Only a couple of seconds left on the clock. Your team gets the puck. You can’t sit down. Backhand, forehand, boom boom boom – and the biscuit’s in the basket, as the legendary hockey commentator would put it. What a barn burner! Let’s raise the Cup and sip champagne from Lord Stanley’s mug. Briefly visiting the left side of your brain, you complement the defense strategy, line combinations, and the great new forwards. See you at the town square, it’s time to celebrate!

Successful brands get close to your heart. Maybe not quite as close as your favourite ice hockey team, but close nonetheless. Naturally, for this to happen, they need to represent a good – no, excellent product. Just like hockey teams, brands also need to keep the blue line in mind. However, a rational approach alone will not win the love of the public. Throughout history, the most successful brands have drawn from the power of emotions. A smart marketer gives the public a knowledge-like feeling of the product’s superiority, a feeling that makes substitutes and imitators seem worthless. An engaged, impressed target group will believe you, buy your product, recommend it to others, and return to it. Superior brands and products have more than target groups or customers – they have fans. People have tattooed their favourite brands’ logos on their skin.

A company can provide the public with reasons and means to build a strong emotional bond with the brand and product. This is a tall order, but it is also the source of sustainable, profitable growth. It means that marketing – and not just marketing communications – makes it to the top management’s agenda. The marketing director has the other executives’ ears. One seat at the executive team’s meetings is reserved for the imaginary consumer. There is a straight, clear channel all the way from the public to the decision-making level. The discussion appeals to both sides of the brain.

And, finally, you must make room for the magic dust. Once you have the total package in place and the unique qualities of your product are evident, you need brilliant thinking. It is the only way to true brand love. A rock-solid strategic basis, an exceptionally creative idea, consistent long-term story, and a continuous dialogue that also appeals to the right side of the brain. That’s the recipe for increased consumer loyalty. Team colours usually stick.

The key themes of the Subcontracting 2015 fair are sales, marketing, new materials and methods. Focusing on the importance of marketing, the Chairman of hasan & partners’ Board Ami Hasan will give the keynote speech at the opening of the fair.

Eka Ruola is CEO and CCO at hasan & partners. hasan & partners is a 24-year old marketing communications agency with 110 people from 10 different countries, based in Helsinki and Stockholm. More information: