Sparks July 2004 -

Sparks July 2004

In the News

What makes your business unique?
One of the key elements of any business’ success is its ability to differentiate itself from its competitors. Let’s face it, there are few truly unique products or services, so you’re generally competing against others in the same field. How do you stand out? By creating what’s known in the marketing biz as your USP: Unique Selling Proposition. In other words, the thing that makes you different from everybody else.

Many small business owners have difficulty determining what makes them unique. Remember, only one company can have the lowest prices, so you have to have something else to offer! A great place to start is by asking your customers why they come to you. Is it your selection? Your customer service? Your location? Customers are great resources to learn how you’re perceived in the marketplace.

Another approach is to look at what you want to do with your business. In an example from a recent MarketingProfs article, “Sarah” needed to define the USP of her yoga studio. When she thought about what she wanted to do with her business, her response was immediate: “You can really hurt yourself in a yoga class if you’re doing the wrong thing. I want every student to have Injury-Free Yoga.” Ta-da! Instant USP.

So think about what makes your business unique—then tell everybody! People will remember your business much more readily if they know what makes you different.

Use Google’s keyword tool for brainstorming
Google has released a new keyword suggestion tool, similar to Overture’s and WordTracker’s. Sure, you can use it to select keywords for your search engine optimization campaign, but it also makes a great brainstorming tool! Enter a keyword (your main product or service, for instance) and you’ll receive a list not just of popular search phrases with that keyword in it, but related words that you might not otherwise think of. Think of it as a “lateral thesaurus,” where words are associated but not synonymous. Use it to brainstorm unique business names, domain names, catch phrases, or yes, even pay-per-click campaign keywords!



This month’s winner: Marta Dair!
In addition to wild acclaim, Marta wins a framable 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

Wininger/Stolberg Commercial
Wininger/Stolberg Commercial (W/S Commercial) is the Bloomington area’s premiere commercial developer, and a long-time client of Design. We redesigned W/S Commercial’s marketing sheets and Website in 2002, and when it came time to promote their newest development, The Avenue East, they came to us for a mailer campaign.

Working with the effervescent Debi O’Heran, Vice-President of Property Management/Leasing, we created a self-mailer spotlighting the new development. Relying on the eye-catching Wininger/Stolberg red as our base, we paired contemporary stylings of the corporate typeface with an artist’s rendering to make the mailer stand out from the crowd. A stylish tab holds the piece together and encourages the viewer to open the mailer.

The mailer is designed so that the “read me first” message is delivered no matter which surface the recipient is viewing. As in all real estate, the success of commercial developments rely on “location, location, location.” We devoted the majority of the interior to an aerial view, showing the location of The Avenue East in relation to other key landmarks and roadways.

Combined with W/S Commercial’s Web presence and e-mail campaigns, the Avenue East mailer has generated greater interest in the project and potential tenants are moving towards commitment. W/S Commercial is a great example of how to leverage the strengths of both print and Web to generate maximum results.