Launching a new business is akin to a balloon launch – the act of releasing something promising into a great unknown with no guarantee it will take flight and soar.
You can read dozens of books, highlight hundreds of magazine articles and scan thousands of websites and could probably consign all the good advice on business launches to two basic categories: strategy and luck. So how can a business harness both commodities and launch a new brand in today's competitive and politically charged marketplace of ideas?
One of the most successful businesses of all time – Google – put the question to sales and marketing executives at four leading companies. Consider their insights before implementing them with three attention-getting tactics sure to differentiate your brand – and lift it to new heights.
Executives weigh in on brand accountability
'Remain optimistic and educate': “Brands can take on the optimistic lenses of this divided era. So there's an opportunity to educate young mindsets about core American beliefs that brands can play a role in." – Sebastian Tomich, vice president of advertising and innovation at The New York Times Company
'Follow the Skittles example': “Skittles could have had a rainbow presence at the Pride Parade. But instead they...gave away colorless Skittles in solidarity." – Myra Nussbaum, a vice president and group creative director at DDB Worldwide
'Say something': "The stakes for a brand playing it safe are higher than not saying anything at all. You don't need to address the political climate to make a statement.” – Jess Greenwood, vice president of content and partnerships at R/GA
'You say it, you own it': “It's an easy time for brands to jump onto passions, but what you have to remember is that those passions will define your brand from that point forward. So you have to be able to own it." – Ben Jones, global creative director of Google.
Solid tactics can propel a brand
How can you put some of these platitudes to work for you and your brand? Consider:
Build suspense and anticipation. With social media, this should be a relative breeze – exactly what a launch needs on a clear day. But it takes skill and a deft hand to do it right, achieving a balance between being cleverly coy without being painfully pesty. Build a campaign around the themes of “Guess what's new?” and “It's almost here.”
Make your new product or service available to opinion leaders. “Think local” – prominent members of your business community – but “think globally,” or
well-knownpeople whose views influence the actions of others. If they decline a polite request, they'll still remember your product or service, for future reference. And if they consent to writinga review, it could be the beginning of untold marketing advantages.
Stage a memorable event. Different and classier than a “stunt,” an event can reap the advantage of customers forever linking the event to your product or service.
The marketing experts at