Sparks April 2007 -

Sparks April 2007

In the News

Is your business boring?
Let It Out™!

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all selling rock stars or space exploration or world peace? Alas, few of us have businesses that are quite so exciting.

And yet! Kleenex, selling the (let’s face it) boring product of facial tissue, has managed to create a major brand boost with its “Let it out” campaign. What’s the hook? Emotional branding.

Loyal Sparks readers know we are strong proponents of emotion as the key to creating strong brands. Little did we think Kleenex could take it to this level!

The Kleenex campaign features prominent videos of articulate people telling their personal stories, all resulting in the need to use a facial tissue. A pregant woman talks about having a child. An employee confesses “I hate my bosses so much, I lick the forks they use for lunch.” Two men spontaneously start dancing in the street because “dancing is freedom.”

The campaign moves Kleenex from a commodity producer (tissue) into an experience creator. Taking advantage of Web 2.0, they even have a Let It Out blog and areas on their site where you can upload your own videos and rate others. They keep the campaign going by posing questions like “When was the last time you danced for joy?”

Kleenex has taken a boring product and, by focusing on the emotional experiences people have when interacting with that product, created a much stronger brand presence.

So what’s emotional about your product or service? And how can you tap into that experience to build a stronger brand? See Kleenex and get inspired. Then work on these six steps.

Promote 101 coming May 2nd!
Print Resources, an Indianapolis-based printing coordinator, is offering Promote 101 on Wednesday, May 2, from 11am – 1pm. Lunch and free samples are included. There is no fee to participate.

This free seminar will cover how to get the most from your print promotions. It covers vendors and distributors, pricing, artwork creation, the proofing process, and creative applications.

Print Resources is a well-respected firm; we’ve attended their seminars and found them to be very informative and fun. We recommend this seminar for small businesses looking to get the most out of limited-budget promotions. Register soon; space is limited! See the Promote 101 site for details—and for a downloadable workbook whether or not you can make it to the seminar!




This month’s winner: Clarissa Pain!
Clarissa 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

Small Biz marketing online seminar series, one of our favorite sources for all things marketing-related, is launching a new online seminar series focused specifically on small businesses. These monthly Friday afternoon seminars will address the marketing challenges faced by small businesses as well as entrepreneurial teams in larger companies.

You’ll learn about advertising, taglines, promotion, budgeting, publicity and low-cost (even no-cost) market research.

All from the comfort of your office and the unbeatable price of $199 a year! Can’t make it every Friday? No problem—the fee includes access to the original broadcast, slide handouts, full text transcript, and web recording. Learn more about the Small Business Online Seminar Series.

Mills featured speaker at Indiana University, SEED Corp.
Cairril Mills, principal of, was recently a featured speaker at two area business events.

Mills was the guest speaker for the Indiana University Young Entrepreneurs Association in early April. She fielded questions on marketing, how education relates to real-world experience, and gave pointers on how to work for other people as well as how to work for oneself.

“We all had fun, found it refreshing, and definitely gained applicable value from it (had great reviews),” said Michael Yang, president of the association. “It left us more inspired and motivated—which was one of the main goals for this event.”

Mills also was the featured speaker at the SEED Corp. Small Business Planning Course, where she taught Marketing 101 for Small Businesses. In addition to the prepared materials, she fielded a wide range of questions from the class, critiqued class members’ marketing materials, and helped class members translate abstract marketing concepts into practical ideas that can be put into action quickly.

“I learned more about promoting my business in one hour than I have learned in the last two years of trying to get the business started,” said Josh Grekin, a class attendee. offers consulting, training, and other brand development services tailored to the needs of small and medium size businesses. Contact us to learn how we can help take your business to the next level!