – how to make a tomato sauce, how to make a cup of tea, boil an egg, or make a martini, for example – and shows that there are lots of different ways to do the same thing. 

Recipe books can sometimes feel like a bit of a strict set of firm and unwavering instructions. ‘How to Butter Toast’ is the opposite of this, showing that it’s not a question of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ so much as ‘either’ or ‘or’. It’s a book about being liberated and having fun in the kitchen

Tara Wigley at the MOO office in Camden holding a copy of her book "How to Butter Toast"

Was your launch party a roaring success?

As the guys making cocktails said, everyone’s thirst was very much that of a Friday night rather than a Monday night! The evening went really well. Great people, food and drink, and all the good things. 

We had it at the brilliant Honey and Smoke restaurant, who were super relaxed about me turning their room into a How to Butter Toast-shaped (and colour-coded) space. I had my fabulous MOO Posters showing ten designs from the book, which looked great and made the event feel bespoke and special.

Plates with different foods cooked by Tara and Business Cards used as signs to indicate what each dish is.

Can you talk us through your MOO marketing materials? 

We had lots of things to make the book launch really special. Among them were a range of A3 Posters. The Posters had a beautiful matte finish and a QR code on them (linking directly to buying the book online). This was a great way of getting people to interact with them during the event.

Additionally, we created Business Cards using images from the book to help guests see what the food was. As well as the image, the cards had the title of the relevant rhyme from the book written out. ‘How to make a vinaigrette’ (next to the salad dish), for example. 

Bookmark at product lunch together with Postcards and Tara's book.

“The combination of the illustrations and the quality of the Postcards leaves me with no doubt that people will be keeping and using them”.

I also ordered Bookmarks, which we put into everyone’s take-home bag and gave out when people purchased a copy of my book on the night. Which was a really nice touch!

Finally, we had some Square Postcards printed. I love the idea of everyone now having these at home, dotted around the place. The combination of the illustrations and the quality of the Postcards leaves me with no doubt that people will be keeping and using these.

Square Postcards featuring all the different designs.

How important is print in a digital-first world?

I mean, you’re asking someone who still buys a newspaper on the weekend even though the same paper exists in digital form online! I love actual, printed, real, tactile things. I’m a complete stationery nerd so being able to launch my book with actual print – rather than just digital assets – was a really special thing for me. Print will always have a permanence that the digital world just doesn’t have. Digital is great and all, but it’s ephemeral.

What were the main challenges when launching your book? 

The planning of the launch was a lot of work. I was pretty much on my own, which was sobering but also exciting, as you’re responsible for every stage coming together. The challenge was budget – not unlimited (sadly), so it was a case of doing as much as I could myself. I also wasn’t shy about asking people I knew (and people I didn’t know) if they wanted to work together. The worst thing that people can say is ‘no thanks’.

Once I had my print lined up, approaching the likes of Sipsmith and MOMO became a lot easier. They were able to see that a) I meant business and b) I had great print products that could display their name in return for a sponsorship.

With the launch, the doors started opening for me once I had my prints in place.

Books and all print marketing materials displayed

How was your experience working with MOO?

It was dreamy. To be honest, I’m not the most confident when it comes to things like uploading and using images to create slideshows or PDFs. So I thought making the Postcards and Posters would be a bit challenging, but it was just ridiculously easy. 

“What I was offered was the perfect balance of suggestions and templates but also autonomy”.

The MOO website is so user-friendly. I literally sat on a bench on Upper Street, Islington, eating my lunch with one hand and uploading and designing all my Postcards and Posters with the other hand. What I was offered was the perfect balance of suggestions and templates but also autonomy, making them exactly as I wanted.

Tara chatting to content team at MOO's office in Camden about her product launch.

What are your 5 Top Tips for nailing a product launch?

1. Keep the product at the center of everything.

If there is a colour code, for example, run with it: tying everything together in this way makes the event feel very bespoke and aesthetically pleasing. Stick with the aesthetic and vibe of the product in everything you do.

2. Be on top of the details.

If you need blue tack or frames to hang up your Posters, bring them. If you need bags to put take-home goodies in, sort them. If your menu cards need little stands on so that they are rising up and away from the food, source them. Don’t assume that anyone else apart from you will have thought these through or have them to hand. 

3. Don’t send out a blanket invitation. 

Take the time to invite people individually. A launch event is only going to be as good as the people who come and bring the buzz so taking the time to let people know they are special to you will be worth its weight in gold. 

It’s the atmosphere of the event that people will remember, and this is something that the guests play such a big part in bringing.

4. Make sure you have something that people can take home

A Bookmark, for example, or a little set of Postcards. Having that in their bag or at home the next day means that the memory of the night will last and stay with them. Don’t forget that we were all kids at parties, once upon a time, and that parties were ALL about the going home bag.

5. Never, ever drink more than 1.5 martinis. 

Until everyone has gone home.  

Launching a new product is super exciting and with the right print, planning, and people, you can create a memorable and successful event.

If you’re looking for support on your next product launch? With MOO Business Plan you can gain access to a variety of different MOO products as well as design support. Get in touch with our team today to get started!

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