If you’ve launched a new brand you know that there is a lot of work that goes into it. And as a marketing professional, there is nothing more exciting than the initial launch phase. You are excited to finally reveal what you’ve been working so hard on. Your organization’s employees, if you’ve done your job, are excited about the new culture and direction that’s been set forth and your customers are excited because they can feel there’s an exciting shift happening. But what happens after the launch? What happens after the newness wears off?
Keeping your brand fresh and up-to-date is a challenge and should be a part of your ongoing marketing strategy.
During the brand launch, part of the excitement is in the collaboration and build-up of what’s to come. Maintaining this collective spirit is key in keeping your brand fresh and relevant internally. But what about externally?
Always be in launch mode.
Don’t think of launching a brand as a one-off event, but rather a long-term relationship that needs nurturing and constant reinvention to thrive. Every interaction you have with your customer is an opportunity to reinforce your brand. Each of these “launches” acts as a vehicle for movement toward your overall brand goal. Use the initial brand launch as simply a starting point in a journey to tell your brand story then keep the momentum going with constant buzz. You need to constantly invest time and resources to actively manage your brand. Customers who can relate to your story are more likely to tell others about you. Remind them what you want them to think about your organization.
When the brand launch is just the beginning you allow room for change along the way. We may think we know how our customers will react, but are we hearing what they have to say? It’s important to keep a tab on customer metrics and allow them to influence the journey. We need to be willing to adapt based on what customers have to say. Keep an eye on your market and be well informed. Responding to your customers’ needs before they realize what they want is just one way to stay relevant and fresh. It’s naïve to think you can keep up with the rapid pace without regular updates.
Keeping Your Vision
Keeping your brand fresh does not mean altering your vison. Don’t lose sight of what you are trying to achieve. Too many ideas can easily shift a vision. You must stay true to the values that built your brand if you want longevity and the respect of the marketplace. And don’t just keep the vision to yourself. When you let your customers in on your vision, your brand gets a story. It also builds trust because they know where you stand and why.
Keep it Consistent
You can shape how people perceive your organization. Consistency is the key in helping manage these perceptions and, over time, building brand equity. When you are consistent in your message you evoke the same recognition and feeling across all touch points. This is what builds connections with your customers. Consistency can also give you competitive advantage. When you consistently reinforce your position it becomes more difficult for your competitors to come in and take that advantage away.
Launching your brand is just the beginning. The real work is in keeping your brand fresh and engaging. Ongoing maintenance and innovation will go a long way in keeping your brand relevant to your customers. Just make sure you listen to them, give them what they need and want and stay true to your vision along the way.