Rules For A Successful Brand Launch
A successful brand launch is an intricate dance number. Launching a brand requires the marketers to have identified the highest emotional intensity available in the space, claiming that space, defining the brand personality in terms of that emotional promise and a well-planned and coordinated launch itself.
When launching brands, there are things you can do to get out of the way of success and there are some things you should keep in mind even during the earliest planning. All too often brand launches fall victim to a few common errors. Here are five common brand launch errors.
The Five Most Common Errors When Launching a Brand
- Assumptions are made based upon faulty reasoning or poorly developed market research.
- The bias and preconceived ideas already codified in the marketing department itself become implanted in the new brand launch.
- Time, effort and R&D resources focus on product advantages or features but neglect the emotional triggers that excite trial and loyalty.
- The language used to describe the new brand in launch materials lacks importance because it is built around meaningless phrases that teeter precariously as cliché.
- Coordination between the advertising agencies, brand companies, public relations firms and internal marketing departments are poorly executed. Turf wars surface and the clarity needed when launching a brand is never fostered.
Hire Us First
We believe hiring a brand development company is necessary to ensure a successful brand launch. While not all brand companies are talented and capable, a good one can bring something rare and valuable to the table — a dispassionate objectivity to the brand task at hand. No company entertains and funds a project to launch a brand frivolously. But all too often the launch itself has inside-out agendas woven into the process.
These agendas can get in the way of the launch effectiveness because unless they are REAL and important to those you must influence, they are destructive.
At Stealing Share, we caution all of our clients that communication without purpose is at its best unconstructive and at its worse destructive.
The margin of error between a successful brand launch and a failure are slim. Candor saves everyone a lot of time and a dispassionate brand company should be in a position to provide that candor. After all, the term of engagement is finite and there is no conflict of interest like an advertising agency or PR agency would have because their agenda is always a long-term engagement complete with monthly retainer costs. As a result, they are prone to tell you what they believe you want to hear and not what you need to know.
A Brand Launch Demands That You Leave Your Preconceived Notions at the Door
Projectable market research is key in any brand launch. The key word here is projectable. It must not be a series of focus groups where nothing learned is projectable to the market as a whole.
The research element in a successful brand launch is so crucial we formed our own in-house research company. This allows the brand strategists to work side by side with the researchers. Again, a coordination of professional equities.
The development of the research project is carefully constructed. You must identify the target most likely to covet the new brand and then survey them in a projectable manner. The idea is to uncover the triggers to switching behaviors, the barriers to acceptance, the best pricing strategy, and the belief systems that define the target market.
Oddly, these are rarely uncovered with open-ended questions. Ask beer drinkers why they prefer the brand of beer they drink and they will overwhelmingly state, “I like the taste.” Yet, we know from direct experience that beer drinkers can rarely discern the difference in beer brands in blind tastings.
To get to the root of behaviors you need to model the activity and then ask for agreement on a series of direct statements. These sort of intense anthropological questions demands a blend of experience and smarts. As a result, we spend almost as much time developing the questions as we do fielding the research itself.
The Power of a Brand Launch
The power of your brand launch can be found in the importance the correct target market invests in the newly launched brand. It’s a great asset to have a product feature or benefit that differentiates the new brand from the competitors but the most successful brand launches go much further. They feature an emotional intensity that is of greatest importance to the target market. This emotional intensity adds a powerful magnetic value that attracts the target audience to the brand even without the benefit.
Think about Jiff peanut butter as an example of this. The brand promise is “Choosy mothers choose Jiff.” This promise is designed to reinforce the value of choosy as a self-descriptor of the customer and prospect. The product benefit is that Jiff “tastes more like fresh peanuts.”
The Jiff example is a simple representation of the magic of developing a brand message that creates space between the current market and your new brand launch. Optimally, it should represent the highest emotional intensity available in the market space and be proven true by the benefit or feature.
Stealing Share is highly experienced in launching brands all over the globe. If you are considering a brand launch, give us a call and we can help reduce the barriers to your own success.