For a new Brand launch to be successful, careful planning, and masterful execution are key factors.Below are the 3 steps to a successful brand launch.
Internal communications are vital to the early success of the programme, as is the support of the senior management team, who will need to commit resources to the project.
Communicate The Launch Internally
Internal communication is a vital prerequisite to the early success of the program. The new brand development team must sell its concepts to the senior management team who will commit resources to the project. They also need to win the support of a number of departments who will form part of the brand launch process-manifacturing, design, research, and development, marketing, and distribution.
Internal communication also serves in helping the management and staff band together in the advent of any form of crisis, and helps in managing it.
Marketing and sales departments involved in the practical launch of the brand should be fully briefed on the brand to ensure they effectively begin the external communication process.
Marketing and sales staff should be issued comprehensive sales and marketing guides so they can identify the most important prospects. The marketing department will utilise the objectives and specifications of the programme to formulate other marketing programmes and identify the most important sectors for development.
Launch The Brand To The Trade
If a brand is marketed through a distribution or retail network, a pre-launch activity is very crucial. The programme should include a sales distributor incentive programme to generate high level of initial interests. Incentives to develop and build high levels of stock are essential. If a brand is not available in the retail outlets, consumer launch material is wasted. Launch guides will help to give local outlets an indication of all the key activities that should be carried out.
Brand Launch Guide
A launch guide ensures that everyone involved in the launch process understands the brand and the launch itself. It should be divided into a number of sections: background, features, and benefits; launch support, and launch activities.
Segments of the Brand guide
*Explain the background
The first section of the guide should cover the background to the launch, and the market opportunities.
>Why is the new brand being launched?
>What sort of people will patronize the brand, and how do they differ from traditional customers?
>What new opportunities does this give the new outlet?
>How will competitors respond to this product?
The second part of the guide should highlight the features of the brand, and its uniqueness.
>Will act as a sales guide for the local outlet staff
>Will ensure that they fully understand the brand
>Should also include information about the training and brand support available.
>Will outline the key stages of any training that is to be an integral part of the launch programme. The guide will identify the people who should be involved in the training programme together with a training schedule.
*Describe launch support
The third part of the guide should indicate the level of support available for the launch. This will include the launch event itself. Details should be given of national advertising and promotional programmes, together with local marketing programmes. Advance notice allows local outlets to order support materials and to plan their own local marketing programme so that it is fully integrated with the national launch.
*Outline launch activities
The final part of the guide should provide a schedule and a list of key launch activities so that the management team can meet all the requirements of the launch programme. These launch activities might include:
>Stock and ordering details
>A training schedule
>Dates for national and local advertising
>Suggested dates and formats for customer events
>A schedule for launch and marketing activities
Arrange high-profile launch events
You can hold a national event attended by all the sales staff, or hold a series of regional events for local retailers. Alternatively, you can introduce the new brand to individual outlets through a series of sales calls or send mailings to individual outlets.
Maintain momentum through post-launch activity
It is easy to overlook in the emotion of a major launch that the real sales effort has only just begun. Post-launch sales activities can include: promotional support and incentive for customers and sales force, as well as direct marketing programmes to help project the new brand at local events to reinforce the launch.
Communicate the brand to customers
The customer launch can be achieved in a number of ways, including advertising, direct marketing, trial offers, and exhibitions.
You can also use other forms of marketing to create initial awareness and get customers to try out the new brand. Take a look at this detailed explanation of The Branding Concept inorder to have a full grasp of the branding concept, and develop a successful brand launch.
Use advertising to build interest
Advertising can provide a high profile launch platform. It can be used in a number of ways:
>Announcing the new brand to create customer awareness
>Advising customers on how to access the new brand.
>Offering customers new information or a trial of the new brand as a way of generating sales leads.
Use sales promotion to encourage brand trial
Sales promotion activities can also be used to encourage sampling and brand trial. Curiosity, value, and novelty are not sufficient to ensure the success of a new brand launch. The promotional campaign must incorporate strong consumer benefits together with an incentive to buy that might include money-off on trial packs.
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Target key prospects with direct marketing
Direct marketing to key customer groups will allow the marketing group to target their most important prospects. It can be used to make special offers or to provide detailed information about the new brand and feedback on new brand performance. The flexibility of direct marketing means that you can evaluate different launch and marketing approaches.
Use the press
A press information programme will ensure that the new brand receives good coverage in the right publications. It can take a number of forms including tie-in promotions such as reader offers, competitions tied to editorial and brand information in the form of press releases or feature articles.