Why is a brand launch important?
A wise man once said that “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” There are many small, moving parts that must be accounted for in planning your brand launch. A well-planned brand launch enables you to re-engage with existing donors, attract new ones, and significantly boost your mission. A poorly planned launch creates confusion and stakeholder backlash.
1. Finalize All Touch Points Before Your Brand Launch
Depending on the scope of your rebrand, make sure all required elements included in the launch are finalized. This can include:
- Business Card
- Letterhead and Envelope
- Brand Standards Guide
Keep in mind, this does not mean these elements are launched. It’s just a checklist to make sure all elements are ready at the same time.
2. Identify Key Stakeholders to Preview the Brand
For large organizations, this list will likely include the executive leadership, the board, and major donors. Plan a pre-launch for this list of stakeholders. This can be a mailed letter announcing the new brand, a brand-launch event, or any other means to make sure these stakeholders are personally informed of the new brand. Sell your new brand instead of just presenting it. Stakeholders will like to be clued in on the reasoning behind colors, typefaces, and other decisions. Make it part of your brand narrative and advancing your mission.
3. Launch the Brand Internally
Once the brand has been announced to your key stakeholders, launch the brand internally to your entire staff. This can be done in the same means as above, with a letter or even a brand-launch event. Whatever the method, make sure it is also a personal introduction to the brand (and try to avoid mass emails). The purpose is to make sure all of your staff become brand ambassadors. Explain the reasoning for colors, type, and other decisions and how it fits into the brand narrative and your mission. Do not allow staff to use this new brand prematurely on email signatures or social media posts yet. You should have a set date to switch everything over at once.
4. Unveil the Brand Publicly
Your launch date has arrived and it’s time to make the brand public! This can be done in multiple ways:
- Social Media Blasts
- Press Release
- Email Blasts and Email Signatures
- A Public Event
Simultaneously, your team should be working to remove all outdated branding. Reaching out to vendors to give them updated logos, replacing all flyers, posters, templates, etc. with the new brand. This process may take time, but the quicker it is done, the less confusion there will be for donors and clients.
5. Stay the Course
Make sure every staff member has access to the new brand standards guide. When new material is made by a staff member, it must not stray from the new brand’s colors, typefaces, and tone. Consistency is key! Have a strategy to address client and donor feedback on the brand and answer any questions they may have. Don’t take your foot off the gas. This new brand will carry excitement for your mission for years to come. Capitalize on this with marketing campaigns, social media blasts, appeals, and other material.
Too often, companies are in a rush to unveil their new incarnation to the world—or are simply out of energy to do it right. By making your launch part of a larger story, planning your launch well in advance, and making sure that your brand is aligned internally and externally, you’ll be certain to get the maximum impact out of the all of the rebranding efforts!