Thursday, January 24, 2019

5 Things To Do Before Your Launch

Wow! It's been a while since I've shared an update on my blog and connected with you all on this platform. I'm still alive and kicking! The last time I updated you all, I was transitioning from a full time high school counselor, to a full time fashion and lifestyle publicist, consultant brand marketing manager. Since leaving my job in April, I've had the opportunity to travel to Paris, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles for client engagements, each focusing on launch projects. I thought I'd share some important strategies with you here. (If you attended the latest Beneath Your Beauty: Mastermind Edit event, you got a dose of these strategies on the day). Anyway, let's get into it!

  1. Research like-brands: You already have your idea. Now, it's time to take a look at your competitors. Yes, there probably is another brand out there selling a similar product or sharing similar content. Don't let that scare you -- instead, use it to your advantage. Take a look at their online and offline presence (if your business is product based) to get a sense of what they're doing right, and what they've missed. In marketing lingo, this is called a SWOT analysis where you make note of their strength, weaknesses, opportunities (for improvement), and threats (within the market).
  2. Define your target market/target audience: Before you announce your launch, it's important to determine who you are targeting. If your brand already exists, consider segmenting your audience into first time consumers, loyal consumers, or consumers who have subscribed to your mailing list, but yet to take any action or interact with your content/products. Segmenting your target market will help you tailor your launch campaign to reach this specific consumer. You want to do your best to make sure your launch campaign is relatable and attracts their attention.
  3. Engage with your audience and solidify your online presence: Creating a consumer profile and segmenting your audience is the easy part. Engaging with your audience takes a bit more time and intentionality. Find key spaces your audience occupies, drive them to your content, and convert them into loyal consumers. For example, if your audience already lives on Instagram, find them in that space by previewing how like-brands are engaging with them. If you're an existing brand, perhaps they've tagged your brand in a post recently. Use that as leverage and draw their attention to the new product you've launched. Check the comment section. If a member of your target audience has mentioned a specific need that your launch addresses, grab their attention and direct them to your mailing list. 
  4. Develop a clear communications strategy: I can be that nagging marketing manager that consistently reminds clients to have consistent language and clear imagery. If you're reaching your target market through social media for example, remember this platform relies heavily on imagery. Invest in a photographer and get clear, sharp imagery that will capture the attention of your audience. Be sure that your language on all your platforms is clear, consistent, and engages your audience. And if this weren't enough, it's important to work out a plan that details where and how you'll share information. Using softwares like Mailchimp or Infusion Soft are a great way to communicate with your audience via email. Apps like Planoly and Unum are an effective way to plan your Instagram communications strategy and see a layout of your (clear and sharp) imagery before your audience does.
  5. Create buzz: I've worked with clients that have chosen to round out the above steps with a launch event. If your budget can accommodate this, events are a surefire strategy to gain interface with your target market. You'll provide a space for them to interact with your product (or with the face of the brand), and potentially purchase products on-site. Remember, audience experience is one the the most important factors to gaining loyal consumers. Other great ways to create buzz around your launch campaigns is by collaborating with other brands, and creating affiliate programs with influencers (but this is an entirely larger topic that we can get into in a next post!).
Thinking of launching or re-launching your brand? Join my mailing list for more resources on launching, and perfecting your brand's strategy.

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