Sparks July 2005 -

Sparks July 2005

In the News

Five keys to reach college students
Many of our clients work hard to attract the attention of 18- to 24-year-old college students. But it’s not easy. Here are five keys to reaching this demographic:

Ramen is dead. Generally speaking, most of today’s college students have been privileged (by Boomer standards) most of their lives. They have discretionary income to spend on entertainment, technology, outdoor activities, and good food ($120b in 2003). They respond to messages of empowerment, not privation.

Segment by lifestyle. Don’t treat all college students the same. Tailor your message to reach the market that needs your product or service. Sports fanatics will respond differently than an arts crowd or intellectuals.

Be where they are. If your target market enjoys an active, outdoor lifestyle, sponsor actvities or advertise at events they’re likely to attend. Associating your brand with activities students enjoy helps build a positive image for your company.

Offer something of value. The youth market embraces diversity and a global prespective. College often opens them up to new experiences. You can earn brand loyalty by offering products or services which enhances their lifestyle or brings them intellectual satisfaction or delight.

Don’t try too hard. College students are very savvy marketing consumers and know when they’re being given a hard sell. They’re confident and smart. Be authentic and give them relevant information.

The “new youth” demographic is confident, realistic, embracing of diversity, very influenced by friends and the Internet, suspicious of all institutions, global in outlook, and heavily wired. The better you speak their language, the more successful your marketing efforts will be.

Take your business to the next level with SEED Corp. class
SEED Corp., a Bloomington-based business development organization, is gearing up to present its semi-annual Business Planning Course. If you’re thinking of starting a business or want to take your small business to the next level, this is the course for you. We often recommend this class to budding entrepreneurs.

The first section of the course covers feasibility (whether your business idea will work for your target market). The second section of the course helps you write a business plan, covering essentials such as financing, legal issues, accounting, insurance, and more. We teach the section on marketing, focusing on key concepts that will help you get the most out of your budget.

Graduates of the class are eligible for commercial loans of up to $35,000. Orientation sessions have begun and class size is limited; learn more today at SEED Corp.’s website.




This month’s winner: Ruth Velsasquez!
In addition to the thrill of victory, Ruth 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 (AHMCP) is a full-service legal firm with a long tradition of community involvement and providing responsive service to clients. We featured them in the April issue of Sparks to spotlight their redesigned logo and tagline. Now we’ve completed their website redesign and would like to showcase them again.

AHMCP’s old site did not reflect the firm’s professionalism, warmth, and competence. It ranked poorly in search engines, having no text on its home page.

Our redesign features a structured layout with softening, warm colors to communicate stability and approachability. The new home page emphasizes the striking work of Brandy Cunningham Photography to place the focus on the attorneys and their areas of expertise. Flyout menus offer visitors easy access to information, often moving them from home page to their desired destination in one click. A text-based site map keeps the site accessible for those using assistive technologies.

We also incorporated new functionality on the site, including an online payment component and a contact form that allows site visitors convenient access to the firm.

Response to the new site has been overwhelmingly positive. We look forward to AHMCP’s continued success!

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