How to Launch a New Brand & Website the Right Way
The climate of relevance is always shifting when it comes to business; it’s a constant battle to stay current against competitors and evolving industry trends. Reinventing your website or brand is a smart way to stay afloat – but successfully launching either can be a daunting task, to say the least.
Luckily, there are steps a company or individual can take to ensure their new or refreshed brand or website makes a positive impact on the marketplace and guarantees a smooth transition for current customers. Use these tips to properly announce, launch and drive adoption for your next big unveiling.
Configuring the Schedule
One of the most important factors to consider when launching a new brand or website is timing. While every brand or website launch is contextual to the company or individual it pertains to, it’s unwise to drop a new brand or website in the midst of complete market or company chaos; that’s just as good as adding another piece of kindling to the figurative fire.
Make sure your new or refreshed brand and website are introduced at a time when they can actually be digested by both the market and your internal team, as opposed to when they’ll barely fit on an already crowded table. It’ll be hard for employees to implement new principles or foundational changes when they’re busy tending to an increased workload and just as difficult to gain any traction or awareness among new leads if the media or market is consumed with bigger stories.
Making the Announcement
Announcing a launch appropriately is nearly as important as the launch itself. Without proper awareness of an upcoming brand or website launch, it won’t matter how innovative the new strategy, look or functionality is if no one is around to see it. There are a variety of effective ways to announce a new brand or website internally and externally.
Drafting a press release to pitch to local and industry-specific publications means a wide and reputable demographic will be aware of your news. Press releases should be concise and fact laden, able to simply and accurately relay key points about your new brand or website that you want your target markets to know. It’s also wise to feature a blog, or series of blogs, regarding the upcoming launch on your company’s own website to generate anticipation.
Internal launches can be just as difficult to orchestrate as external launches; there are still “customers” to keep happy in the face of change, your employees. Keeping your employees in the loop as much as possible during the time leading up to and during a transition is tantamount. It’ll help alleviate internal pressure caused by unforeseen problems and assist in transitioning employees and gaining their buy-in for the principals of a new brand. The less uncertainty, the better.
There are a variety of ways to convey the new brand strategy to employees internally. Scheduling a company-wide meeting, composing a slide show, distributing FAQ materials and emails are all excellent strategies to combat any uncertainty your team may have about the rebranding process.
For a launch to be successful, it’s important to prioritize cohesion on every front, from updating your social media profiles with the new verbal and visual identities to refreshing tangible business collateral that reflects principals of the brand. Some items that should be taken into account immediately when rebranding or launching a new website include:
- Social Media Profiles and Pages
- Business Cards and Collateral
- Email Signatures
- Internal and External Signage
While there are certainly more facets that will differ between businesses, the aforementioned items may be the most immediate to achieving a copasetic state for your new brand or website.
Social media profiles are one of the main resources for curious potential or existing customers; why surf the net for a link when a business you follow can drop pertinent information right onto your newsfeed? Information needs to be concise to whatever brand or website changes have been made. Visually, your logo, imagery and color pallete need to be united to keep people engaged and clear about who you are.
Business cards, email signatures and collateral such as brochures, sell sheets and folders, to name a few, also need to bare the new visual and verbal identities of the brand. Engaging with clients and customers under one name while featuring a differing logo will lead to confusion, potentially causing a loss of business or credibility.
Transitioning Existing Customers
Some of the most furious resistance that will arise in light of a launch will often be from the existing customer base. People like things the way they are for the most part – a sentiment that rings true for established clients in a variety of industries, especially in those that require a steep financial investment.
A series of emails leading up to the launch detailing the reasons and important aspects as they pertain to the existing customer base are invaluable for cutting down the amount of flack; the sooner these emails can be sent out, the better. Make sure to emphasize why and how the transition to a new brand or website will be beneficial to them as an existing customer and include a timetable illustrating when they can expect changes to take place. For a new website launch, be sure to identify new features they will benefit from, such as a customer portal or helpful resource hub. If your existing website already offers customer-specific functionality, provide clear instructions on how this will be transferred to the new site and if the customer needs to take any action to ensure a seamless transition.
Some Things to Keep in Mind
There are a variety of obstacles that can impede even the most well-planned brand or website launch. Dissatisfied employees or existing customers, unforeseen problems with cohesiveness between mediums and lackluster promotion can all lead to problems with a new brand or website launch.
It’s important to keep interested parties engaged, while sating the questions and inhibitions of your existing customer base and employees. By keeping everyone on the same page and implementing some simple strategies, a transition to a new brand or website can be made all the more effective.
If you’ve been thinking about a brand refresh but feel hesitant about undergoing such an endeavor, read Does Your Company Need a (New) Brand Strategy, for helpful ways to identify if it’s the right time. Likely, “if your company lacks formalized, cohesive direction about why your business exists, where it’s going and how it will get there through unique differentiation,” it’s a good time to consider a rebrand.