- 24 Jul
Creating a strong connection between customers and a brand is a multifaceted undertaking. Whether it be through print advertising, social media or public relations, the intent is to create an emotional bond. And, like every relationship, it’s complicated! We need to communicate business values: competence, success, mission statement, benefits. But, we also need to exude those “human” characteristics that forge a deeper connection to a brand. These are obtained through an emotional hook such as community outreach, humor, generosity, and public involvement.
Recently, we came up with the idea for JLS Vashon President, Ken Zaglin, to run for Unofficial Mayor of Vashon. Each year, The Vashon Chamber of Commerce sponsors this grassroots fundraising opportunity. Anyone can enter the race fundraising for an island non-profit with each dollar donation equaling one vote. Ken is one of the island’s most generous benefactors and also one of the most humble. Being a great sport he, somewhat tentatively, agreed to give the mayoral race a go as benefactor for Vashon Schools Foundation.
Ken has a very distinctive look (i.e. Groucho Marx) so we suggested that they center his campaign around that visual theme. JLS Realtor (and talented artist) Nancy Sipple lead the charge of creating campaign posters, t-shirts and donation cans tying the theme together. The campaign culminated at The Strawberry Festival Parade. Sipple devised a giant Groucho Marx set of glasses to adorn the JLS Vashon moving van; realtors wore the same glasses along with matching t-shirts as they marched down main street. The crowd LOVED it!
Ken didn’t win the race, but the experience was a win on many levels. His efforts raised nearly $2,000 for the Vashon Schools Foundation and drew attention to the generosity and good works of the entire JLS Vashon office. The campaign brought the office together as a team in ways it hadn’t before, projecting this image to the community. But, most of all, JLS Vashon showed the community something incredibly powerful: they have a sense of humor and can laugh at themselves, they are creative, and they are fun! Would you generally associate these qualities with a realtor? Maybe not, but JLS Vashon has done so quite successfully. And, getting back to the relationship part of building a brand, when men and women are asked what characteristics rank highest in choosing a partner a sense of humor is nearly always in the top five.
To run a successful marketing campaign you need to be willing to take chances and think creatively, sometimes delving into that “uncomfortable zone.” Kudos to Ken Zaglin and his incredible team for doing just that and doing it with gusto!
Best People. Best Results.
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