[Ed.: “I Have An Idea…” is a series written for College AD by the author of Brands Win Championships, Jeremy Darlow.]
“Our patience will achieve more than our force.” – Edmund Burke
For me, conversation is the key to a successful launch. If people are talking about a brand I’m working on, we’ve won. Good or bad, the fact that people are talking about our brand means we’re in the game and we have a shot.
But I often see companies fall victim to one classic pitfall. That is, launching everything in their communication arsenal in a single day and hoping that solitary moment extends the conversation. It doesn’t. Press work on a 24-hour news cycle, which means after 24-hours they’ve moved onto the next story. If your communication rollout is focused on a single moment, your story will last no longer than a single day. That is not strong brand management.
As a brand manager, it’s your job to keep your program top of mind and in the discussion. To do so requires your team to constantly produce stories worth talking about. But here’s the thing, it’s not about releasing a new story every time (that would be nearly impossible for even the strongest of brands), it’s about breaking up your stories into chapters. That’s the trick. Having the patience to hold back content.
I’ll give you an example. Say you have two commemorative uniforms heading into next season; the last thing you should do is launch them together. Reason being that by launching the uniforms at the same time, you will have just reduced your potential news coverage from two stories down to one. Break up your stories and extend the conversation. Launch one this week, followed by a constant flow of photos, videos and background on the design. The following week, do the same with the second uniform. Suddenly you’ve extended the story and the time with which the media is talking about you from one week, to two.
Sometimes patience itself, not the story, is the most powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal.
Jeremy Darlow is a brand marketing professional who, during his time at adidas, has worked with schools like Notre Dame, Michigan, and UCLA, and athletes like Jimmy Graham, Dwight Howard, and Lionel Messi. He works to help NCAA athletic programs and athletes build and elevate their brands to elite levels.