Is it expensive to do creative launches?

change leadership change management creativity Aug 06, 2023
Lata in a cream jumper looking at the camera; text: is it expensive to do creative launches?

When a project is going live with its new solution or “thing”, us Change Managers want to make sure we support that go live with a launch (even and especially a digital transformation with new technology). A change launch is a collection of different change activities that are designed to shake people up, wake people up, build momentum, and mark the milestone of the transition from the old way of doing things to the new. 


I absolutely love launches and they are beyond a doubt my favourite time in an organisational change.


We humans are hard-wired not to like change. But if we feel we know it's coming at a defined time in the future rather than sprung as a surprise on us, it helps us feel in control, planned, and prepared. Having a clear date for your change, usually in line with the project implementation date but not always, can give people a level of comfort to anticipate when their world will be rocked. Good communication is key.


But launches take us deeper - we can use a launch to celebrate our progress, congratulate and thank those involved, and pace for the work still to come in transitioning and embedding the change. 


One of the biggest challenges you’ll face is finding the budget to pull together a launch that is creative, surprising and exciting. If you want to support your launch with physical materials like printed posters and guides and support team hats and tees, digital assets like hype reels and screensavers, food and events like morning teas, lunches, snacks and a project team dinner, or even travel activities like roadshows and state-wide, nation-wide, or global briefings, it all takes budget. And while a project is often happy to spend thousands and millions on the technical build of a system, when it comes to making sure their people are informed, inspired, ready and confident to use that system, there may not be much budget left!


So here’s a few ideas to help negotiate getting that budget or leveraging existing channels to source and supply your change launch activities:

  • Plan the launch event 3 months in advance - it gives enough time to get budgets signed off before it’s all spent, or (heaven forbid) the project runs over-time and over-budget!
  • Use global and local suppliers - planning in advance means you can get things shipped internationally at a lower price, but using local suppliers for food and events may mean you can negotiate on prices or do local pick up for items, saving on freight.
  • Leverage internal teams - your Marketing Team or Internal Comms Team may provide design, digital or printing services, or have supply agreements and group pricing with external suppliers. Or have leftover goodies from previous brand campaigns or conferences to use as prizes or go live gear. Get them involved.
  • Stay onsite - rather than booking out event venues for small changes, use the facilities onsite and dress them to make them swish and focus on the food, goodies, and experience.
  • Buy generic rather than customised - going to your local party store you might be able to find balloons and streamers in your brand colours - you might not need branded items with your project or company logo. Going retail and then dressing things up with a corporate-branded sticker or the like can help save time and money over customised made-to-order items.
  • Send posted packs to work from home or remote workers - these are actually not as expensive as you think, especially if you use things like pre-paid satchels. And it means everyone can get involved and included in the change.
  • Reiterate the importance of a change launch - remind your project or Sponsor how critical it is to mark this milestone and get them re-committed to success to sign off on the budget. Often just doing 2-3 activities is enough and may not cost as much as they think.


Our theme for August is “Launching”.


What ideas do you have to make your change launch dollars stretch and craft incredible experiences for your teams? Shoot me a DM on LinkedIn and let me know.


And if you want more launch ideas, my free Creative Launch Ideas Guide is filled to the brim with 53 ways to bring your Change and Transformation to life. Download the free guide today:


CLICK HERE to download my free Creative Launch Ideas Guide


Lata xx

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