Sparks March 2007 -

Sparks March 2007

In the News

Mills appointed to IU SLIS Master of Information Science Advisory Board
Cairril Mills, principal of Design & Marketing, has been appointed to the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) Master of Information Science Advisory Board in Bloomington, Indiana.

Unlike many schools, the SLIS program offers master’s degrees in both library science and information science, in addition to an array of joint degree programs. It was recently ranked #1 in the nation in terms of faculty and program productivity for the second successive time.

In addition to Mills, other board members include John Brooks, Chief Operating Officer, BioConvergence; Cameron Carter, TechPoint; Craig Hickman, ProsLink; Brian Kleber, Director, inVenture; Carol Pendlum, Director of Business Development, Bell Industries; and Bill West, President, Option 6.
Read more about Mills’ appointment

Get your biz on board the “Experience Economy”
An espresso bar, leather armchairs, hardwood floors, and artsy wall coverings. You’re in Starbucks, right? Wrong—try Wells Fargo Bank.

Like many large companies, Wells Fargo is catching on to what we often extoll in Sparks: the power of the brand experience. “Would you like a latté with that loan?” has been phenonmenally successful, with Bank of Smithtown (NY) getting one-third of its $183m in deposit growth last year from just three “Experience Economy” branches. Washington Mutual added coffee bars and flat-panel TVs in their branches and saw a 10% increase in deposit accounts.

It’s not just banks getting in on the action. Apple Computers has made many a naysayer eat crow by creating an outstanding customer experience in their clean, smart, hip retail stores, bringing in over $2.7b (yes, billion) a year.

Auto dealerships offer the ability to race their showcase car around a track on a Playstation 2. Even pawnshops are getting in on the action, with Cash America seeing an explosive growth in stores and profits since it adopted a brand experience where visitors enter a clean, well-lit environment staffed by helpful people in uniforms and name tags.

The common theme? Creating an experience for your visitors that evokes an emotional response, such as comfort, delight, excitement, or security. It’s not enough to sell widgets anymore; in a global economy, people can buy widgets anywhere! What experience does your business provide that provide that people can’t get from any of your competitors? Get on board the Experience Economy and see your brand strengthen and your profits soar!
Learn more about the Experience Economy




This month’s winner: Bridget O’Keefe!
In addition to the rapture of her second VisoVerbo win, Bridget wins a digital print featuring this one-of-a-kind design. Have a favorite quote or saying? Send it in! If your quote is chosen, you’ll receive a print of your custom design suitable for framing! Check out your competition here.

Client Spotlight

Renwick: Cameron Row
Renwick, an exciting Smart Growth neighborhood under development by WS Homes, has been featured in our Oct 2004 and Nov 2005 issues. The Renwick team, led by Aaron Stolberg, has made all the right moves in expanding the Renwick website with new content and features as the neighborhood development progresses.

One of Renwick’s neighborhoods is Cameron Row. It features upscale paired villas in a beautiful wooded setting. Several families have already moved in and begun creating the feeling of community that is the hallmark of Smart Growth neighborhoods. Other villas are complete and ready to be sold, while others are still being built. Aaron turned to us to develop a photo gallery to give site visitors a better feel for Cameron Row villas.

While many think of for brand development and design, we also offer photography services. This was a fun opportunity for us to do a photo shoot in a beautiful location. Our challenge was to shoot photos that gave a sense of the space, even if that space was empty or half-empty! We also needed to work around the construction happening outside the windows. The sun-drenched rooms provided technical challenges, since the light from outside threatened to overwhelm the interiors.

We scouted locations and took preliminary shots to get a sense of light and space, and also had the opportunity to meet Cameron Row residents who gave generously of their time and space. We then returned for the official photo shoot while the weather cooperated! Raw photos were then color corrected, shifting the color spectrum towards a warm palette so the photos would feel warm and inviting. And we made sure the construction equipment outside didn’t show in the photos!

Aaron selected from a wide range of photos, which we then integrated in a simple, tasteful interface on each Cameron Row floorplan page. The photos bring the abstract floorplans to life and give a much better sense of the beautiful potential of the space.

Fullerton floor plan photos
Green Mill floor plan photos
Oak Park floor plan photos
Riverchase floor plan photos