6 steps towards a successful launch event

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There are a million and one things to think about and coordinate when you are launching a brand or product, and it can be tough to break into the market. To avoid the juggling act that inevitably leads to chaos and exhaustion, you need to be strategic in your approach. Decide what will create enough hype around your brand for it to get traction and draw a loyal fan base – and whether a launch event should be part of the mix. If the answer is yes, here are a few tips to keep in mind along the way:

Perfect your brand story

Before you officially launch your product or service, you need to have a brand identity, and be clear on what your brand stands for. Make sure the story is presented in a simple and compelling way across all platforms and touchpoints.

Test the market

It’s always tempting to just jump in headfirst and hope for the best! But it’s a risky strategy, and not worth jeopardising what you’ve worked so hard for. So, create a focus group or launch an MVP (minimal viable product) to test the waters and figure out what tweaks you need to make before taking it further. User feedback is a vital step in perfecting your offering.

Pick the right date

Once that’s done, you can start planning the anticipated launch event. And this isn’t as easy as it sounds… in fact it’s something you need to be very clever about.

It’s also industry specific and depends on who your target audience is, but in general:

  • Avoid school holidays, as families tend to go away or take time out from work.
  • Avoid the silly season – most people’s calendars are jam packed in December and they are trying to wind down rather than squeeze more in.
  • Check what other events are on the same day, and whether your target audience are likely to attend.

Create a dream team

Don’t try to do everything yourself. Focus on what you’re good at and bring in experts to do the rest. This could be the catering, the entertainment or the organisation of the actual event.

When it comes to guest lists and media coverage, working with a marketing and PR agency can save you time and money, as they are likely to be well-connected and well-versed in this space. They can assist with potential brand collaborations or sponsors, as well as social media influencers, media coverage and support on the day. This typically covers liaising with journalists and influencers, as well as live tweets and Instagram Stories.

Measuring the success of the launch campaign or event is also a critical part of the process, so you can understand the return on investment. For example, if an event hashtag is promoted and used, you can track how many people posted about the event, and what reach this has on a particular platform. Sales following the event can also be tracked, to see if there is a spike or interesting pattern.

Have a draw card

With an endless stream of giveaways and events available to influencers and industry leaders, you need to come up with a way for your event to stand out from the crowd. Look to bring in a world class guest speaker or better yet, curate an interactive experience that will inspire or impress guests and give them a welcome break from their 9-to-5 day, or what they typically experience at an event.

Generate instant sales

Launch events are primarily for brand exposure and networking, but you can convert attendees into customers while you’re at it! Something as simple as offering 10% off all online purchases made within 24-hours of the event, using an exclusive discount code, can have a significant impact on your bottom line and justify the cost of the event.

With online shopping, e-marketing and online enquiries at an all-time high, brands can be tempted to skip a launch event altogether in the belief that customers no longer desire a face to face element on their path to purchase. However, we believe that the in-person interaction and engagement can go a long way in building relationships, trust and brand affinity with your target group. In turn, the guests’ first-hand experience with you and your brand also has a powerful word of mouth effect that can ripple out to a wide audience, long after the launch is over.

Originally published in Your Business Magazine

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