Our B2B brand strategy firm recently underwent a transformation. We’re now BrandingBusiness after 20 years as RiechesBaird. We launched our new brand name on May 12th, 2014 after months of hard work and late nights. That same day, my wife and I celebrated another launch: One hour before our company’s rebranding announcement email hit inboxes, my daughter, Sydney Elizabeth Garvin, was born.
A brand launch and the birth of a child are both emotionally charged events that require a commitment and an attention to detail that borders on extreme. As we at BrandingBusiness and my wife and I at home adjust to a new entity, I can’t help but draw parallels between these two big events in my life.
• Big launches are highly anticipated—and stressful.
Excitement, anxiety and stress all are part of launching of a brand. And if you’ve lived through the months leading up to the “birth,” those feelings almost become a permanent part of your being.
As the big day approaches, you can’t help but ask yourself “Am I ready?” The good news: These strong feelings can keep you motivated to make it over the finish line. But, when launching a business, the birth date can be usually changed or postponed until everything is ready.
• New brands take months (if not years) of preparation and planning.
From building signage and business cards to nursery furniture and car seats, details and considerations are mind-boggling. In either case, if you wait too long to take an audit of the necessities, you’re going to be in a tough spot come the big day.
The “what ifs” for each type of event need to be anticipated and planned for well in advance. Much like how it’s a best practice to walk into the hospital with a birth plan outlining procedural preferences, it’s important to know how you and your team are going to coordinate all of the various moving pieces that accompany a brand launch. For instance, you don’t want to find out on your way to the hospital that a road has been closed. And never let a print advertisement hit shelves containing your new URL before the website has been launched. Planning is everything.
• Make sure everyone understands their role.
Everyone has their role on the day. Whether it’s that of hospital driver or your company’s PR firm, you are there to make this transition from womb to world as smooth as possible. The same goes for the members of your staff. A smooth transition to the new brand requires that everyone know how they are to participate. Online and offline, in the press and on the phones, brand launches are coordinated by teams, not individuals. The truth is, whether they are directly involved in the launch day activities or not, everyone in the company now has a role to play – that of champion for the brand, the personification of its promises and its ideals.
And remember: The hard work doesn’t end with a brand launch or a baby’s birth. Take time to enjoy and celebrate the big moment. Acknowledge there will be bumps along the way. Be prepared to change a diaper or two.