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Who's Going to Launch This Brand?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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When launching or re-launching a brand, companies tend to focus on customer reactions to their initiative. What will customers think? Will the brand create increased customer engagement and retention? How do we gain brand enthusiasts? While all valid and important questions, many brands fail to realize that one of the most important assets to launching their brand resides within each employee.

Companies don’t get more than one chance to launch or re-launch a brand. This isn’t an initiative that can be changed yearly or updated to ensure success. Those are the brands that don’t succeed. Companies work tirelessly with research and data to guarantee a successful and sought-after brand by customers. Each level of the brand launch is planned and executed to elicit a certain response from customers — a positive and engaging response.

And then someone mentions, “We need to let our internal employees know about the launch.” Maybe there is a mention of an internal memo, a conference call, or an all-company meeting with t-shirts, and that task is checked off the list. This is where most companies place the least amount of effort and planning when, in fact, a brand launch can only be successful with employees that are living and breathing the brand in a believable way.

Companies need to place just as much importance on the launch of the brand internally as they do externally. This needs to be more than just a one-time meeting; it should include plans and initiatives to help employees understand the depth of the brand. If employees can live and breathe the brand without having to look up information or wait for a manager, the new brand will be integrated and cohesive before it is introduced to a single customer. Now that is powerful.

It’s the Targets, the Apples, the Whole Foods, and the Starbucks of the world with successful brands; you never question what the brand means. It’s delivered on the phone, in the store, and through the products, but most importantly it’s consistent across each person within the brand. The idea of employees as brand advocates cannot be an afterthought. It deserves enough attention that it receives its own launch plan. Companies will need to plan for various tactics, multiple attempts at releasing information, and integrating this into the daily function of each employee.

Imagine a company with employees that are 100% behind the brand. These employees can not only explain what the brand stands for, but the brand is naturally displayed in how they perform their jobs. Customers can see this and it’s consistent. This sounds like one successful brand launch, don’t you think?


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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