You’re thrilled about your new brand and are ready to share it with the world. You’ve put so much work into this new brand – determining your values, recognizing your tone of voice, identifying the clients you want to speak to and the ones you don’t…
It’s finally time to show off all that work!
It feels like an act of bravery to launch a new brand. And with bravery comes a little fear. Will your clients like the new brand? Will it resonate with them as much as you expect it to? Will it tell the story you want it to?
There are so many places to update your logo, people to tell, systems to rebrand. You are wondering what’s the best way to tell your clients and your (ideal) prospects, or how early you need to start preparing.
It’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed by the process of launching a brand and website because it’s a big deal. If you’ve put the work into your new brand, it’s going to appeal to your ideal clients and they are going to love it. Here’s how we recommend you share it with them.
Get the major pieces in place
There are a few pieces that will take a couple of months to get in place, not the least of which is your brand book and new or updated website. (Note: The second half of this blog post explains what needs to change on your website after you rebrand.)
Phase 1 of a brand launch starts the minute your new brand has been developed. These more time-consuming pieces of your rebrand need to be started ASAP because they’ll take a few months to get ready.
We recommend starting this phase no less than 4 months before your planned launch of your new brand.
During this phase, hold the brand pretty close to your chest. If you leak parts of your brand without your brand story and all the elements, you’re likely to get some confusion and lackluster responses.
PHASE 1 (T minus 4 months from your accounting firm brand launch):
- Rebrand your website
- Create a brand book
- Decide how to rebrand office spaces
- Order office rebrand items
- Identify key documents that need rebranded
- Send key documents to be rebranded
- Design swag for team & order it, but don’ t deliver it yet
Bring them on the journey
The next thing to prepare is materials that will explain all of the work you’ve been doing. Your team and clients need to know what prompted the change, why it is so important, and what it means to them. So get ready to tell the whole story behind the brand.
Prep these materials early so you can share them with your team and use them as talking points as you get closer to the launch day. Start this no later than three months before your launch day. Here is an example of the type of content you need to be creating during this phase.
PHASE 2 (T minus 3 months from your accounting firm brand launch):
- Write a blog post about your company/business values
- Write a blog post about why the brand is for them (your clients)
- Write email for current clients and your newsletter list to explain the new brand
- Write email for your newsletter list to explain the new brand
Train internally first
Your whole team needs to “get” it before you share your brand with your clients. Give your team an opportunity to ask questions, and show them all the reasons to be excited. Read this blog post by Ash for more on how to involve your team in your For more on why this is important and how to launch your brand internally.
Speaking with your team and getting them on board is going to be most successful if it’s started after you have completed the earlier projects, but it also is best to get your team on board no less than around 1 month before you plan to launch your brand. If you get delayed in Phase 1 or 2, it’s best to push back your launch a little bit.
PHASE 3 (T minus 1 month from your accounting firm brand launch):
- Hold a team meeting to go through the new brand book and blog posts that you’ve written.
- Rebrand employee handbook, ideally as part of a team conversation around the values of the brand and how that affects the way your workplace functions
- Prep social media posts (one for a sneak peek, one around the blog post of how the brand benefits clients, and one for the actual brand launch)
- Design new social media cover images, and profile images
- Introduce rebranded key documents to team
- Decide & order swag for clients (ideally with the help of the team)
Prep your audience
You’ve likely been working on this rebrand for months and it may have been on your mind for years. You’ve had quite a while to adjust to this idea, and you know the reasons that your old brand didn’t work.
You might worry your current clients won’t like the change. That’s fair; most people are resistant to change, and most of your clients like you for who you are (and could feel fearful you won’t be that any more).
Give your clients a little heads up so they have some time to adjust. Let them know change is coming so they can prepare. Don’t do this too early, though. We recommend entering this phase at about 2 weeks before your launch date.
PHASE 4 (T minus 2 weeks from your accounting firm brand launch):
- Publish sneak peek social posts
- Soft launch of the website (Publish the new site on your URL, but don’t jump to send everyone to it yet. Some visitors will find it there, but we don’t want to overload it yet.)
- Record a video explaining where the new brand came from and what it means (but don’t share yet – that’s for the next phase)
- Deliver swag for team
- Have team members record videos of them wearing or using new swag, with the new brand (save these for launch)
Launch simultaneously everywhere you are
Launch day means all hands on deck. You’ll have a lot of things prepped and a lot of them need to go live today. Involve your whole team to get everything done at the same time.
PHASE 5 (LAUNCH DAY)
- Send email to current clients directing them to the website
- Send email to newsletter list directing them to website
- Change all contact details on social channels
- Change profile & cover images on all socials
- Share your new brand videos you recorded in the previous phase
Sustain your brand (don’t launch and fall off the grid)
Once you’ve launched, keep using your brand! Your website will function as the hub for all your marketing, and you’ll get the most benefit if you follow up your brand launch with consistent content.
PHASE 6 for an accounting firm brand launch (Post-launch):
- Have a TAYA session with your team
- Send swag to clients
- Develop a library of branded images to use for social and blog posts
- Send new brand LinkedIn cover image to employees for their LinkedIn
- Create a branded template for client quotes to use on social media
Give yourself plenty of time to launch your brand and website. Prep early and be flexible with your launch date if and when you hit snags. The key to a successful launch is in the preparation!
Sign up for PF Lab to get more resources for planning your brand launch, including a comprehensive checklist.