Sparks January 2005 -

Sparks January 2005

In the News

New launched
The new year has ushered in an expanded! As announced in a special press release earlier this month, we’ve expanded our services to include brand development, marketing plans, and other strategic services, in addition to our award-winning design for print and web. We’ve got a whole new look and a whole new name: Design & Marketing, Inc. But one thing hasn’t changed: our passion for creating great results for our clients! Take a tour of our expanded site and learn more about our repositioning in this month’s Client Spotlight.

Branding, schmanding
Keep hearing about branding but still not sure what it is? No fear, we’ve published a new article just for you: Branding 101: A Primer for Businesses. It gives a succinct overview of branding, including what it is, why is it’s important, and some examples of top brands. We also tell you how small businesses can have an edge over big business when it comes to establishing and benefiting from a strong brand!

Creating a “wow” customer experience
Building a brand means developing a relationship with your customers. While a successful marketing campaign can encourage customers to try your product or service, only a “wow” experience will keep them coming back.

A “wow” experience turns skeptics into evangelists in no time flat. How do you do it? By making sure that experience blows away their expectations. For instance, we at frequently work with web hosts where we have to phone a technical support line to get accounts set up. The usual scenario includes being put on hold for long periods of time, being transferred repeatedly, and finally reaching someone only to find they can’t answer our simple question because they’re hired to just read answers off a computer screen rather than have any technical expertise.

Imagine our amazement the first time we worked with Our phone call was answered immediately by a pleasant and knowledgeable person who immediately resolved our issue. The result? Instant brand loyalty. We went back to them repeatedly and had the same stellar experience. They are now one of our preferred web hosts, not just because they make our lives easier, but because they save our clients money by resolving technical issues efficiently. By consistently delivering a “wow” experience, they’ve won both our continued business and our evangelism on their behalf. That’s smart brand-building!

Jack Brubaker Designs chosen for award creation
Our client Jack Brubaker, artist-blacksmith, has been selected to create the award piece for the 2005 Indiana Governer’s Arts Awards. Since 1973, when the Indiana Arts Commission founded the awards ceremony, they’ve commissioned Indiana artists to create the pieces presented as awards. Jack plans to incorporate representations of native Indiana plants in his piece. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in October. Congratulations, Jack!




This month’s winner: Alan Spott!
In addition to covetous glances, Alan 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 Design & Marketing, Inc. Design & Marketing is, well, us. We were founded in 2000 as a design studio, offering both graphic design (print) and web design. Over time we also moved into marketing, copywriting, and brand development, but the public perception of us has always been that we’re “just a web design firm.” After a few years of this, we were ready to take the business to the next level.

We worked with a variety of consultants, principally writer and marketing expert Cathy Moore, for about nine months to reposition the business. Our goals for the reposition were to communicate the breadth of our offering, establish the fact that we are not just a one-person shop, more clearly establish our niche in the marketplace, attract additional great clients with complex projects, and communicate more of our brand personality.

We began with a new business name: Design & Marketing. “” already had high brand recognition and adding “& Marketing” was a simple way to show the breadth of offerings. We developed our new tagline: “Smart Work. Great Results.” It sums up our streamlined process that creates strategically sound, brand-building design.

Our main marketing channel is our website. It’s the first place prospective clients go when ready to learn about our firm. Our old site was too serious and had collected too much flotsam over the years.

We conducted an in-depth analysis of site design, architecture, functionality, and copy. Everything was then overhauled to support the new positioning.

Our logo retained some of the qualities of the old one but was freshened up with a more interesting typeface and composition. While retaining our trademark palette of red, white, and black, we shifted the emphasis towards red. We added grey for visual texture and a bright orange as an accent. Copy for the site is much more energized, with more of our brand personality (particularly humor) coming through. Site architecture is clearer, with new sections such as brand development and case studies giving a higher profile to our comprehensive offerings.

Response to the new site has been overwhelmingly positive, with the most popular comment being “Wow!” That’s what we like to hear! While we still have some print pieces to do before the repositioning is complete, we’ve already been contacted by prospective clients from our target market.

We’d like to give a big THANK YOU! to the people who helped in the repositioning process: David Baker of ReCourses, Cathy Moore, Brian Kleber, Danise Alano, Debi O’Heran, Shelly Hope, Jeanne Leimkuhler, and, of course, the kibitzers—er, focus group—at the Irish Lion.