Thousands of new businesses and brands are launched every month. To you, your brand is more than just a number. But to the marketplace, there’s nothing special about it. You have to go out of your way to prove them wrong. This means making a big splash within the first few weeks.
The specifics of your strategy will be unique, but here are some helpful suggestions for introducing a new brand to the marketplace:
1. Get Clear on Who You Are
Too many startup founders and entrepreneurs make the mistake of launching their brands before they’re even clear on the brand’s identity and what it stands for. Not only does this make them look foolish, but it taints the brand and puts it at risk of morphing into something that it was never intended to be.
It’s imperative that you get very clear on who your brand is. Treat it like a person and write up detailed reports explaining everything from technical aspects to personality. It’s impossible to be too detailed. Write a biographical novel on the brand if you have to.
2. Segment Your Audience
“It all starts with identifying the people who are going to be most interested in your products. Then, assuming that they aren’t a monolith, breaking those into different segments,” SnapRetail explains. “Once you have your audience segments, you can then begin creating target personas.”
When creating target personas, you have to look past rigid statistical data and demographics to explore what makes your audience tick and why they do the things they do.
A good persona includes everything from interests and values to emotions and past purchase tendencies. Think of each persona as a specific person, rather than a collective group of individuals. The more detailed, the better. Consider questions like:
- What does my target persona do on a Friday night?
- How does my target persona spend discretionary income?
- What’s my target persona’s favorite book, TV show, movie, etc.?
- What’s my target persona’s number one point of friction with my competitors?
The more you ask and answer questions like these, the clearer the picture becomes. (And remember, you might have three to five different personas. Take your time and work through these all-important details.)
3. Use the Right Marketing Strategies
The right digital marketing strategies can make all the difference. The key is to be strategic with which mediums, platforms, and techniques you use. You don’t need to do everything – you just need to do a few things really well.
Content is the key to successful marketing. The question is, what kind of content will you produce? (Typically a blend of written content and visual content – meaning video and graphics – is wise.)
You also need to invest in SEO, link building, and social media.
If it’s all a bit overwhelming, take a deep breath and pause. This is why you start your branding strategy months before actually launching. This gives you time to develop an executable plan.
4. Be Consistent
Nothing kills a brand shortly after launch quite like inconsistency and a lack of direction. Once you establish your brand’s personality and convey precisely why you exist, what you do, and how you interact with customers, you can’t waver. Early trust is predicated on consistency and a lack of consistency will introduce serious doubts.
5. Keep Your Ears Open
Consistency in branding is key, but you should be open to hearing what people think about your brand. This means investing in social listening.
“Social listening refers to analyzing the conversations and trends happening not just around your brand, but around your industry as a whole, and using those insights to make better marketing decisions,” Sprout Social explains. “Social listening helps you understand why, where and how these conversations are happening, and what people think—not just when they’re tagging or mentioning your brand.”
Based on these insights, you can ensure your branding is embracing what people want, while gracefully avoiding the things that turn them off.
Give Your Brand a Proper Introduction
The first four to eight weeks are critically important for a new brand. It’s during this period that you communicate messaging, engage customers, and begin moving people from awareness to action. Make sure you seize this opportunity by strategically implementing some of the tips and suggestions outlined in this article. Attention to detail will serve you well during this time.