Sparks February 2005 -

Sparks February 2005

In the News to discuss branding for small business on radio show
Cairril Mills, principal of Design & Marketing, will be the featured speaker on an upcoming edition of Bloomington Business, a weekly radio show produced by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. Cairril’s topic is “How Branding Can Help Your Small Business.” She’ll be covering the basics of branding, how it differs from marketing, and the advantages small businesses have at putting branding to work for them.

The 30-minute show will air first on AM1370 WGCL Saturday, 05 March, at 12:05 pm. It repeats on Sunday, 06 March, at 10:30 am. An excerpt will be broadcast during the noon news on Tuesday, 08 March. Tune in to learn how branding can help your business!

“Small but steady” helps build your brand
A common mistake small businesses make is to take a small marketing budget and blow it on one large promotion. While on first glance it seems reasonable to create a high-profile marketing “event,” what happens if nobody sees it? Your hard-won marketing dollars are lost.

A more effective approach to marketing is “small but steady.” Settle on a clear, consistent message and then deliver it on a regular basis through affordable channels to the people who want to hear it! The six main channels for marketing are print, broadcast, digital/internet, personal networking, environmental (signage and displays), products, and public relations.

Find the mix that will consistently reach your audience, such as an e-newsletter paired with local seminars or a regular ad in the student newspaper coupled with corresponding signage at your retail location. Connect with your market in small-scale, consistent ways and your brand will be “top of mind” the next time they’re looking to buy. This is what’s known as “brand familiarity.” The more familiar a brand is, the more likely people are to give it a chance. Small but steady wins every time!

Study finds design and information structure key to website credibility
A Consumer WebWatch report found that over 46% of visitors consider the design of a website to be the most important aspect of establishing that site’s credibility. Second in importance, at 28.5%, was the design and structure of information. These elements outperformed by far other features such as name recognition (14%), advertising (13.8%), and even information accuracy (14.3%).

The study’s findings underscore the web audience’s increasing sophistication and expectations for their web experience. A well-designed site, in keeping with your brand, that clearly and efficiently organizes your site content, is critical to establishing credibility with your target market. featured on marketing panel
Recently, Cairril Mills was a guest speaker on the panel “Marketing on a Budget” at the John Waldron Arts Center. The panel, part of the monthly Artists After Hours networking and education series offered by the Bloomington Area Arts Council, also included Ned Shaw of Ned Shaw Studio and Gretchen Knapp, former vice-president of Bella Bella Arts by Lara Moore. The panel was moderated by Tom Hume of Hume & Communications. Topics included the importance of knowing your target market, portfolio management tips, and marketing authentically. Contact Nancy Krueger at the BAAC to learn more about Artist After Hours.




This month’s winner: Megan House!
In addition to the thrill of victory, Megan 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

Indiana METACyt Initiative
Craig Stewart, Director of Research and Academic Computing at IU, came to us last fall with a time-sensitive need related to a proposal for a grant proposal that, if funded, would become the largest grant ever for the IU Bloomington campus. IU needed a logo, cover, and information graphic for a grant application creating the Indiana METACyt Initiative. Not only was the project high-stakes, it was on a whirlwind schedule: the grant proposal needed to be written, designed, edited, and approved by University personnel within a week.

Having worked successfully with Craig before, we were happy to take on the challenge. The Indiana METACyt Initiative is a project focused on metabolomics and cytomics, emerging fields that are bringing an explosion of information to bear on scientists’ understanding of cells. The Initiative will build on substantial research already taking place at IU on the human genome, ultimately promising answers to key questions about cancer and other diseases. METACyt will also focus on reversing Indiana’s “brain drain” by attracting top talent to work on the project. In addition, the project will spur intellectual property development and business spin-offs that benefit the private sector.

After exploring a number of logo options, our clients settled on a simple design playing off an abstraction of cells. The typeface is sturdy yet tech-oriented, relating to the cutting-edge science behind the project. While tempted to explore non-IU color schemes, our clients ultimately chose red and black in order to reinforce the IU connection. The resulting logo is distinctive yet will appeal to a wide variety of markets, positioning Indiana at the forefront of scientific research.

And the result? The Lilly Endowment, Inc., awarded $53 million to Indiana University’s Bloomington campus—the largest grant ever received by that campus. While the grant was awarded on the basis of its intellectual merit, our design created a look and feel that will be used throughout the five-year METACyt Initiative and will be a key part of IU’s public relations effort related to this important research. We’re proud to have contributed to this effort!

View archived broadcast announcement

View IU’s press release