A client asked me to lay it out for them recently: why should they run a campaign to launch their new brand identity? As a B2B provider in a less-than-sexy sector, how do they justify that spend?
It was a really good question, and I don’t mind admitting, put me somewhat on the spot.
The reality is, it’s very difficult to measure return on investment for a launch campaign with any real accuracy. However, it’s worth considering the purpose of branding. Fundamentally it’s about making it easier for your clients to buy from you, easier for you to sell to your clients, and building brand equity in the business over the long-term. It’s no coincidence that many of the most successful businesses invest so heavily in understanding and articulating who they are.
Any campaign activity around a new identity is simply an extension of that investment. To my mind, this really boils down to making the most of what you’ve already got. You have already put the time, effort and money into a rebrand exercise. You’ve brought clarity to what you stand for and why anyone should buy from you, and then to brought it to life in a compelling and engaging identity. Why not tell people so?
You could launch ‘softly’ and save some money. The transition would be seamless and professional – without note even. There are certain kinds of shift that you want to go unnoticed – as if it had always been that way. But I’d argue that this isn’t one of them. A campaign promoting your rebrand is an opportunity with a finite window. It’s a chance to make a splash with your new identity, to reinforce your values and proposition, to make people stop and look at you in a way that – as much as it would be nice to think otherwise – they probably won’t ever again.
Existing clients will be reassured that they are aligned to business that’s going places. Prospective clients will be intrigued and have a far better understanding of why they should consider working with you. High quality potential recruits will become more aware of the calibre of your business, increasing your chances of being seen as a genuine alternative to the higher-profile players, the safe bets.
And let’s not forget a key stakeholder group – your own team. Your staff will feel a sense of pride (in being part of something) and reassurance (that what they’re part of is going places). Plus, there’s a nice element of entertainment value come launch day, when they realise all these teaser ads have been about them. And as an added bonus, you may even the ruffle the feathers of the odd competitor: show you’ve raised your game.
If from a creative perspective you had to start from scratch, a launch campaign might be harder to justify. But often part of the litmus test for any new identity is how campaign-able it is. The best identities immediately lend themselves to campaign ideas – so make the most of that potential.
Rational justification aside, if you’re proud of your new identity and it’s right, then launching with a degree of fanfare is something I doubt you’ll regret doing, but you might possibly regret not.
Oh, and the client that sparked this?…All in good time.