Launches are overrated. The idea of a launch does more to service the egos of those involved than it does for the actual brand it serves. It leads to short-term thinking that leaves most wondering, 'what's next?' Thus, I can't echo Caryn's position enough - a launch is just the start - it's not the end all be all. The sooner brands begin to approach a long-term marketing communications strategy versus building up to the 'launch date', the more effective campaigns are going to be. A long-term approach enables integrated thinking, the development of more impactful KPIs and a higher likelihood of actually effecting real change.
Communicators have been saying this for years, but brand equity is a slow build. It takes an approach that keeps the brand messages in front of our target audiences.
Don't believe me? Here's some research -
In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, health psychology researcher at University College London, Phillippa Lally said on average, habits take 66 days to sync in.
Based on this, we can assume that consumers won't see you on TechCrunch once and buy your product. They won't read one profile on your CEO and change they way they consume media/music/information. It's only after a consistent message to the right audience that first and foremost provides value, will you start to gain momentum.
At the end of the day, it takes a clear message, a commitment to the cause and the ability to stay the course. Only then will a new brand begin to make waves.
Launching is like the opening move in a chess game. It doesn't mean that much.