Sparks October 2010 -

Sparks October 2010

In the News

We’re awarded WBE certification
We are proud to announce that we have been awarded Woman Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) status by the Indiana division of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises.

The certification provides third-party recognition of’s woman-owned status. It is a valuable tool in accessing government contracts and providing services to companies with diversity programs.

Certified services include branding and product naming, marketing services, web development, and graphic design.
Read the press release

Branding in the post-crash economy
The Great Recession has shattered consumer trust in many corporations. How can you build a strong brand in the face of today’s challenges?

  • Simplicity. Offer clear, concise communication. Keep packaging simple. Make design pure and intuitive.
  • Transparency. Let your consumer make the right choice. Point-of-origin storytelling is a great example. There is great comfort in knowing the story of where a product comes from, especially if it is a place one knows. In this era of doubt, brands need to be truthful and forthcoming in their messaging.
  • Responsibility. Not only is it important to be responsible for your own actions, but necessary to support initiatives which help make the world a better place. Today’s consumers are highly receptive to supporting brands which help the greater good. In this new era of global awareness, brands do good on behalf of their consumers.
  • Sustainability. Meet the needs of today without compromising tomorrow. For a brand to be responsible, it must be candid and conscientious (BP’s response to the Gulf oil spill taught us a valuable lesson). Consumers are not only trying to do their part, but are also looking for a reciprocal ecological commitment from brands. Manufacturers must be conscientious and reasonable in what they make, how they make it, its usefulness and final destination.
  • Affordability. Affordability is our ability to provide a product without unacceptable or disadvantageous consequences. Brands must strike a balance between what consumers desire and can afford and what can be produced for a profit. An overabundance of offerings creates unnecessary costs, brand or product cannibalization, and is exhausting for the consumer. Trimming less successful or redundant offerings enables companies to focus dollars on innovation and high-margin brands.

Even in a recessionary climate, brands that serve a purpose and contribute to the well-being of the global community will flourish.
Source: Peter Clarke blog




This month’s winner: Debra Wrobel!
Our VisoVerbo champ 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 digital print of your custom design suitable for framing! Check out your competition here.

More News

New FTC regulations on endorsements, testimonials
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued updates to its 1980 guidelines on the use of endorsements and testimonials.

The 1980 version of the Guides allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as “results not typical.”

The revised Guides stipulate that advertisements that feature a consumer and convey their experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect.

The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long-standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other word-of-mouth marketers.

Bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.

Likewise, if a company refers in an advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the connection between the advertiser and the research organization.

Celebrity endorsers are also addressed in the revised Guides. The Guides state that both advertisers and endorsers may be liable for failure to disclose material connections between the advertiser and endorsers.

The revised Guides also say that celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.
Read the press release