La Nueva

Brand Launch – How to Nail it

The Inlay Brand Bridge
How to go from brand development to brand launch

How to bridge the gap between brand development and brand launch

 

Want to have a seamless brand launch?  When a company wants to rebrand, the typical process looks something like this: they hire an agency, and that agency undergoes a full process, including research, strategy, and creative development. They work with the client to shape the work, eventually landing on the perfect brand identity. And that brand identity is packaged up and delivered to the client in a brand guidelines document, which captures all the details that make the brand special. 

Then what?

This is the point where a lot of clients get stuck. Yes, they have a brand, but what do they do with it? How do they actually reveal thier rebrand to the world? 

In our experience, it’s all in the execution. Avoiding the common pitfalls of brand rollout requires a second phase of deep collaboration between the agency and the internal creative team to build understanding, capacity, and a foundation. 

 

Building understanding

A brand is an idea. There’s so much that goes into creating it, and all of that thinking and nuance can’t possibly be captured in a brand guidelines document. So the first phase of any proper brand rollout is focused on building understanding of the brand within the client team—for both company leadership and creative employees (designers, writers, product developers, etc). The agency will conduct a series of training sessions to familiarize teams with all the intricacies of the brand, and answer any lingering questions about what this brand means for their work. The whole process is about drawing out the agency’s thinking as much as possible, so the client team is prepared to translate that thinking into specific, public-facing materials. 

 

Building capacity

Every company is staffed differently. And most companies don’t have the right staffing to pull off a seamless brand launch. Startups and other fast-growing companies are often full of generalists who know a little bit about everything. But executing a rebrand requires specialists, and agencies can help companies both identify the necessary roles and find expert talent to perform them. For some companies, this means adding an in-house Head of Product or UX person or content writer to their permanent team. For others, it can be as simple as adding a freelancer to the mix for a few months. The key is understanding where there are holes in the org chart, and filling them before the brand launch stalls out because of lack of capacity. 

 

Building a foundation

Once the right pieces are in place, all that’s left is to actually operationalize the brand. This means taking the identity and applying it to the most visible branded materials. Agencies can help clients figure out what the most important materials are, but they typically include the website, digital apps, product packaging, email templates, social media content templates, swag, and any other frequently distributed materials. 

At some point, the internal team has to take over the execution of the brand. But this is not that point. Some collaboration with the agency that conceived of the identity at this stage is critical to ensuring that it is implemented correctly. Brand guidelines provide a solid list of do’s and don’ts and a kit of parts for internal teams, but there is still a lot of room for misinterpretation. And those misinterpretations can completely change the vibe of a brand. So the agency should be contracted to either develop these materials themselves or act as creative directors for internal client teams. 

It might take a little longer, and cost a little more, but following this process is the surest path to success for all involved. Clients get a polished brand execution and avoid common traps that make a rebrand look sloppy, like using photography that doesn’t reflect your audiences, putting your logo on materials that your customers don’t want or need, or creating a disjointed user experience that leads to a lower conversion rate. Internal teams get the guidance they need to carry the brand into the future. And creative agencies get the satisfaction of knowing that the brand people see is actually the one that they created.