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How To Successfully Connect Your Brand With New Customers

Akron, OH (January 1, 2015) — In an ever-changing landscape of marketing and media technology, brand advertisers must fully understand the needs, interests, passions and media usage habits of their audiences. As consumers are more in control of their brand experiences and consuming media on their own terms, it has become increasingly difficult to connect with them and influence their perceptions of your brands. This is why connections planning is such an important method for reaching your audiences in a meaningful way and building successful relationships with them. Below are the key components of a successful connections strategy:

  1. The Audience — Whom are you trying to reach? What are their motivations? How can you use this information to make a meaningful impact on them? Connections planning is focused entirely on the consumer and how to best integrate your brand into their consideration set.
  2. The Brand Idea — How does your brand position itself? What is the messaging approach? What is the consistent theme or idea infused across all marketing channels that defines the brand?
  3. The Brand Connection Point — This is essentially the "moment of relevance." It's the point at which your audience will be most receptive to your message. When can you reach your audience at the right time, within the appropriate context and environment, while they are in the most receptive frame of mind? What is the appropriate creative message and voice?

The audience, brand idea and brand connection point must work together in a cohesive, integrated manner in order to achieve their common goal. Understanding the relationship among these three elements is crucial in building the foundation for an effective, engaging connections plan. It's more than just media planning, because in the world of connections planning, the right solution may not involve what you would traditionally consider "media." It's a shift in mindset that should allow you to fully integrate and to think beyond the norm from a marketing perspective. By using the connections planning process, you will have a much greater opportunity to produce the most relevant, engaging and rewarding solution for your brands.

A prime example comes from one of our major building products clients at hfa (LIQUID NAILS® Brand), which was the Tips on Tour™ program. Our challenge was to effectively build brand awareness and product interest for LIQUID NAILS Brand among our target audience of professional contractors (with a secondary focus on DIY consumers). Based on our insight that this audience is busy and does not usually have the time to interact with brands, our solution was to bring the brand experience to the audience.

We accomplished this by designing a product-focused tour, in which our branded trucks arrived at key home improvement stores and special events across the U.S. and Canada, allowing our audience to get rebates, take home branded gifts, learn about the products, have conversations with brand representatives and engage with the brand in a memorable way. We also included traditional media support to influence the audience and drive traffic to the Tips on Tour events. By using a media-neutral approach and finding the right points of receptivity across both traditional and nontraditional marketing channels, we were able to deliver a true connections plan that generated results for the client.