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Brand Launch Roadmap: 7 Steps for Launching a New Brand

Launching a brand is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. Follow these steps to increase your chances of a successful launch.

Out of the countless successful brands still operating today, very few still operate with their original branding. While many of these companies experienced a seamless brand launch, others experienced catastrophic branding failures. 

If you want to avoid the inevitable pitfalls associated with a complete brand launch, considerable planning and strategizing are necessary. Whether you’re rebranding an existing organization or launching a new brand entirely, follow these seven steps to ensure the launch goes smoothly.

What is a Brand Launch?

A brand launch is the introduction of a new or reimagined brand into an existing market. For many companies, a brand launch is a momentous occasion, requiring months (or years) of preparation and planning before execution. A successful brand launch involves creating a strategy and implementing specific sequential tasks to establish the brand's identity and communicate its unique value proposition to the target audience. 

The launch is usually accompanied by a variety of marketing and advertising efforts, such as social media campaigns, product demonstrations, and public relations activities. At the end of it all, the goal of a new brand launch is to generate brand awareness, build credibility, and create a positive perception of the brand in the minds of consumers. For existing companies refreshing their brand, their goal is to reassure customers that the quality and integrity of their brand will remain the same. 

A brand launch isn’t always a complete and drastic change. Starbucks has updated its branding several times since their launch in 1971. Aside from the brand color switch from brown to green in the 80s, the logo itself has remained a constant, always featuring a two-tailed mermaid in a circular design. This might seem like a fairly minimalistic change, but months of strategy and planning undoubtedly went into each iteration of the logo.

Why Planning is So Important for a Brand Launch

A brand launch can be a fairly big gamble at the best of times. Because there are so many moving parts, there’s a high potential for things to get dropped. Who will design the new logo? When will your company start using the new brand name? Do you need new signage for your office buildings and storefronts? Do you need to create new social media profiles? 

Well-loved brands can also experience criticism and backlash for the change, resulting in negative press. Your organization might be ready for a new logo or new company name, but your customers might not be. How will you break the news to them? What reasoning will you give for making the change?

These are just a few reasons why companies need to create thorough plans that address every detail and contingency surrounding a rebrand. The good news is that new brands are launched every day, most of them successfully. Drawing on previous experiences, you too can successfully launch your new brand.

How to Successfully Launch a Brand

Ready to get started? Here are seven steps that will help you successfully launch your brand.

1. Research and Define Your Target Audience

Before launching your brand, you should research your target audience's needs, preferences, and behaviors. Understanding your target audience will guide your brand positioning, messaging, and marketing strategy, ultimately helping you to develop a more effective and attractive brand.

2. Develop Your Brand Strategy

Your brand strategy should include your brand's mission, vision, values, brand personality, and value proposition. This is a key element when looking to launch a new brand because it provides context and meaning behind everything you do as a brand. The brand strategy will also help you define your brand identity, which is how you visually represent your brand.

3. Create a Brand Launch Roadmap

There are countless moving parts with a brand launch. To make sure all the steps of your brand launch are executed effectively and efficiently, create a roadmap that lists all the details of your launch. This includes items like website redesign and redirects, social media profile changeovers, domain name change, and more. Your brand launch roadmap should be fairly thorough and exhaustive to ensure you don’t miss anything throughout the process. Don’t forget to assign due dates for each task, including the date of the brand launch.

4. Create Your Brand Identity

Develop your visual identity, including your logo, color scheme, typography, and other design elements that will visually represent your brand. Unless you have a dedicated marketing and design team, developing your new branding can be difficult and drain a lot of your resources. 

That’s where a marketing and branding agency can really benefit you. Marketing agencies have the expertise and resources necessary to help you develop a thorough brand strategy that best represents your company. No matter your industry, you should be able to find a marketing agency that has extensive experience creating brand strategies for brands like yours.

Learn more: 10 Best Wine Marketing Companies in the U.S.

5. Develop Your Marketing Plan

How you market your brand launch greatly influences how successful it will be. Your marketing plan should outline your launch strategy, including your messaging, positioning, target audience, and tactics for reaching your audience. You should also begin communicating the impending brand launch well in advance so consumers aren’t taken aback when the time comes. This communication can be done via email, on your website, and on your social media pages. 

Learn more: Digital Marketing 101 for Beer, Wine, & Spirits

6. Launch Your Brand

When you’ve completed all the steps necessary, launch your brand on the scheduled day (or begin phase one of the launch as scheduled). This will include taking your new website live, updating the branding on all your social media channels, and more. 

Announce your official brand launch through a variety of channels, including social media, public relations, and advertising. Be sure to lean into the channels that your target audience uses most for maximum return on investment. 

7. Monitor and Adjust

Monitor your brand's performance and adjust your strategy as needed to ensure your brand is resonating with your target audience. Collect feedback, monitor comments and direct messages on social media channels, keep an eye on your online reviews, and more to get a sense of what your customers think of the new brand. Follow your sales metrics closely to see if they’ve been seriously impacted by the change, and adjust your strategy if necessary to get back on track.

Final Thoughts on Branding

Launching a new brand is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of a successful launch and build a strong brand that will resonate with your audience for years to come.

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Eric Kunisawa

Founder & CEO

Eric Kunisawa is the founder of Grappos. He's been successfully helping businesses connect customers with their products since 2008.

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