Communica Develops Brand Launch for Joint Venture Auria

Brand development, identity and logo creation, and creative strategy are the core of the many Communica strategic and creative services that informed the international launch of Auria Solutions, a new leading global supplier of automotive acoustical and textile solutions. A joint venture formalized between International Automotive Components (IAC) Group, and Shanghai Shenda Co., Ltd., the Auria launch coincided with press and industry days at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

“Our products are well-suited for the future of the industry,” said Brian Pour, president and CEO of Auria. “As vehicles move toward more electrification and hybridization, lighter weight materials and a quieter cabin will become even more important, while car-sharing and ride services will require more durable flooring and trim materials to withstand increased use. Communica helped us position our brand with an intelligence and sophistication that generates awareness and interest that leads to progressive collaboration with our customers.”

The Auria campaign utilized a wide variety of Communica’s integrated services, beginning with the naming and logo design, brand positioning, creative strategy, the creation of the advertising launch campaign and strategic global media planning and placement.

“It was an exciting experience to be involved in the creation of a global automotive brand from the very beginning,” said David Kanarowski, senior vice president of Communica. “We were able to focus all of our experience and expertise in the automotive arena to make the new brand engaging and compelling from the onset.

About Auria
The U.K.-based Auria is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, and Düsseldorf, Germany, and operates 21 manufacturing facilities and four technical centers in 10 countries along with operational control of three joint ventures across China, South Africa and the U.S. The company estimates it will employ approximately 7,000 people and supply all of the world’s global automakers, as well as several regional manufacturers. Auria’s automotive product lines will include highly engineered soft trim and acoustical solutions focused on creating the comfortable automotive interior environment customers demand.

About Communica
Founded in 1988, Communica is a mid-sized, agile agency with a national and international brand roster headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. The agency integrates marketing communications across disciplines of brand building, creative development, public relations and any other medium that makes the marketplace stand up and take notice. Communica supports its clients through satellite offices in Columbus, Ohio; Charlotte, North Carolina; Detroit, Michigan; and Shanghai, China.

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Be Social in 2018

As a B2B company you should not discard the influence that social media can have on your target audiences. Whether you are selling seating, ladders, tires or technology, if you create the right content, your chances of attracting the attention of key prospects is excellent. 

Developing the Right Content
Like any other marketing tactic, content development for social media should be carefully planned, carefully messaged and very strategic. Ask yourself —what are your objectives and what content is needed to get you there? What can you say to set yourself apart as a thought leader? What’s the industry buzz? How can you solve problems, or provide insight, to your targeted prospects?

Remember, the person creating your content can come from your agency team. It’s difficult with the day-to-day workload to get interesting content from your internal team, and get it in a timely and consistent manner. Agency partners, who are familiar with your goals for the new year, should be able to recommend topics that will be of interest to both your prospects and current clients. Another advantage of including your agency partner is that they will take a fully integrated approach that considers the different capabilities and disciplines of social media, public relations and media objectives.

Agree upon a strategy. What social media platforms are you going to concentrate on? What product launches are coming up in the new year? What trade shows are you attending and what is of interest to those audiences. And, most importantly, what can you talk about that differentiates you from others in your field.

Use a Social Media Influencer
Third party endorsements are powerful. Choosing the right social media influencer is key. Some will require payment for their participation, others may not. Before you engage with an influencer, do your homework. Which influencers have the greatest audiences? Do they fit your corporate image? Do they seem easy to work with? Can this be an ongoing relationship? What do they bring to your brand —industry knowledge, a broad spectrum of followers?

Use Video Content in Social Media
A recent statistic, from eMarketer, speaks to the power of using video in social media. They stated, “Nine of 10 social media network users are influenced to make a purchase after seeing content on social media. And, video has the greatest influence of all content types.” Whether it’s Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, video is drawing the attention of consumers better than any other type of social media post.

Account Based Targeting in LinkedIn
Have you seen what LinkedIn can do from a direct sales standpoint? It can target your audience, by title, by industry, by geographic location. Talk about potential qualified leads! This is amazing. Better start thinking about a LinkedIn campaign to jump start sales in the new year.

It’s time to be Social!

 

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Dreaming in the Right Place

On Creative Strategy
Mark West

When a client first engages with Communica, one of the early steps may include bringing a creative strategist into the initial meetings. Clients benefit from having a creative strategist present to help connect the thoughts, desires, aspirations and challenges of the organization with the overall marketing communications strategy.

“Including a creative strategist to help guide marketing communication concepts benefits clients throughout their engagement with the agency,” said Mark West, associate vice-president of creative services. “We are able to assist in developing and executing the big picture for their organizations. By ensuring that the creative aspects of our accounts are recognized and addressed from the outset, we minimize confusion and streamline the process.

At Communica, creative strategists bring strong backgrounds in storytelling, writing, aesthetic understanding and problem-solving skills to the table, along with the ability to guide the client’s ideas and the creative staff’s work to an innovative, engaging combined vision.

“Often, our role is to help level set expectations on all sides, narrow the focus and make sure we are all dreaming from the right place from the beginning,” said West.

As one of Communica’s creative strategists, West says his role benefits the most when he can hear directly from the client.

“Ideally, we want our creative process to be so clear everyone can see it,” West said. “By joining the account team from the beginning, we are able to understand the client philosophically, which allows us to pivot from strategy to creative work and back again,” said West.

At Communica, creative strategy supports marketing communications and public relations work throughout the agency.  If you are interested in learning more about any of our services, visit www.communica.world.

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Hercules Tire Increases Brand Awareness Through Travel Sweepstakes

From Paris to Pittsburgh, from Belize to Baton Rouge, this summer at Communica we were able to travel the world, thanks to our client Hercules Tire and the Destination Recreation Sweepstakes. The contest, which asked people to share their favorite vacation photo for a chance to win a road-trip getaway, garnered thousands of submissions from all over the U.S.

“With this contest, we really wanted to play upon the nostalgia of the classic road trip,” said Suzy Mitchell, manager, brand development, for Hercules Tire. “Summer vacations feel like a right of passage, but often they can be prohibitively expensive. We loved combining the visual elements of photographs from past vacations with prizes that honored an American tradition.”

According to Staci Ozuk, the account executive who managed the project at Communica, the Destination Recreation contest was so strong in part because it took advantage of the agency’s integrated services.

“We were able to incorporate the majority of our agency’s services into the contest’s creation and implementation, from creative strategy and development to social media outreach and public relations,” said Ozuk. “As an agency, it’s always energizing when multiple facets of our organization work together to help a client achieve their goal.”

One of the goals of the contest was to build additional audiences for the brand. The teams hoped to extend the Hercules brand experience and increase awareness through extremely relevant vacation moments, each creating an emotional entry-point into conversations about personal vacation preferences. Each post was crafted to offer an emotion-driven connection to a place or memory, seeding interest and increasing engagement.

In addition, Communica’s social ad strategy considered these emotional touch-points as assets and enabled the building of target audiences for each scenario. Multiple ads were tested with very specific targets designed to increase relevance and ensure the brand’s first moment with new audiences was positive and memorable. Relevance, engagement and video views were excellent, exceeding expectations. The audiences Communica grew for the campaign have become an important asset to Hercules Tire’s overall social strategy.

Projects like Destination Recreation can be a fantastic opportunity to increase brand awareness and increase influence with desired audiences; they also offer the chance for play, creativity and conversation.

“We found it incredibly rewarding when people entered our contest and shared stories from their lives,” said Mitchell. “People shared photos from destination weddings and once in a lifetime vacations – from adventures in mountain climbing to beach barbecues. At the end of the contest we were able to award four winners with weekends tailor-made to their interests, which was the most exciting part of all.”

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DORA Takes Downtown Toledo by Storm

On June 15, The Downtown Toledo Improvement District (DTID), Destination Toledo and the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce launched the Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA). DORA allows alcoholic beverages to be carried outside, from bars and restaurants, if customers stay within the boundaries of the refreshment area.

Communica created the brand and worked with the sponsoring organizations to launch DORA. Once the brand was established, elements were created that included the DORA cups, indoor and street signage and collateral material. Communica also handled media relations for the press conference at SeaGate Centre.

Social media was also buzzing about DORA. In June alone there were 5k new sessions on the Downtown Toledo website DORA page with people 25-34 being the most active, followed by those in 35-44 age range. The Facebook post announcing DORA reached more than 63,000 people. Other cities with outdoor refreshment areas have seen a beneficial increase in tourism, with repeat visits, since developing their outdoor refreshment areas. Social media is helping to spread the word.

The addition of DORA to downtown will allow everyone to enjoy their beverages as they stroll our downtown streets within the district. It will encourage workers to stay after their workday is complete or allow residents a unique experience within their neighborhood. There are 24 participating restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues in the district.

Other organizations who collaborated with DTID and Destination Toledo to bring DORA to fruition are the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, the City of Toledo Police Department and the City of Toledo Transportation and Facilities Department.

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Communica Takes on Hospitality and Fine Dining

After much anticipation from the Toledo area community, Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel opened their doors to the public on Wednesday, August 2, 2017. The Renaissance brand is known for immersing itself in local culture. Once you step into the front door, it’s evident that they’ve done so.

Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel is owned by First Hospitality Group, Inc. (FHG), a nationally recognized hotel management company based in Chicago. The interior design is inspired by Toledo’s history including references to Jeep and our automotive legacy, our “Glass City” culture and M*A*S*H. The Renaissance offers 12-stories comprised of 241 guest rooms, and destination restaurants—Brim House, on the first floor with classic American cuisine and an open kitchen, and The Heights, a rooftop bar and small plates restaurant offering sweeping views of the Maumee River.

Communica began seeding curiosity about the hotel many months before it was open. We created engaging posts to social media that allowed our audience to see the entire construction journey, from start to finish. The hotel was taken down to the studs and completely rebuilt, so allowing our audience to preview “not-so-perfect” moments was crucial in building momentum for the grand opening. By capturing photos and videos of furniture being unpacked, lighting fixtures being installed and finishes being applied, the hotel became the storyteller.

Communica also works with carefully chosen social media influencers and bloggers to help bring the hotel’s story to life through their unique and locally connected perspective. By giving influencers exclusive tours and experiences before the hotel was open, we were able to tap into their highly engaged audiences, who eat, sleep and breathe Toledo. We have continued to work with these influencers on different stories and experiences to ensure that Toledo stays in the loop with all that Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel has to offer.

From a public relations perspective, our team works to write and distribute press releases, secure spots on morning shows, and use our relationships with local media in order to curate relevant stories. One of our favorite morning show segments was one where Chef Aaron Lawson visited WTOL and prepared one of his favorite dishes live.

After working with Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel for a few months, Communica was approached to partner with nationally acclaimed restaurant group, Concentrics Restaurants, to position their new destination restaurant, Brim House, and rooftop bar, The Heights, at a local, regional and national level. These restaurants are located on the first and 12th floors of Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel.

Communica implemented a strategic combination of media relations and community outreach strategies in order to build local engagement and excitement for these venues, while raising awareness with trade and travel publications.

Before each establishment opened, Communica planned and executed special media dinners and cocktail parties where key reporters and social media influencers were invited to indulge in carefully crafted menus that aimed to give them a broad taste of the cuisine. These media previews grew relationships that resulted in many positive and informative stories being placed in the news surrounding the restaurants’ openings.

Communica also built and runs all social media channels for both restaurants, telling brand stories from an insider’s perspective. We have crafted sustainable local audiences, identified targets and segments, seeded interest through intuitive experiences such as a Solar Eclipse Party social media photo contest, and built awareness through creating event pages, hash-tags, daily updates, video teasers and implementing a highly engaged response strategy.

Working with the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel as well as both restaurants, Brim House and The Heights has been immensely fun, and rewarding. We look forward to continuing our efforts, and elevating these establishment’s visibility to their highest potential. They truly care about the community, and bringing Toledo residents special experiences that resonate with them. Toledo is lucky to have gained such a gem.

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Communica for the Cure

For every eight women in the United States, one will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. Susan G. Komen of Northwest Ohio works relentlessly to ensure that those women in our community who are diagnosed have the appropriate support, resources and treatment to fight the disease. Komen also supports breast cancer research at a national level in an effort to eliminate the risk of breast cancer all together.

Communica was proud to support Susan G. Komen of Northwest Ohio as a Platinum Sponsor of the 2017 Toledo and Findlay Race for the Cure. Through our work with Komen Northwest Ohio, we were able to freshen up the branding on all race materials and elevate the visibility of the race. This work included deliverables such as outdoor boards, race day maps, registration forms, a snapchat filter, a new hashtag strategy and social media strategy support.

It was a great day in downtown Toledo!

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New Global Automotive Brand created by Communica

Brand development, identity and logo creation, and creative strategy are the core of the many Communica strategic and creative services that informed the international launch of Auria Solutions, a new leading global supplier of automotive acoustical and textile solutions. A joint venture formalized this year between International Automotive Components (IAC) Group, and Shanghai Shenda Co., Ltd., the Auria launch coincided with press and industry days at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

“It was an exciting experience to be involved in the creation of a global automotive brand from the very beginning,” said David Kanarowski, senior vice president of Communica. “We were able to focus all of our experience and expertise in the automotive arena to make the new brand engaging and compelling from the onset.”

The Auria campaign utilized a wide variety of Communica’s integrated services, beginning with the naming and logo design, brand positioning, creative strategy, the creation of the ad launch campaign and strategic global media planning and placement.

“Any IAA attendee arriving internationally at the Frankfurt airport was repeatedly exposed to our Auria branding video looping on 116 screens in the baggage claim area. This placement resulted in millions of impressions. It offered a first introduction to Auria that continued with a series of advertisements placed in the Automobilwoche IAA Show dailies distributed at the Frankfurt Messe and via email to a global automotive industry audience,” said Kanarowski.

The U.K.-based Auria is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, and Düsseldorf, Germany, and operates 21 manufacturing facilities and four technical centers in 10 countries along with operational control of three joint ventures across China, South Africa and the U.S. The company estimates it will employ approximately 7,000 people and supply all of the world’s global automakers, as well as several regional manufacturers. Auria’s automotive product lines will include highly engineered soft trim and acoustical solutions focused on creating the comfortable automotive interior environment customers demand.

“Our products are well-suited for the the future of the industry,” said Brian Pour, president and CEO of Auria. “As vehicles move toward more electrification and hybridization, lighter weight materials and a quieter cabin will become even more important, while car-sharing and ride services will require more durable flooring and trim materials to withstand increased use. Communica helped us position our brand with an intelligence and sophistication that generates awareness and interest that leads to progressive collaboration with our customers.”

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Increasing the Value of Your Industry Events

For any company, creating major industry events can be very costly and time consuming. While there’s plenty of event details to work out, like budget, venue, dates, sponsors (if needed), booths, signage, catering and so on, the key is a solid event strategy that will help you drive attendance and garner attention from your industry. And we’ve found that there are two factors that are critical to accomplishing that goal:

  1. Your event should be educational
  2. Your event should have a newsworthy presenter

Gerber Technology’s Ideation is a great model for how to create your events.


The Challenge
Gerber Technology was founded in 1968 and is a global leader in software and automation systems that aids design and manufacturing in the aerospace, construction, fashion and apparel, furniture, packaging, signage, transportation and technical textile industries. Gerber was looking to take its annual software summit for customers to the next level. They asked Communica to help them strategize, plan and execute their annual Ideation event In Las Vegas.

There were three primary goals: to position Gerber as an innovator and a thought leader, to increase participation exponentially and to generate greater interest from media and the fashion and apparel industry.

The Solution
Communica worked closely with Gerber on virtually every aspect of Ideation – from the concept and theming of the event, to recruiting Tim Gunn and other presenters, to helping to produce the event materials and some of the general sessions, to creating and executing an integrated marketing, public relations and social media campaign to promote the event.

The Results
-Attendance increased to more than 200 people, a 39% increase from 2014
-The event generated significant positive publicity for Gerber Technology
-The company was able to secure Tim Gunn as its 2015 keynote speaker
-Follow-up feedback from event attendees was overwhelmingly positive

When your team needs help with managing an event, picking out its venue and developing the strategy behind it – make sure that you secure an integrated marketing team with event experience. Your investment will result in a greater ROI, build better brand awareness and improve customer relationships.

So, what’s the best way to drive attendance and garner attention from your industry? Simple. Your event should be educational and have a newsworthy presenter. And, be driven by great strategy to make it interesting.

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MTS Seating: Case Study

MTS Seating is the leading manufacturer of steel-framed seating for the hospitality industry. But even though the company enjoys excellent relationships with its two main market channels, interior designers and food-service distribution, research indicated that brand perception was one of an old-line manufacturer, in rusty old plants in southern Michigan. It was time to change.

In reality, MTS’ ability to work collaboratively with customers and create custom products is unmatched in the industry. Their breadth of product is unmatched, their US-based manufacturing is unmatched, but how do you change the perception of interior designers and executive suite members of the world’s leading hotel flags that MTS is THE leader in innovation and quality? Click on this link to find out how MTS was rebranded and embraced The Art of Seating.

 

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