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Launching a new brand can be an exciting time. Many customers tend to gravitate toward familiar names, and it takes clever marketing to encourage them to consider something new.
Often it's not possible to launch a new brand with a giant advertising campaign or a broad distribution network already in place. AdAge columnist Al Ries points to brands such as Charles Shaw wine ("Two-Buck Chuck") which started with a single point of distribution, and suggests that PR, not advertising, is the best way to build a new brand.
Thousands of new products are launched every year, and it's not clear why some succeed and some fail. A study published by the Product Development and Management Association suggests that successful product launches are more likely to be focused on creating demand ("pulling" customers into stores to buy the product) than by ensuring supply ("pushing" products to a broad distribution chain). The study also backs up Ries's point by affirming that successful launches are more likely to include a PR element in their brand strategy.