Ecover’s 30th Anniversary party in NYC. Photo by Kate Eisemann

Despite the impressive track record that comes with being a 30 year-old international brand, our client Ecover is still facing one big hurdle when it comes to increasing audience awareness in the United States:

They weren’t here first.

While Ecover was establishing their brand of ecological cleaning products in Europe before they ever crossed the pond, competitors like Method and Seventh Generation were becoming the common names that people in the US tend to think of as “clean and green.”  And although Ecover has effective partnerships with retailers like Whole Foods, they’re still seeking new ways to connect with potential customers who might not even know that they exist (yet).

So, yes, Ecover is on Twitter. And yes, Ecover is on Facebook. And yes, Ecover has a blog.

But when Ecover celebrated their 30th Anniversary in November, they saw an opportunity to connect with those bloggers, tweeters and Facebook fans in a whole new way: in person.

We at Creative Concepts helped Ecover create a “30 Under 30” contest to celebrate the contributions of America’s young eco-innovators. The contest’s winner, Ryan Arnold, was announced live in New York City on November 10th at Ecover’s 30th Anniversary party, held live in the Environment showroom in Manhattan. Ecover also partnered with EcoStilletto, who organized a green blogger panel during the event which focused on the future of sustainability.

The result?

Increased brand awareness, compelling conversation and positive post-event coverage on blogs and Twitter alike. Plus, Ecover CEO Mick Bremans got to meet dozens of young eco-minded entrepreneurs and media makers who are passionate about the future of sustainability which was a great opportunity for him and the finalists!

This kind of personal connection can be started online, and we certainly expect it to continue online long after the event is over.  But no matter how electrified your Facebook community is, nothing replaces the power of face-to-face communications to build tangible relationships.

Are you building relationships that bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds?