Strategy & Marketing

Five Fast Launch Tips for Your New Name, Project, Campus, or Logo

We’ve seen it happen too often. Significant time, energy, and dollars are invested in the creation of a new name, logo, or project, with little consideration dedicated to what happens next. Just a few years ago, a major ministry organization changed their name. The reason for the change was good, but they rolled it out so poorly, it seriously damaged their brand and national perception. And sadly, that case isn’t unusual at all.

Whether it’s a new name, logo, ministry, or location, HOW something is rolled out is just as important as WHAT is being rolled out. With this in mind, I asked Dawn Nicole Baldwin, our lead strategist at Cooke Media Group to highlight five of the most important things to be thinking about when planning your next launch. Here’s her recommendations:

1) Consider your audience – Who needs to know what, and when? The timing and amount of information should align with how close someone is to the heart of your ministry. Those closest to the heart of the organization should get more details sooner than those on the fringes.

Be intentional about mapping out what information is shared when and to whom to help equip your advocates to answer questions within their circles of influence.

2) This is an All-Skate – What facility needs do we need to consider for celebrations and interim team meetings? What budgets are we working within? Are we creating a street team to get the word out, or do we need volunteers at the event itself? What is the messaging and campaign theme? What is the overall goal and how are we defining the launch as a success? Involving multiple departments in the planning from the beginning helps to answer these questions, as well as a host of others when voices from Operations, serving/connection team leaders, Communications, and senior leadership are at the table early on.

This cross-pollination of thinking can help your launch to be more successful by ensuring your bases are covered and can avoid last-minute surprises.

3) Allow time to build momentum – A faucet is a great visual for this. At least a month out, start dripping content slowly, increase the “volume” leading up to launch, and turn on full blast right before and during launch. In a busy and distracted world, people are just beginning to hear your message at the point you’re sick of talking about it. Be sure to allow enough time for people to get excited and get others involved.

4) Include action steps – What do we want people to DO? It’s not enough to just tell people something is changing. Think about what we want them to do with this information. Is it to invite a friend to the launch party? Tag someone on social media? Join the street team to help get the word out? Provide a simple, clear, next step to increase engagement and don’t overwhelm them with options.

5) Don’t slam on the brakes – Despite all the planning, there are still people who are going to miss the big reveal. Be sure to continue your communications push in the days (and weeks) that follow, slowly turning that communication faucet back off.

– – I think Dawn’s advice is absolutely critical to a successful roll-out. Never forget that in a distracted world, making a change can be good, but it isn’t enough – because if nobody knows about it you’ve failed.

Happy rolling out!

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  1. One additional important step: be prepared for negative feedback or pushback and have a plan for dealing with it. ALL changes lead to some people who are unhappy with your change (and many would be unhappy with ANY change). You WILL get criticism. Figure out in advance what that criticism might be (research can help a lot with that), and how to address it depending on the source (donors, customers, media, staff, volunteers, etc.). Many leaders get so excited about their new name, logo, or whatever that they can’t even fathom that some people will not like it or will be uncomfortable with the very idea of change. Be prepared for some negative reaction so your own reaction is considered and strategic rather than knee-jerk, dismissive, or otherwise non-constructive.

    1. So true Ron! I remember when Creative Director Lee Clow created the famous “1984” TV commercial for Apple, most of the board of directors hated it. Fortunately, Steve Jobs backed it, and now it’s considered one of the greatest TV commercials of all time.

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