Launching a brand in Scotland takes research, planning and it’s all about building relationships with people who have never heard of your brand.

Aura is currently working on a project which will see the launch of a brand (consumer) from outside the UK, launch in two cities in Scotland.

The brand has well and truly captured the market in its home nation but launching a brand in Scotland is a different kettle of fish. For a start, why should the consumer trust your brand? They know nothing about you. It’s like starting from scratch.

Some observations I’ve made along the way so far:

launching a brand in scotland

1.Audience profiling

The client is looking to target an audience which they have said is the same profile as their current home nation. However, on further research, the age profiling for Scotland, is very different. Almost 10 years to be exact! This demonstrates it is essential to know your audience. Who are they, what do they care about, what do they like, where do they go and again, what do they care about. If you nail what they care about, you can engage them by talking about this. Can your brand relate to the audience?

2.Investment in public relations

For a brand to launch in a new country, I’m not going to talk fluff, there will be a period of activity where you won’t see a huge amount happening. This is because time must be invested in the research and planning phase. Devising a relevant and informed strategy cannot be done unless research and planning is undertaken.

Research could be a comms audit, analysis of data available, for example Google Analytics or Facebook Insights, plus what do you make of the results of the research? What is the research telling you?

In addition, as we’re launching a brand in Scotland from scratch, we need to start building a database. Communicating with the consumer via e-marketing can be highly effective. But we need email addresses! So, investment should be made and it should be part of launch activity, to ensure you’re collecting data. In this particular project, we’ve launched a Scotland-specific landing page on the client’s website, which asks for you to sign up to receive email updates and invitations in return for being entered into a competition to win a really great prize. This has to be driven by social media. You can also extract data from your social media activity so be careful not to bombard people unnecessarily.

From the outset we set a budget for paid activity and this includes online advertising, including a lifestyle website, Google Ads, Facebook Ads and print advertising. The profile of the readers was matched to the profile of the audience we’re trying to engage.

We’ve also developed a blogger outreach plan which engages with those bloggers who are interested in the consumer brand. Two bloggers, who are Scottish influencers in lifestyle, are being paid for activity from the launch, which will give longevity to the launch strategy. 19 bloggers are attending the launches which is a pretty good turn out as far as bloggers go.

A sound launch plan of public relations activity will help achieve those launch goals. Patience is required. Longer-term thinking is required. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Coming back to using the PESO model is ideal at this time, as we seek to engage with people organically, but also recognising the need to pay to reach some audiences which we won’t reach organically. It’s all about the blend.

3.Expectations of growth

Every business should have a business plan and business objectives, but what can we expect from a ‘standing start’? Well, communicating with the client is essential. It’s vital that both you and the client have had the discussion about what they want as business results. There’s no point in doing something for the sake of it, so what do we want out of it?

Well, we need to relate everything back to the business objectives and the public relations/comms objectives. What were the goals set?

We’ll be using the AMEC Framework to measure and evaluate. We recommend everyone uses this, from planning right through to the end.

We’ll be coming back soon with a case study on launching a brand in Scotland.

Blog post by Laura Sutherland