Image sourceTo answer that question, look closely at the people and teams within your organisation that have the ability to impact the success of your launch. Have they come on the journey with you? Do they understand the opportunity and do they believe in the new product the way you want your customers to? Do they love it? The unfortunate truth is that stakeholder management can often get overlooked when embarking on a new launch or a different direction for a brand. But people in the business need to understand their role in the unfolding drama of your company’s fortunes and have to believe it’s worth playing a part. In our experience, there are often internal barriers to overcome that have the potential to affect the success of a launch – and you should address them upfront. Step one: Define your business goals Put your launch into perspective. What is the business trying to achieve? Where does it need to be? It’s easy for individual departments to get wrapped up in what they’re working on day-to-day and forget the bigger picture. Educating teams about the wider business needs and how they can help contribute to this will unite employees towards a shared goal. Step two: Set your objectives Be clear about what you’re trying to achieve and back it up. The team at Adidas Body Care, for example, knew the brand’s ambition was to become a leading global fragrance and body care brand, but it was operating in a high-spending, low-interest category with very little differentiation. The brand was reliant on price promotions and losing brand equity, but there was an opportunity for Adidas to own an area of the marketplace that competitors had ignored by engaging with the target audience emotionally and reflecting what they really valued. The key was having solid statistics and research to back up the strategy. This new direction for Adidas would impact marketing, sales, pricing analysts, field marketing and distribution teams, so stakeholder management was vital. Moving away from price promotions and towards emotional engagement would almost certainly cause a stir internally, so its reasoning had to be watertight with detailed research and market analysis to support it.
Continue reading on the next page for how to handle the stakeholders.
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