How To Launch An Iconic Brand In 7 Steps
When you launch a brand, you are introducing an image, presenting a value proposition and communicating how your products are different.
Your brand launch strategy has to address these functions and determine how you are going to promote each one to the members of your target market. When you complete an effective launch of a brand, your targeted consumers know what it represents and why they want to make a purchase.
It’s all about your value proposition.
Remember those boring papers you got when you defined your brand voice? Of these your value proposition is by far the most important. It’s the document that outlines what makes you brand different from you competitors. It needs to understood by your entire team, not just your launch partners before you go to market.
This should be the foundation for ALL of your communication.
NOTE: This is where most organizations fail. “We provide superior customer service” Is NOT a value proposition. Every brand we talk to says this. You need to solve a tangible problem, do something better or fill a vacuum. You need to be useful.
Every organization, no matter how small, has the opportunity to revolutionize their business. Do something none of your competitors have ever done before, take a position that’s bold and imaginative, paint a picture of the future that your customers want to live in, and then put your whole company into motion creating that vision.
This will inspire people.
The world loves visionary organizations with the courage to lead. Instead of fighting to get people to talk about you, they’ll be chasing you to find out what’s going to happen next.
Put the Focus on the People, Not the Product.
Emphasize how your product or service affects people. How it makes their lives better, solves a particular problem. Makes their job easier. When you launch a product, everyone in your organization is probably excited by the technical specs, and all of the different ways your product pushes the envelope, and it’s easy to assume your customer feels the same way.
But they don’t.
They care about their problems and how your product is going to fit into their life.
So, that’s how you have to frame your marketing. Don’t just talk about what your product does or why it’s superior; show them a compelling picture of how it’s going to make their life better. That’s what gets people excited.
Release a Product Your Customers Will Want to Show off.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your product’s appearance. If it’s ugly, your customers won’t want to share it with their friends and colleagues. They will hide it away regardless of how useful it is.
A professional design makes people want to talk about it, and online or offline, it can have a big impact on your product sales.
Get Influencers On-Board Early.
Create lists of the people you know and people you don’t know “yet” who might be interested enough about what you do to write articles, blog posts, tweet, tell their friends on Facebook, LinkedIn and their friends IRL (In Real Life) about you.
Be organized. List their Name, Organization, Phone Number, Email, relevant URLs and Notes in an excel document.
Reach out to the people on your list early and build relationships. Get bloggers and thought leaders on board BEFORE your product launches.
What will really set you apart is when you get everyone talking months before the product launches. This can be done even before there’s a product or demo to see. Before they are talking about what the product does you must make sure they’re talking about what it might do.
It’s a strategy anyone can use, even if you don’t have a history like the Big Brands do. You might not have the New York Times and CNN arguing about what your upcoming product is going to do, but if your value proposition is unique, chances are they will appreciate what you are offering and may even surprise you with coverage. EVERYONE is looking for their next story.
At the very least, the media will know who you are, so come launch day, at least you’re not starting cold. And that can make getting press in the future a lot easier.
Turn Your Product Launch into an event (If you have the budget for it).
Throw a big press event for your product announcement. If not, at least have some kind of online event.
If you make a big deal about your product launch, both your potential customers and the media are likely to take it more seriously, and it’ll be reflected in your product sales.
The launch party is not only a key feature of your promotional plan but it’s also a celebration of your teams’ hard work.
But remember this is business. Increase retention by sending invitations directly to the journalists that would normally cover the beats that you are in. To coax more journalists to come to your event, include an extra pair of passes with your press invitation. Allowing journalists to bring their friends will give them a greater incentive to attend. That means more press.
And don’t forget about local bloggers. People who write about trends in your niche and/or community have eager and up-to-date followers, so make sure you include them on your list. This can go viral very quickly.
Once get them in the door, be sure to have a giveaway when they leave. A gift basket that relates to your services or samples of your product so the event lingers long after they leave.
Be sure to brand activities alongside your theme and launch product.
Keep your entertainment on the same page by providing your DJ with a timeline for the evening, allowing them to match their music accordingly
If you have bartender, create special branded cocktails.
Remember to create a branded Twitter hashtag for your event and promote it so that people can still be active even when the event is over.
Use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to drive relevant traffic to your site and build suspense.
When it comes to product launch marketing, social media offers an effective and inexpensive solution for marketers.
Find out where your target audience is. Do your research. Find out where your competitors are placing emphasis as this will be the quickest way to understand where you likely need to be as well. Also, conduct demographic research on the most popular social media venues so that you have a clear understanding of the target audience for each.
Focus at first only on the venues where you will garner the very most benefit. Your venue selections will depend on the type of business you’re in. If you’re a wholesale lender vs. a retail lender, for example, your primary venue selections and where you place most emphasis will be different. Keep an eye on analytics and quickly eliminate the channels that aren’t performing and double down on those which are.
Follow the 70/20/10 rule for content: 70% of content is brand- and business-building (information valuable to your followers). 20% is content shared from other sources, and the remaining 10% is purely self-promotional.
Be consistent and authentic.
One of the benefits of social media is that it gives you the ability to put a personality behind your brand easily and quickly. It’s imperative that your social media personality match your brand, and that your voice is consistent across all communication channels including paid media (advertising), earned media (media relations) and owned media (social media, blog posts).
It’s important to establish a consistent posting schedule so users will know when to expect new content. Capitalize on current events, seasons and holidays to make your content more relevant.
Launch teaser campaigns. Before launching your product, you need to stir the curiosity of your target audience. One of the best ways to do this is through a creative teaser campaign. The campaign will reveal just enough to show fans what’s coming up, but not too much, so they remain tuned in to find out more.
Start a countdown. A few days before the launch, you can build excitement by starting a countdown across your social media channels. This will act as a reminder to fans that the moment they have been waiting for is coming soon. Make sure the countdown is visual and displays the number of days left until the launch. This will raise intrigue and inform people to get geared up for the launch.
Lastly, and perhaps most important. Do big remarketing spends so that all the people who have visited your site see ads or even just your logo so that come launch you are top of mind.
Take Pre-Orders and build your mailing list.
This is probably one of the most overlooked part of traditional launch strategies.
Every company has a set of customers who will buy anything they release. You need to cultivate these relationships.
As soon as you announce the product, you want them to be lining up in droves, eager to get their hands on the first units to be released.
Of course, it’s not always possible. You can’t offer pre-orders until you know what your final pricing will be, for example. But you can still harness the enthusiasm.
So until you know your pricing, make sure you at least have a way for prospective buyers to sign up for updates. Then make sure those updates offer a link to pre-order as soon as it’s possible
Get them to sign up to an exclusive email list where they can get free tickets to your launch event an free product before the release.