Recognizing the value of the nesting phase during your brand launch can help you fully prepare for the impending approval.
Your brand's approval date is a lot like a baby's due date. You can mark off the days on your calendar with a big red marker, but the truth is, it's on its own timeline, and there's not a whole lot you can do about it.
What you can do is embrace the nesting phase of your brand development, and make sure you are as ready for approval as possible. Once your brand is launched, you will be working fast and furiously to get your product into the minds and hands of the market, and you won't want to waste your time or energy worrying about things that could have been done already.
Strategize your registry of tactics
Many parents-to-be, especially those who are expecting their first child, hold that registry gun like a loaded weapon and aim it at everything in sight. Deluxe wipes warmer? Must have! CD collection that plays classical, brain-growing music? Absolutely! Adorable outfit with matching booties and bonnet? Need it in every color!
But when the parents get home from the hospital and realize all they really needed was a onesie, a washcloth and warm water, and some white noise on the radio, they often wish they would have spent their energy—and money—on more of the basics, the things they really will use day in and day out.
Apply the same thinking to your tactic wish list. Which tactics do you definitely need for launch? A core detail aid? Definitely. A leave-behind sell sheet with contact and ordering information? Yes! A slim jim that contains the exact information as the detail aid except it has different visuals customized to your 6 different audience types, which is causing confusion and pushback in your review board? Well… maybe wait and see if it's still as important after the launch.
Brush up on survival strategies from veteran players
Many first-time parents take a class to learn the do's and don'ts of having a brand new baby. They turn to the experts for tips and tricks on how to swaddle, give a bath, or dispose of a dirty diaper without passing out. Even parents of older children who haven't cared for a newborn in quite a while ask their friends about any changes in current practices and the new trends in modern parenting.
Even if you successfully launched a brand 5 years ago, the market is a different place. Technology has greatly evolved, and is playing a bigger part than ever in the way we reach our audiences. FDA guidelines have also changed, and claims you were able to make back then might get you publicly flogged today.
Take advantage of the recent brand launchers around you. Find out what's trending in the market and how to deal with recent crackdowns of your review board. Just remember, as every new parent knows, to take all advice with a grain of salt, and don't let it cloud your brand vision and strategic goals.
Have reasonable expectations
Brand launches are many things—exciting, fast-paced, stressful, fulfilling, a little scary—but they are definitely not easy. Just as every new parent knows that he or she shouldn't expect to get a decent night's sleep for at least a year, you should also know that it will probably take several rounds of board review to get your detail aid approved.
In addition, your launch date might be pushed back once or twice, and there may be several days in a row—weeks even—that you eat lunch and dinner in a conference room. But as long as you keep your eye on the end result—your beautiful new brand smiling back at you from a journal ad—you should soldier through the madness.
Enjoy the moment
Take a deep breath and look around you. In just a few short months, your brand will be on the market and you'll get to see first-hand how all your hard work will pay off. It's hard to believe, but there will come a day when you'll look back on even the most stressful moments of planning for your brand's launch and smile…because it will have all been worth it.