Launching a company or product is an exciting endeavor. You’ve developed a solution to an unfulfilled consumer need, and you’re ready to share it with the world. But the extensive planning process, from content development to sales training to PR, means your launch team has a lot on its plate.
In the commotion of planning, you can easily become too product-focused and overlook defining your brand. Much like an airplane needs great engineering, a solid flight plan, and a smart crew to sustain flight, your business requires the same diversity and quality of development to retain momentum long after the launch is over. One key to continued, profitable growth is a strong brand.
Here are four reasons why brand development is an essential part of your product launch planning process:
In order for your product launch to succeed, you must understand your customer’s motivations and pain points in relation to the unique value your product adds. Widening your focus to both your customer and product helps you find your ideal market position, or sweet spot.
Tips for finding your sweet spot:
- Create customer personas to define and your target audience.
- Use marketing data to pinpoint your customer’s values and needs. For example, web page visits and content downloads can provide quantitative clues as to what buyers are looking for, while surveys and interviews allow for more qualitative feedback.
- Assess the competitive landscape. Once you understand your competitors’ technology and products, you can more easily identify areas where you can win.
Once you have found your key differentiators, you can create a brand story that speaks to your customers and helps your product stand out from the competition.
Download our Positioning Guide to start your own market positioning.
A compelling brand story, told consistently and clearly across marketing channels, is vital to product launch success. From public relations and email to content marketing and design, the ability to convey how your product solves problems for customers will motivate them to buy and ultimately transform them into brand advocates.
Tips for telling your brand story:
- Craft key messages that highlight the product’s differentiators; include them on your website, in creative materials, in sales materials, and in press kits.
- Keep your message consistent in both internal communication and external promotion.
- Create a brand style guide that defines language used to describe product as well as appropriate spelling, punctuation, and graphic elements.
- Avoid marketing or industry jargon that might mean little to customers.
3. Customer Relationships
First impressions are an important aspect of interpersonal relationships, and the same is true for brands. From their first interaction with your content to the service they receive as a customer, you want buyers to have a great experience with your company and product. By establishing a brand strategy, you can start to connect with customers from day one.
Make sure that all the brand elements involved in your product launch are cohesive, professional, and reflect your company’s values. Like in any relationship, just own who you are and if people relate to it, they will support you.
Ultimately, a brand is a promise to remain true to your distinct identity and add value for consumers. When launching a new product, customers may be skeptical if they don’t have something similar to compare the product to or are unfamiliar with your company. Developing your brand allows you to create supporting content and professional images that enhance buyers’ understanding of the product. By addressing potential risks or doubts customers might have with the product, you can establish trust early in the buyer’s journey.
Brand development should be the crux of your marketing strategy for a product launch. Several elements will comprise your new product’s identity. Some brand essentials include:
- Brand standards document (aka brand style guide)
- Color palette & fonts
- Social media platforms
- Business cards
- Letterhead & envelopes
- Media kit
Your product’s functionality and quality are undeniably important factors in the launch process. But what’s even more important to ensuring the lasting success of your product? Your customers. Developing your brand strategically and creatively will help your customers believe in your product as much as you and your team do.
Download our checklist for step-by-step marketing and product launch tips.