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An AI generated image of a person sitting at a desk in the mountains with many different marketing plans stacked in piles surrounded in question marks
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Branding + Campaigns

So you’ve got a new brand. Now what?

John Entwistle
Jan, 2024
5 mins

Branding or rebranding is an exhilarating, but sometimes exhausting process. It takes time, resources and energy from the brand leader, but also from an array of stakeholders that they are collaborating and consulting with. So we understand why, when we deliver a new brand platform and its shiny new brand creative guidelines, they sometimes sit gathering dust on a brand leader's desktop while they catch their breath and figure out “what’s next?”. 

We thought it might be helpful to spell it out for those of you asking that question. When we look at how successful brands are established and rolled out, we see some key strategies and approaches that emerge. We’ve broken them down into four phases to help you get a handle on bringing that brand platform to life. 

Phase 1: Develop

Creating or evolving your brand

Perhaps you are starting from scratch, or maybe there are some fundamental components of your existing brand that you are revisiting. Regardless, you should start by auditing your brand to ensure you understand its strengths and weaknesses, its best-fit consumer, any consumer trends that might be impacting it, as well as its competitive landscape and where it will fit into the world. 

That information will set the framework to develop a brand strategy, a brand articulation, a creative expression, and a communication framework that will help guide how your brand is perceived in the marketplace. 

For a lot of brands, this is where the focus on “branding” stops. For that reason, we’re going to focus the majority of this article on the following three phases that often get overlooked or rushed through, when they should be some of the most important steps in your of brand’s development and management. 

Phase 2: Implementation Planning

Integrating your brand across your existing touchpoints

Once you have a well-developed brand platform and brand creative guidelines that your stakeholders have aligned upon, you’re going to want to think about how it can be implemented across all of your brand’s touchpoints. This includes marketing and advertising, but goes far beyond that into development planning or product development, operations, human resources, public relations, member, partner, vendor or stakeholder communications. Developing a comprehensive list of all of your brand touchpoints is an important step. Think: what exists already and what will exist in the future that needs to reflect this new brand. 

Your website and online presence are a good place to start, followed by marketing materials, signage, packaging, collateral, training manuals, email templates, customer service scripts, etc. This list will be long (and perhaps stress-inducing), but it’s important to have the list so you can map the priorities against your budgets and timelines. Not everything will need to be done at once, and there are timing considerations you will want to take into account. For instance, you aren’t going to want to try and implement a new brand during a major product launch or seasonal change-over. 

Pro Tip: It can be advantageous to understand the full scope of the brand implementation coming out of phase one to ensure that there is sufficient budget and resources to properly implement the brand across all critical touchpoints. 

Phase 3: Communicate

Telling the world about your new brand

Once you have planned for how you’ll implement your new brand across its various touchpoints, you are ready to communicate it to its intended audiences. 

Phase 2 focused on meeting your audiences where they interact with the brand.. In phase 3, we look at how you might push your new brand to expand its reach. This is where more traditional marketing efforts come into play. 

The first, and most obvious execution (to us, at least…), is a brand launch or a brand campaign to communicate your new brand to its key audiences through various advertising and comms channels. This is generally something that comes very naturally out of the brand development phase and can layer in specific goals in communicating the brand. 

In addition to a brand campaign, you can bolster the reach of your new brand through brand video anthems, sales missions, changes to your website, and earned media opportunities. This is also a good time to evaluate your brand partnerships to see if any brand partners would be valuable in communicating your new brand. 

All of these efforts should be coordinated to optimize the reach of your communications to their intended audiences…ideally, as soon as your brand is ready to be introduced to the world. This is where the return on investment in your branding process comes through. Not thinking this step through has landed many a brand manager in a CEO’s office defending the cost and relevance of the brand work in phase 1. 

Phase 4: Maintain

Ensuring your brand remains relevant and consistent

Once the world knows about your new brand, it will require constant ‘maintenance’ to ensure it stays true and relevant over time. Ongoing and consistent brand communication is key to ensure that you don’t begin to lose momentum or start to create frankenbrands by combining and developing multiple elements over time. 

This is the phase where you ensure that your ongoing communication is set up to consistently communicate with your audiences in alignment with the brand. This should be done both through ongoing communication channels by developing brand email and social strategies, as well as more infrequent efforts such as video storytelling or seasonal campaigns. Without a doubt, this is the longest phase of development, and it bridges the gap between your branding and your yearly marketing plans. 

Part of maintenance is asking yourself annually, “does this brand platform and expression still work?” Changes to your product or offering, your target market’s behaviours or tastes, the economic, social or political landscape, or the entrance of a new competitor can all be reasons to re-evaluate and adjust. Brands are living, breathing things and while large-scale changes need to be taken on with caution, small tweaks are often necessary to keep them relevant. 

The journey of brand development is a long-tailed effort when done successfully. Working through each of the phases outlined here gives your brand the best chance of being impactful and being seen by your audiences. Wrapping your head around how these four phases can play into your brand development and rollout will help define a successful brand launch. The executions we have listed in this article are not exhaustive but are what we see the majority of our clients consider through each phase.