Sparks November 2004 -

Sparks November 2004

In the News

Got customers?
For businesses to be viable, they must always be attracting new customers. “Customer acquisition” must be ongoing and cost-effective to help your business grow. How do you attract customers? Through awareness, learning, and persuasion.

Awareness means that your prospective customers know you exist. For this first step, you need to have a physical presence of some sort, whether it’s a retail environment or a simple business card. Wherever your competitors are, you need to be there, too.

Learning is the process by which you educate potential customers about your offerings so they have a basic understanding of your brand promise: Who you are, what you have to give, and what they’ll experience by working with you.

Persuasion is making your case that you’re the best provider for their needs. Many small businesses don’t get to this step, or rely on lowest-price guarantees to try to persuade people to buy. It’s far more effective to state clearly what makes your product or service unique and why it’s the perfect match for your target market.

If you’re having trouble attracting new customers, examine your performance in the above three areas. Are you visible to your target market? Does your target market clearly understand what you offer? Do they believe you can deliver what you promise? Articulating the answers to these questions can expose gaps in your strategy.

If your brand promise includes “high quality” but your print materials are poorly designed and printed on cheap paper, you have a credibility gap. If you promise ease-of-use but your instructions are indecipherable, you’ll have a hard time convincing anyone to buy from you! When design and copy reinforce your brand message, the customer attraction process is much easier.

New to debut in January
As many of our readers know, we’re preparing to take our business to the next level. As of 01 January we’ll be known as Design & Marketing, Inc. We’ll be launching a fully redesigned Website with a number of new, valuable resources and an updated portfolio. We’ll continue to offer strategically rooted design solutions in our trademark streamlined process. Watch for the January issue of Sparks for all the news!

Sparks on holiday until January
Sparks will be taking its usual break in December for the holidays, but will be back in January with more news, tips, projects, and the next VisoVerbo winner! We wish all our readers a wonderful holiday season.




This month’s winner: Rayat Cabot!
In addition to the envy of her friends, Rayat 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

SEED Corp.
SEED Corp. is a Bloomington-based non-profit organization providing small business planning courses, commercial microloans, and long-term business counseling to entrepreneurs in a 10-county area.

SEED Corp. first came to us in 2003 for a logo redesign as a first step in raising its profile. They returned this year to create professional marketing materials. Their existing materials were haphazard, with a variety of unrelated brochures and form letters used to advertise offerings.

We recommended consolidating all the information into three distinct but related brochures. The Corporate brochure outlines SEED Corp.’s history and sums up its offerings. The Business Planning Course brochure and the Commercial Loan brochure cover each topic in more depth.

Working with the urbane team of Ron Walker (SEED Corp. board member) and Brian Kleber (SEED Corp. president), we wrote the copy to focus on benefits and position SEED Corp. as “the” place to go for small business needs. The Corporate brochure incorporates dotted-line arrows and the words “plant,” “water,” “grow,” and “reap” to relate SEED Corp.’s offerings to the process of developing a business. The brochure designs capitalize on soft earth tones in a tone-on-tone look, friendly type, and a smooth uncoated paper to give a sense of both accessibility and professionalism.

Our design, rooted in clear marketing objectives, resulted in a more professional presence for SEED Corp. They are now using these materials to position themselves effectively throughout south-central Indiana.