When a company’s well-priced and well-made market-relevant product fails to find sway with consumers, it’s time for that company to call in the big guns.
“We’re basically just trying to connect brands with people in interesting and meaningful ways,” says Mark Reimer, a strategist and connections planner with local brand management and interactive firm Clark + Huot.
It doesn’t matter if a company doesn’t know why they’re failing to have as large an impact as they should, that’s exactly what Reimer and his colleagues are experts at.
“Someone will approach us with a problem and ask us what our take is on how we might solve it,” Reimer says.
Clark + Huot, which celebrates its 20th anniversary next year, employs between eight and 10 people between its Winnipeg headquarters and its satellite branch in New York City. The number varies depending on which specialized, freelance personnel, such as videographers, are needed for a specific project.
Reimer estimates that the firm works with as many as 10 clients per year, but says that estimating the number of individual projects is more difficult.
Because each client will have a unique set of problems and a different desired outcome, the service that Clark + Huot provides has to be specific to the situation.
They achieve this by creating a comprehensive list of branding potential for each client.
“What is every single touch point at which someone could possibly interact with your brand and what is each saying about you,” Reimer says.
While the touch points will vary between clients, there are truths about what Clark + Huot does that never change.
“The principles of branding are pretty much universal across all sectors, so how can we apply that idea to your business,” says Reimer.
This allows Clark + Huot to take on any kind of client and still provide effective help. The firm has worked with United Way, the University of Manitoba and Payworks, a financial services company.
Once the firm has assessed the problem, the next step is to formulate a project plan based on what needs to happen.
For Payworks this involved a campaign to increase brand awareness, which meant creating a psychographic profile of the kinds of people who would be most likely to use the company’s services and then produce media that will attract these people.
“It really shakes up stereotypes,” Reimer says. “We made these ridiculous animated videos of cats dancing around and stuff that was completely out of left field when you put it next to the rest of their branding. But it totally worked.”
The company also specializes in building bridges between businesses and the branding and advertising opportunities they may not even know exist.
“There’s a lot of second-tier advertising technologies available on sites such as Facebook that aren’t readily available to a consumer or small business person,” Reimer says.
For more information, visit http://www.clarkhuot.com and www.facebook.com/clarkhuot.
Published in Volume 66, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 5, 2011)