Brand launches are exciting, memorable, and sometimes the difference between instant success and slow burning failure. No matter how much hard work has gone in to developing your shiny new brand, you still only get one chance to make a first impression on the world – so you can’t afford to get it wrong (no pressure).
In this blog, we’ve put together six things that every company needs to know when launching (or relaunching) their brand.
The number one reason brands don’t hit the ground running is failing to allocate an adequate budget for launch. Not every brand launch has to run into six figures, but it’s about making sure there is enough to set aside to gain the exposure and presence you need. As a rule, 20% of your overall rebrand budget should be earmarked for launch activity.
A brand launch is more than a one-off event. You need to map out key opportunities to introduce your brand to the market in a variety of ways across a variety of platforms. Think about your audience; who they are, how you can reach them, and what you need them to know – then build a launch plan based around your answers.
A company is nothing without its people and the same is true of brands. Before you even think about launching to the public, you need to make sure your internal team has been taken on the journey so they can understand your vision and get on board with the new direction. At the end of the day, they are going to be the ones representing your brand on a daily basis, so they need to feel connected as much as anyone.
If you have an existing brand, the question becomes ‘how do we phase out the old to bring in the new?’ There are many ways to approach this, from promotional activity to clear old stock, to delaying the launch until items need replacing – and several options in between. The important thing is to make a decision and follow through, in a way that creates as little confusion for customers as possible.
When it comes to changing logos and names, there are also certain cultural protocol that need to be acknowledged depending on the nature of your organisation. When we launched Trust Tairāwhiti, a karakia was performed to put the old logo to rest and pay respects before the new design was unveiled. While this may not apply to every business, it’s vital that you consult with local iwi if your new brand has been shaped or inspired by Māori culture in any way.
Films are released at specific times of the year to have the biggest possible impact – and launching a brand should be equally strategic. Time your external brand launch to maximise exposure – whether there is a big conference or trade show, or a wave of public interest in your story leading to more PR opportunities at the time.
There’s nothing worse than launching a brand and then letting momentum quickly fade. To achieve lasting success, your launch plan should include a year’s worth of marketing activity that builds on your proposition and creates multiple opportunities for customers to experience your brand.