By: Tawanda Carlton, Account Executive

Launching a brand for many can be a scary, thrilling, yet rewarding time for a business. Our agency has experienced this first hand, and seen through a few of our clients the importance of showcasing your product or service offering to the world for the first…or second time.

Startup communities around the globe are producing a wave of successful new companies across a variety of sectors making it harder for brands and organizations to truly stand out.

So how do you make a powerful first impression with your target audience?

Look at the Big Picture

One of our most memorable launch stories consisted of working with a brand who made their entrance into their target market a part of a bigger story. They essentially addressed a pain point for small-to-medium sized companies through the use of transportation via the gig economy model. When you are looking to debut your brand, it’s important to consider this aspect. What revelations in your industry, community, or society at large does your product or service answer for your target audience?

When our client’s company premiered, they were able to align their service offering to a deeper story about the rise of the gig economy and how businesses owners could leverage each others assets to grow their company and increase their bottom line. By connecting your launch to a story bigger than the brand itself, a more meaningful purpose emerges.

Identify Key Audiences Apart from Your Customers

In addition to your core demographic, it’s important to analyze which key stakeholders, investors, business partners and yes, media your brand will affect and interest. Knowing the value of each key audience will help you pay off immensely. Stakeholders are often invaluable allies to your brand and can essentially become brand ambassadors helping you spread the message around your product or service.

Know Your Competitors

At times, many new brands can become heavily involved in developing their own logo, tagline, website and target audience that they forget to do a deep dive into the world of their competitors. It’s vital to understand the positioning, strengths, weaknesses and pricing of your competitors. These insights allow you to further define your key differentiator and improve your marketing strategy to stand out to your target demographic. When executing a plan such as this, our agency utilizes every resource available when dissecting our clients’ competitors from logo to tagline, website design social media channels and media placements. This process helps us to equip our clients with the information they need to make the right decisions.

Consider a Soft Launch

When launching a product, testing becomes a critical component to help gauge overall performance. For example, if you are releasing an app, a soft launch provides you with a carefully controlled app release. This is typically conducted outside of your target market. Why? Well, releasing an app to a smaller region helps developers prepare the app for a wider release. It also enables you with the ability to fix kinks and discover roadblocks you may not have been privy to. This process also provides the perfect opportunity to receive end-user feedback.

For all of the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to deliver a new brand, or rebrand a company, it’s only right that your plan is carefully executed for maximum impact. We’ve seen too often, where organizations rush to release their product or service offering before it’s ready. A poorly planned strategy, or lack thereof, could essentially negate your investment. By aligning your launch with a larger story, implementing strategic planning, and researching your competitor, you’ll be certain to get the most out of your brand debut.

Read more in Agility PR.