Sparks June 2004 -

Sparks June 2004

In the News

Five key marketing strategies for small businesses
The June issue of the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce’s Business Network included an article on “Lean and Mean Marketing Strategies” which featured Design’s advice. Here’s a summary:

Be specific in your advertising: Small businesses tend to have limited advertising budgets, so space goes mainly to the company name and contact info. Include a compelling offer that makes people want to do business with you.
Include a call to action: Rather than just listing your phone number, explicitly state, “Phone us today!” People are more likely to take action if they’re told what to do.
Continue marketing during downtimes: Small businesses can actually gain market share in economic downturns, since big business always cuts its marketing budget in tough times.
Make sure your channel matches your offering: Whether you’re using print, broadcast, digital, or environmental media, or utilizing word-of-mouth or public relations venues, make sure that channel is a pipeline straight to your target market.
Expect a return on your investment: Whether you’re building a Website or placing a radio ad, your marketing is an investment and should yield a return. That return may be increased sales, more leads, attraction of volunteers, or simply raised awareness within your community. Regardless of your goal, set one, and make sure your marketing reaches the mark. If it doesn’t, talk with your provider to analyze what’s working or not working and then try again.

We’ll give more tips on marketing and branding for small business in future issues. Want to know more now? Contact us for a free consultation!

Cool webmaster tools
Is your home page egocentric? How secure is your site? Here are some tools you can use on your own or competitors’ sites:

Customer Focus Calculator: Measures how customer-centric your home page is
Web Site Security Report: Free report on security vulnerabilities of your site
Bobby Online: Checks your site for accessibility issues
Screen Size Tester: Shows how much of your site displays in lower-resolution screens

More webmaster tools




This month’s winner: Arnie Mori!
In addition to the thrill of victory, Arnie wins a T-shirt 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

Holding its grand opening on 24 June, inVenture is Bloomington’s new business incubator, focusing on technology and life sciences firms. Planning for the new incubator began two years ago as a partnership between Indiana University and the South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center.

Incubators help promising companies accelerate business growth by providing affordable office space, on-site business assistance, shared resources such as high-speed Internet access and copy/fax machines, and access to valuable networks of investors, advisors, and seasoned entrepreneurs.

Working on a pro bono basis with the indefatigable Brian Kleber, Director of the SBDC, we helped develop inVenture’s brand name, tagline, and initial positioning, as well as designing the logo. The new logo needed to be professional and a bit edgy but not too far out there. We began with a distinctive typeface from the cutting-edge type foundry Emigre. Dynamic “v” shapes break the boundaries of a slanted box, communicating both energy and stability. Overlapped letterforms and the strong brand red continue that feeling of energy while remaining visually strong enough to function well at all sizes and on a variety of media.

See the inVenture logo designed by Design