You’ve got a new brand. Now what?
Whether you’ve recently launched a company, decided to give your brand a facelift, or are in the beginning stages of developing your identity, we can’t overemphasize the importance of doing it right. From concept to execution to reveal, your brand needs to be consistent and authentic.
Your brand is your company’s personality. It’s the mouthpiece that communicates with your audience. When you put an effort into your company’s brand, it creates the opportunity for engagement, recognition, trust, and loyalty (from customers and employees).
When you don’t put effort into your brand, you run the risk of being lost in the competition crowd, appearing untrustworthy (if you don’t care, why should we?) and attracting employees that are equally apathetic about your business.
We’ll assume you’re on board with having a great brand. You’ve got everything lined up, from your logo to your lingo. That brand isn’t going to sell itself just by being good-looking or witty. You need to work your brand to make it work. How, you ask?
Start with a bang, not a whimper.
Launching your brand requires a certain amount of “loud and proud” behavior. (That means you need to be 100% in LOVE with what your branding agency is delivering. If you’re not into it, then it will show in the delivery.)
Spreading the word about your brand gets more attention. But it needs to be the right kind of attention, and it needs to start with a good strategy and a lot of authenticity. We’ve picked three important ways to put your brand in the spotlight and get that customer love.
1. Make a plan to show it off.
From the minute you start considering a new brand, you must commit fully to the idea of reinvention. This isn’t a time for shrinking away from boldness. You’ve gotta go big or go home. And that momentum needs to begin building from brand inception, then continue with equal force throughout the life of your company. You have to breathe the life into the brand.
Set goals and trackable successes. Who do you want to reach? What do you want to say? And where do you find the audience in order to introduce them to your new brand? Set these goals ahead of time and create a plan of action to roll out the brand—and keep it rolling. You want goals that are measurable and trackable. This will allow you to see what’s working and what isn’t, and to refine where you need to. Some channels that will easily help you accomplish this are:
- Email campaigns—Create a fun, engaging campaign that starts before the brand is fully baked, creating a sense of anticipation and excitement. Remember to combine a sense of play and a sense of value. Consider downloadable PDFs, giveaways, and other ways to maintain engagement throughout the email campaign. You’ll find the balance between too many emails and too little. You don’t want people to forget about you, but you don’t want them to become sick of you and opt out.
- Website announcements—If your new brand is in progress, start hinting at it on your site. You can use blog posts, fun modules that hint at a change coming, contests that crowd source opinions on color palettes—it’s only limited by your imagination. If you’re a new company and you’re in the process of building your site, you can promote that elsewhere. (See the post “You’ve Got a New Website: Now What?)
- Social Media campaigns—Use social media the way it works best; post things in a fun and memorable way that encourage sharing. Along with the typical platforms like Twitter and Facebook, consider spaces like Instagram and SnapChat to feature fun glimpses at the budding brand. Include office life and creative processes.
- Print pieces—Print pieces can be a fun way to build up to a brand reveal. If applicable to your specific industry, add coupons to print pieces, or feature contests to track the success of the piece.
2. Keep the brand fires burning.
Once you’ve got your new brand up and running, it needs to stay that way. This requires commitment, consistency and coverage. The facets of the brand need to be seen and heard across everything in your company.
- Put everyone on the same page. Set up a brand guide for internal and external use. This will include logo formats, color palettes, fonts, tone and more. We recommend collaborating with your brand agency to create this, since they will have all the pieces needed to build a brand guide.
- Don’t fall off the page. Commit to your brand by maintaining consistent use and look across all communications, external and internal.
- Build a brand bandwagon. Brand ambassadors are a great way to build awareness, create excitement and entice engagement. Whether it’s a group of employees going out into the world to spread the brand love, or a group of passionate customers, these spokespeople are the living embodiment of your brand and your business. Make sure they are qualified and invested for that authenticity piece that is so important to brand success.
3. Don’t let your brand get stale.
Two years from now, your brand power should be in a stronger place. Ideally, you’ll have a great customer base that keeps growing. You’ll have recognition in your industry. And your visuals will be easily associated with your company name. For brands like Nike and Google, it’s obvious that these are brands with staying power. Making big changes to the status quo can cause confusion with your customers, and may look like a lack of confidence in your own brand.
So how do you keep things fresh without reinventing the wheel? Here are a few simple ways to shake it up when you want an injection of brand energy.
- Color palettes—Want to change it up a bit? Something as simple as adding an accent color to your website and communication materials can do the trick. We recommend maintaining the core color palette, but adding some new accent colors is a nice way to refresh.
- Fonts—If you’re sick of the font on your site, consider changing it out for something more dynamic or appealing. Don’t mess with the logo font; stick with fonts used in emails, website headlines and body copy, or in conjunction with graphics. Stay away from overly ornate or trendy fonts from the start; they get old fast.
- Tone/Voice—The tone of a brand can always evolve, especially if your customer base shifts or expands. While a drastic change isn’t recommended (e.g., you wouldn’t go from conservative to wild and crazy), changing up the language and content on your site is a good way to keep things fresh. Just be sure to do it in a way that is authentic to the brand.
Launching a new or reimagined brand can be an intimidating venture. You want it to be well received, and you want it to represent your business in a real, relatable way. The keys are authenticity and consistency, as we’ve mentioned. The other key factor? Patience. Brands aren’t supposed to behave like It Girl celebrities with half-lives. They need to have staying power and persuasion power, and that takes work, time and dedication to owning the brand and delivering on its promise. Go get ‘em.