This is it. The time has come to prepare for the launch of your brand. It’s an exciting time, and your eyes are set on the future and the incredible potential that it holds.
For success, it’s crucial to get started on the best possible footing. This means that every move you make before the launch matters.
As launch day approaches, make sure that you’re completely prepared for success. Here’s a list of five critical tasks to check off your list before the day of the big launch arrives.
1. Identify your goals.
You already have financial goals in mind long before the launch, but do you have a plan outlined for reaching them? Now is the time to look at your marketing strategy so you can identify and set goals to reach along the way.
For example, you know building an audience on social media is essential for your brand. This will take some time, but how do you measure your success? Maybe you start with a marketing goal of 1,500 likes on your Facebook posts during the first month after your launch. Another example might be to build a subscriber list for your newsletter. Set a goal to attract 200 new subscribers in your first month.
Keep in mind that these numbers are just examples. You want to set goals that will be accurate markers of success for your brand, not someone else’s. Goals like this help to identify these markers and provide excellent sources of data to fuel your growth.
2. Know your competitors.
One of the places that many startups devote a ton of energy is becoming familiar with their target audiences. This is important because without them, you’ve got nothing.
But, that shouldn’t be your only focus. Many new businesses make the mistake of not learning enough about their competitors, and they end paying for it further down the road.
Branding is a great example of this. It’s quite common to find a repetitive branding theme in specific industries. We can look at the auto parts store to illustrate this point.
On any busy city street, you might find three major auto parts stores. Their storefronts look similar, and their brand colors are the same. Many people won’t be able to tell you which is which. Their brands have blended together.
This works to a degree because it’s an image that customers have come to associate with an auto parts store, but playing along probably won’t do much for a new startup. Instead, a fresh approach to the same tired theme will help you stand out.
Check out your competitions retail locations, web presence and reviews. Look for weak spots, and determine where you can fill in the gaps and win over customers.
3. Develop a brand positioning platform.
Brand positioning is your strategy for finding your presence in the industry. It’s about where you’ll stand among the competition and with your customers. The goal is to create a unique and identifiable image that your target market associates with something that’s desirable and of value.
First, you need a frame of reference for your competitive landscape. Where are you competing, and with whom?
Next, what makes you different? Identify the key characteristics of your new brand that elevate it and make it stand out from the competition.
You’ll also need to identify your competitors’ strong points and compare them against your own weaknesses. Be as honest and thorough as possible here. Many of the companies that you’ll be looking at have been at this for years and have had the chance to grow and learn from their mistakes.
This will help you identify growth opportunities.
4. Establish relationships.
It’s essential to consider how you’re going to build excitement around your brand. When you’re new and relatively unknown, it’s best to admit that you’re going to need some help.
Long before it’s time to launch, look at developing relationships with media professionals and local or industry influencers. Identify the people with whom it would be beneficial to connect, and have a strategy for informing them about your new brand.
This means having a concrete brand message and vision and knowing how to effectively communicate it. If you have the budget to employ a PR professional, great. If you don’t, invest some time into learning the basics of PR and communication.
5. Create buzz.
When promoting your brand prelaunch, focus on the audience and not on your product or service. Sure, you could spend hours talking about what you’re offering. After all, it’s been your focus for months now.
But, the truth is, not everyone cares. They don’t want to know the details about your product or service, at least not yet. What’s going to win them over initially is letting them know how you can improve their lives. Make it about them, and they’ll listen.
The earlier you can get others on board, the better. Reach out in advance to influencers, bloggers, etc., and offer them sneak peeks of your brand. Get them talking about your launch to build anticipation.
Next, take preorders for your product. As a species, we’re always interested in what’s new and shiny. When you offer the ability to preorder, especially as part of a limited-time or special offer, you’re going to generate interest and start your launch with revenue already building up.
Finally, don’t give it all away too soon. Release just enough details about your product or service to generate interest, but keep some details to yourself to leverage the power of anticipation.
Now, it’s time to officially launch your brand. With the thought and planning you’ve put into it, you’ve optimized your chances for success. There’s a saying in business that success is a product of thoughtful preparation and the right opportunity. Now’s the time for you to prove it.