Sparks April 2005 -

Sparks April 2005

In the News

Branding show online
The Bloomington Business radio show which featured Cairril Mills, principal of Design & Marketing, is now archived on the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce website for online listening. Our topic was “How Branding Can Help Your Small Business” and covered branding basics, how small business can use branding to its advantage, and examples of strong Bloomington brands. More information and instructions on how to listen to the show are available on the Chamber’s site.

Get emotional: How strong brands differentiate

Regular Sparks readers know strong brands command customer loyalty which leads to more revenue. How do they do it? Not by focusing on features and benefits.

The power of brands derives from their power to go beyond the rational. Life isn’t rational. Life is decidedly emotional, instinctive, intuitive, and even a little messy. People are driven by deep-seated emotions, particularly fear and desire.

Cell phones were initially marketed to women based on the fear factor: “Don’t be alone at night!” “Don’t be alone on the road!” But after it became clear that the desire for connection and convenience was much stronger than fear, cell phone marketing switched to emphasizing how cell phones could help women better juggle work and home life.

The Apple brand is based in part on simplicity. Its phenomenal success with the iPods shows how it tapped people’s desire to have a “soundtrack to life” with a minimum of fuss.

Nike transformed itself from “just another tennis shoe company” to one of the world’s most successful brands by shifting their focus from shoe features to storytelling. “Just do it” was the the first in a long series of campaigns that connect the Nike brand with the human desire for excellence.

While small business marketing tends to focus on recitations of features and benefits, a more compelling strategy is to connect with your audience on an emotional level. So tell stories. Find out what emotional needs your product or service meets in your customers. Think about how your offerings impact your customers’ lifestyle. Then go ahead: Let your marketing get a little emotional.

World Day of Design 27 April
World Day of Design is an international holiday celebrating the vital role of design in the public arena. This year marks the first time the U.S. is participating in the holiday which is recognized from Brazil to Sweden to Iran. We’re proud to be part of a tradition that includes architecture, product design, textiles, interior design, the graphic arts, and interactive design.




This month’s winner: Janet Hendel!
In addition to the thrill of a lifetime, Janet 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 T-shirt with a custom design! Check out your competition here.

Client Spotlight

Andrews, Harrell, Mann, Carmin, & Parker, PC
Bloomington-based Andrews, Harrell, Mann, Carmin, & Parker is a full-service legal firm with a long tradition of community involvement and providing responsive service to clients. When they approached us to redesign their website, we recommended they revamp their logo and tagline to reflect the sophistication and unique nature of the firm.

Our logo redesign incorporates letterforms from ancient Rome, communicating a sense of prestige and tradition. But we softened the strong capitals by pairing them with a rounded, more humanistic face. By using a warm color palette, the new logo conveys the professional yet approachable culture of the firm.

AHMCP’s old tagline, “Legal and Business Counselors,” summed up their services but lacked punch. A more comprehensive message is communicated through our new tagline: “Legal Solutions. Trusted Counsel. Community Commitment.” With more punch and better rhythm, the tagline also allowed us to spotlight AHMCP’s key brand components.

View the logo and tagline designed by