Launching a high-profile product line for a celebrity brand is an exhilarating and demanding undertaking. With multiple visual merchandising products that incorporate diverse elements such as graphics, millwork, and plastics, all while synchronizing with a live product launch event, the pressure can be immense. In this article, we will explore a real-life scenario where our team faced the challenge of a tight timeline, working with a new client and starting from scratch. We will delve into the reality they confronted, the solution they devised, and ultimately, the happy ending they achieved.
Embarking on a high-profile product launch for a celebrity brand, our team was confronted with a complex set of requirements and expectations: a refined finished product with half the time to produce it. The challenge culminated with a live product launch event featuring the celebrity themselves. The stakes were high, and there were a lot of variables to manage!
Adding to the pressure, this project marked our team’s first collaboration with the client, who was undergoing a major rebrand. So, not only were the graphics and fixtures coming together for the first time, so were the colors, artwork, and design. Starting from scratch meant there were no pre-existing templates or established workflows, and when seen together it all had to make sense.
With only six weeks to deliver the entire project (from design ideation to delivery), our team had to make the most out of each day. Typically, production lead time alone would take four weeks after final approved art, followed by an additional week for shipping, resulting in a total of five weeks. To make up time, we had to compress four weeks of design work into just one week. To make sure we didn’t skip any steps, we adopted a simple mantra: make no assumptions, and over communicate. However, it takes two to tango, so we also needed to make sure the client was on board with making messy progress (which of course, they were)!
Our team rallied together to find a way forward. Our client’s creative team went to work finalizing the digital assets quickly, while our design team collaborated with them constantly to ensure it translated to the final product. Our production team evaluated our existing production schedule and utilized machine down time and our prototype line to get the project in line without bumping out existing projects we were committed to. Our project management team called out milestones, deadlines, and created contingency plans in logistics and delivery. By being on the same wavelength as our client, we were able to maximize efficiency every day to rush specific elements without compromising quality or holding up other parts of the project.
The Happy Ending
Despite the initial challenge, both our internal and client team’s tenacity and strategic approach paid off. In fact, we completed the project ahead of schedule! The products shipped early and arrived with time to spare – surprising even our client! The live product launch event went as planned, reception of the products was overwhelmingly positive, and we were happy to be a positive contributor in the journey.
The successful outcome of this high-profile product launch demonstrates the power of collaboration, adaptability, and creative problem-solving. Despite facing tight timelines and starting from scratch with a new client, we harnessed our expertise and were disciplined in our approach to overcome the hurdles we did see, and those we didn’t. By closely aligning with the client early on and making informed decisions, we beat the target.
Jeff Lo is owner of TGS Elevate, a visual marketing / merchandising company that provides printing, point of purchase displays, and store fixture manufacturing, and in-store build outs for companies that have 50-500 locations nationwide.