You’ve got the brand. You’ve got the logo. And you’ve got the website. But do you know how to launch a brand? It’s time to make some noise with a well-executed brand launch.
You may be asking: What are the best practices for launching a brand? What could go wrong, and how can I mitigate those risks?
Putting your brand out there can be a big step. The more you plan ahead, the more smoothly your brand launch will go, and the more loyalty you’ll build for your brand. In this article, I’ll break down how to launch a brand, from the pre-launch, to the launch, to how you can close the loop on your post-launch.
Consider your audience
Before you get into the pre-launch, it’s worth taking a moment to consider who you’re launching your brand to. You want to think about the order of launching your brand to different audiences. Remember, you’re not going to let everyone know at once.
For example, if you have an existing brand already and you’re rebranding, it would be best to announce your brand launch to employees before announcing it to the public. This allows employees to be prepared to answer questions and can help prevent any confusion or misinformation. Plus, if you launch without telling them, it can result in employees feeling undervalued or ignored.
Meanwhile, key stakeholders, partners, or investors should know well before the general public as well. A personalized launch to individual stakeholders can go a long way toward building goodwill and the success of your launch.
Make a list of all the different audiences you’re launching to and how you will let them know. Then draft a timeline to ensure you’re getting the timing right in order of importance.
How to nail your brand pre-launch
Before you launch your brand, it’s important to get all your ducks in a row. You want to make doubly sure you have the legal rights to your name and logo locked in before you launch.
I recommend you trademark your name and logo well before you launch. Launching can sometimes take weeks or months, and you don’t want to wait until the last minute only to discover someone else got there first.
If nothing else, trademarking your brand name and logo will give you peace of mind that nobody else can use it. To trademark your brand name and logo, you can seek the help of an attorney who specializes in intellectual property law or apply with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) yourself.
You should also run some stress tests. Go on your website as though you were a new visitor and ensure everything is working properly. Test every single link a visitor might click. Fill out every form available. Try to go through a checkout process. Here’s a great article that runs you through how to run stress tests on a WordPress site.
If you want to make sure your website is ready to welcome new visitors, I recommend you hire a quality assurance specialist or a testing agency to perform stress tests on your website before launch. These tests help identify potential problems or bugs that may affect the user experience.
You also want to think about media and where to reach your target audience most effectively. What are the most effective channels for reaching your target audience? These might be social media, influencer marketing, or paid advertising. You might consider pitching to media outlets and arranging interviews with key stakeholders.
Keep in mind there’s a right way and a wrong way to do these things. I loved this article on how to pitch a product launch to media outlets, framing it in a way that they’ll care about and want to talk about.
Garrison Everest had a great guide on how to create a brand development questionnaire you can use to interview your key stakeholders about your brand launch.
You can research the habits and preferences of your target audience to determine the most effective channels for reaching them. For example, if your target audience is largely composed of young people, you may want to focus on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. If your target audience is more mature, you may want to consider traditional advertising channels like print and television.
Of course, all of that costs money. So as you make a list of channels through which to reach your audience, make sure you’ve developed a budget for the launch. This should include marketing costs, advertising costs, any events you may run, and any promotions you have going on.
For example, if you plan to run a social media advertising campaign, you will need to budget for the cost of creating ads, targeting your audience, and paying for ad placement. If you plan to host a launch event, you will need to budget for venue rental, catering, and other event-related expenses.
Not sure where to start? Taskable has a comprehensive guide on how to budget for your brand launch on budgets of $2,000, $20,000, and $200,000.
Once all that’s done, you’re ready to hit the big red button marked “launch.”
How to launch a brand
This is a big moment, but if you’ve done all your pre-launch work, it should all go off without a hitch.
The main thing to keep in mind about your prelaunch is the importance of communication. At its core, a brand launch is just telling people about your brand. You’re introducing your brand to key stakeholders and the media.
There are a few different ways to do that, depending on your brand and your style. You could create a launch event or promotional activity to celebrate the launch and generate further interest. For example, you could have a “try it and buy it” promotion, or host a launch party to celebrate the event. Cvent offers a wonderful guide on how to host a launch event if this option sounds good to you.
If you want to go digital, you can host a webinar to launch your brand. During your pre-launch, you may have captured the email addresses of interested parties and created a bit of buzz around the launch. If you’re looking for guidance, I loved Watchity’s article on how to create a webinar about a product launch.
By offering a value-packed webinar, you can incentivize your target audience to show up, learn about your brand, and potentially buy in then and there. Examples of brand-launching webinars include panels, Q&As, or presenting a slide deck.
You can also leverage key industry events to launch your brand. This can be an effective way to gain exposure and build relationships with potential customers, partners, and industry influencers. You can participate as a speaker or presenter, or you can sponsor an event. GovCon has a useful guide to sponsoring events if that seems your speed. Alternatively, if you prefer to present at a conference, Forbes has a great entry-level guide on how to crush your presentation.
The main thing is that you know what your message is going to be ahead of time. You know who you’re talking to, and you’re clear on why they should care. You’ve shown up to where that target audience is—email, social, events—and told them about your brand.
Once your brand is out there in the world, it’s time to bring it home.
How to stick the landing
For those who want to know how to launch a brand, it’s important to understand that it’s not over until you’ve completed the post-launch process.
The first thing to do is celebrate the launch. You did it! Launching a brand is no mean feat. Take a minute to pat yourself on the back. Because it’s not over yet, and you’re about to do some more work.
Now, while the launch is fresh, it’s a good time to think about scheduling anniversary content. Think about key takeaways, memories, or highlights from the launch and design a promotion or offer around them. Future you will be grateful.
You should also monitor and analyze brand performance using metrics such as sales and customer feedback. This will be helpful later on when you can also look at how far the brand has come and create content that reflects the brand’s progress. For example, you could create a promotion to celebrate your 100th or 10,000th customer, your 100,000th dollar, or another key and exciting metric.
Keep a close eye on sales figures, social media engagement, and customer feedback. The communication doesn’t end when the launch does. As you no doubt know, running a successful brand is a lot about listening and engaging with customers. A large part of your post-launch process should be checking in with customers and key stakeholders through social media and email marketing. Run surveys, solicit comments, and ensure that your target audience knows you have an open ear to hear their thoughts.
Finally, keep improving. Your brand launch is done, but hopefully, your brand will continue into the future. Use market research and the customer feedback you collect to identify what’s working and where you can do better.
Final thoughts on how to launch a brand
Knowing how to launch a brand is important; it’s easy to get it wrong. But with proper planning and execution, it can be a smooth and exciting process.
The main lesson to keep in mind is that it all starts with understanding your target audience. Make sure you’ve tailored your pre-launch activities to their needs and habits.
On launch day, have a plan for how you will communicate your brand’s message through events, webinars, or industry events, depending on where your target audience is. With the right preparation and execution, you’ll be well on your way to introducing a successful brand to the world!
Finally, make sure you keep an eye on the future success of your brand by keeping a line of dialogue open between you and your audience. Stakeholders, customers, and internal members of the team will all have important thoughts on what they liked or didn’t like about the launch and your brand. By listening closely and implementing feedback, you can ensure that your launch is just the first step in your highly successful brand.
Zulie Rane is a freelance writer. She previously worked in sales and marketing departments for tech companies. Today, she writes for companies in various sectors, including cybersecurity, marketing, and data science.