Launching a brand: Our 3 key lessons learned

After celebrating the first birthday of the Curious Plot brand in July, we took a moment to reflect on lessons learned from the experience and the considerable investment of time and money to make it happen. In the spirit of sharing knowledge with others, here are a few pointers for any organization considering the launch of a new brand:

  1. Know your why. This one may sound obvious, but it’s important to not get caught up in the excitement of the new and to have a crystal-clear reason why you’re about to dive into this endeavor. Trust me when I say you’re going to be diving into the deep end of the pool. Our why was actually two-fold:
    • We needed to shed our past. Our old name, FLM Harvest, was a mash-up of two legacy organizations that no longer existed. I was fond of saying during the process that FLM Harvest was about looking in the rear-view mirror, and Curious Plot was about looking through the windshield at the road ahead.
    • Speaking of looking forward, we wanted a brand that anticipated and carried us into the future. The world of business and marketing is changing at warp speed, and it’s essential to have a brand that can not only keep up, but stay ahead. A year on, we’re more certain than ever Curious Plot is that brand. 
  1. Rebrands are not for the faint of heart. Have I mentioned that doing a rebrand isn’t easy? Consider:
    • The time investment is intense. After the new brand launched, we went back and took stock of how many hours our collective team worked to make everything happen. By our calculations, it was the equivalent of two colleagues working on the rebrand every day of the week for a full year. And that doesn’t count the related out-of-pocket costs, which also were also considerable.
    • The lawyers must be your best friends. One of the most arduous lifts is determining the new brand name, which has to be unique enough to withstand a potential trademark challenge. After compiling a pool of roughly 500 names, we narrowed it to our short list of 10, which the legal team swiftly trimmed to three after they did their due diligence. Fortunately, Curious Plot was one of the three left standing, which is really fortuitous because it had already emerged as our clear favorite.
    • Paying clients want love, too. For as excited as we all were about the new brand, it could never, ever be all about us. Our first priority – always, forever, end of story – is our clients. We had a strict edict that client work would never suffer because of the rebrand. We were proud to live up to that commitment and happy at how quickly and enthusiastically our clients embraced our new brand. Oh, and by the way: Our clients knew of the name change before it was officially made public.
  1. Transparency is critical. From the start, we knew we had to be open and honest with our team regarding the rebrand. For everyone to be able to represent the brand from day one, they had to be living it for weeks ahead of the launch, all the while keeping it a secret. I’m proud to report there were no accidental “Plot” leaks prior to our big announcement. In addition to being transparent with our team, we also needed to ensure clients heard the news from us and not the “street.” That’s why on the day prior to the rebrand, we made more than 60 personalized calls to our clients to share the new name and the plan for announcing it.

Looking back, we couldn’t be happier with how the brand has been received and how it’s changed how the people we care about perceive the agency. We’re so happy, we’d do it all again.

Just not anytime soon.