The Launch of a Lifetime: Catching up with Barry Lee Cohen

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I don’t know about you, but I love to see a new company start up. I especially enjoy watching someone with a great deal of knowledge, experience and most importantly, passion, strike out on his own, using his entrepreneurial spirit to sell what he does best to those who need it the most. They say that any successful company started with a person seeing a need and filling that need. This is exactly what my friend Barry Lee Cohen—BLC—has done in launching his new company, named appropriately enough Launch Communications, in April

Dan: BLC, good talking with you today. These are obviously very busy times for you right now so I appreciate the time you’re taking. First of all, tell me a little about the history of the company. It’s important to visit how you got here.

Barry:  My pleasure, Dan. I am grateful for this opportunity. I officially launched Launch Communications—pun intended—on April 11th. The last month has been exhausting and exhilarating—and I would not have wanted it any other way. The journey has been invigorating and rewarding. It’s been an exciting ride that I’m highly motivated and thrilled to be taking.

Dan: So what did you have in mind when you started the company? What was the plan?

Barry: As the saying goes, “You make plans and God laughs.” In this case, he or she may not have been laughing hysterically, but was probably having one heck of good time, watching me navigate what I have dubbed, “my new wonderful.”

Dan: Your new wonderful?

Barry: Yes. Over the last three decades, I was truly blessed to have partnered with, been inspired by, and learned from some of industry’s best and brightest at Enthone—okay, I’m biased—which also includes a dozen other companies and legacy brands when you include Cookson Electronics, Ormecon, Sel-Rex, Alpha, Speedline, SCS and a host of industry “who’s whos.”

Dan: According to your blog, you were respected and valued...why leave '”the family” as you call it? Why take the chance?

Barry: My close friends and colleagues know that I rarely play it safe. It’s simply not in my DNA. We all control our own destiny, and I always run to a new challenge. When Enthone’s parent, Alent, was acquired by Platform, it was a time of change and opportunity. After much reflection, I made the decision to listen to the right side of my brain and pursue my lifetime dream of opening my own company. The realization of my dream would never have been made possible without the unselfish goodwill, good cheer, and unwavering support from leagues of industry colleagues and friends.

Dan: Let’s expand on that…what is your vision?

Barry: My vision is that Launch will be recognized as the industry’s most trusted, qualified and preferred partner to provide knowledge-based strategic marketing, branding, public relations, and events that differentiate, delight, and deliver positive, memorable, and measurable results.

Dan: Ok, I need to ask, why the name Launch?

Barry: The name was chosen due to my long established and now overused mantra, “programs, not projects.” Launching a new service should never be confined to one tactic. Introducing a capability such as a new product, corporate initiative or participation at an upcoming technical conference can and should be deployed using a mix of both digital and traditional media to increase frequencies and enable different exposures. There does not need to be a “Sophie’s Choice” made on which tactics to use, regardless of budget, or if the offering is revolutionary or evolutionary in nature. An impactful and powerful market launch—there I go again—looks beyond the obvious news release and employs an integrated program relevant to your internal stakeholders; the sales team needs to be your key disciples, as well as focus on the target customers and markets where it will create engaging and differentiated value.

Dan: Let’s talk about the company. What do you do exactly? Please describe your products and services.

Barry: I’m delighted to offer a full scope of marketing and communications. You name it and we do it, strategically and cost-effectively. From marketing plan development and corporate branding to comprehensive technology and service introductions, to social media, public relations, event planning and more, we let our work speak for itself. You can be assured that our products and services ooze passion, creativity, unrelenting care and excellence. Partners can opt to make Launch their marketing communications department or tap us for specific program requests.

Dan: And how do you work with principals?

Barry: Every partner has different requirements. It’s not a one-size fits all strategy or deployment. Simply stated, success must be earned and can only be achieved by embracing the following principles: listen to our valued partners; exceed expectations; always create value added; meet deadlines; keep at or below budget; deliver best-in-class performance, products and services; love what you do and do what you love; high performance is the requirement, not an expectation.

Dan: How do you work with customers?

Barry: It’s what I like to call "customer immersion." This requires that my team go beyond delivering the glitzy graphics, beautiful brochures, and catchy copywriting—all of which we do pretty darn well by the way!—and make it our responsibility to understand our partner’s business, competitive landscape, and customer concerns and opportunities. We are not technical geeks—sorry Dan!—nor do we pretend to be electronics industry experts. However, for us to delight our partners we need to secure a level of market intimacy. Therefore, we work smart to educate ourselves to the various trends, issues, and opportunities as relevant for a given product, application or service. Knowing the right questions to ask allows Launch to offer meaningful, engaging, and measurable "voice of customer," and "call to action," services.

Dan: Talk about your customers. Who can use your services?

Barry: My company’s B2B focus mirrors my electronics, automotive, and industrial marketing background, which also includes my non-profit industry leadership positions with the SMTA and NASF, as well as other associations over the many years.

Electronics industry partners would encompass the markets and applications that I cut my teeth on and on which I base my reputation—which have also contributed to my male pattern baldness. They include PCB fabrication and assembly, semiconductor wafer level packaging and materials, connectors/leadframes, and photovoltaics. From coatings to materials and equipment systems, to process control software, Six Sigma, branding and a diversity of corporate initiatives, we’ve got you covered.

Dan: Let’s talk some more about your services. Why you are outstanding? Why should people hire you?

Barry: As a global director of marketing communications for an advanced specialty chemicals and materials company, I get it. I appreciate, respect and share concerns on consistently and cost-effectively delivering high standards of performance, creativity and engagement. No other marketing communications company can claim the depth of real world knowledge and experience. I embrace marketing 24/7.

Launch is much more than a marketing and branding company. It embodies my personal pledge to provide the same high standards of excellence and care to every project. Should it be a single news release or a comprehensive campaign launch, my team and I know it’s all about our partner’s brand, mission, customers—and their bottom line. Each partner’s program is our passion and privilege.

Be assured, unlike the big boy agencies that “delegate downward,” to the assistant project manager—or those agencies  that hand-off work to account executives or some mysterious, in-house employee you are forbidden to speak with—every syllable and image that you read and experience are conceptualized, written and under the stringent direction of BLC.



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