01.25.2018

Sparq Designs hires Senior Marketing Specialist

Eve Griffin, Sparq Designs Senior Marketing SpecialistPITTSBURGH – Sparq Designs is happy to welcome Senior Marketing Specialist Eve Griffin.

In the past four years, Sparq has grown from a team of two to 16. The regular of landing national accounts has made such growth a necessity, one that is anticipated to carry on well into the new year.

“We are so happy to welcome Eve to our ever-growing team. Our goal is to more than double last year’s revenue so we hope to be in the position to hire several times throughout 2018,” said Jim Blundo, Vice President of Sparq Designs.

Griffith joins Joe McAndrews to spearhead the Sparq business development strategy and are expected to help with the doubling of revenue.

“I’m so excited to be starting the next chapter of my career at Sparq Designs. Having a background of 10+ years of business development and strategic marketing, my goal was to find a company that was truly client focused. Too many times, a client can be funneled through a “process” and misses out on a true creative collaboration,” said Griffin. “Sparq’s team impressed me immediately with their in-depth knowledge of not only what the client goals were but the time and energy put forth into how to reach those customers in a fresh and innovative way. Every client at Sparq is truly treated as a unique creative and collaborative experience. 2018 is charted to be our biggest growth year yet, with goals to double our 2017 revenue. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this team!”

Stay up to date with Sparq Designs job listings throughout 2018 by heading to our home page and clicking “Join Our Squad.”

Sparq Designs is a full-service marketing agency based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sparq Designs caters to clients of all industries, but specifically in the medical, sports & entertainment, and consumer world. 2018 is Sparq’s fifth year in business. Since 2013, Sparq has grown rapidly into a team of 16+ employees. Sparq Designs’ services include but are not limited to: Web Design, Web Development, Search Engine Optimization, Graphic Design, Social Media Management, Email Marketing and Video Production.

05.17.2016

Stay In Your Lane and Create a Brand that Customers Trust

Often times people and organizations attempt to emulate or copy what other people and brands do that make them successful. Just because something works for someone else does not mean that it will work the same for other people or organizations.

If you think of the most successful brands in history, they all stand for something that is original and authentic to their being. These brands become iconic and are idolized for this reason. People buy into their core beliefs and their brand’s story because it is undeniably authentic and true to them. Great brands understand that to be great and to stay great, they must “stay in their own lane.”

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[Photographs: above, Burger King; others, Dennis Lee]

What does it mean to “stay in your lane?

To me, staying in your lane means learning how to be extremely self-aware. Brands who are self-aware completely understand themselves and what they stand for. Being self-aware of your brand, customers, competitor products and the marketplace makes it much easier to stay in your lane and to be authentic when it comes time to tell your story.

Too often you see companies, both large and small, struggling with marketing and product launches because they don’t stay true to themselves and their customers.

One example of a notable brand who I believe is having a difficult time with this is Burger King.

Burger King is one of the most well-known brands in America and they have been for many years. Their entire brand was built off of and sustained by the Whopper. America fell in love with their campaigns and their flame-grilled burgers. So what justifies a company like Burger King to create menu items like the “Big King” (a poor recreation of the McDonalds inspired Big Mac) and Grilled Hot Dogs?

Burger King and the Whopper spent over 20 years competing directly against McDonald’s and the Big Mac, until recently when they decided to add the Big King to their menu as if it could compete with the most famous sandwich in history. To me this is when Burger King started to stray away from its roots and attempted to reinvent themselves through an array of off-the-wall menu items.

If Burger Kings’ recent marketing and product decisions are based on losing market share, I feel this would have constituted a different approach. Why not put a campaign together that stays true to the core beliefs of the brand and start to reinvent the power and following of the Whopper? I think that this is a perfect example of a brand that went completely outside their lane and really should become more self-aware, focusing on the strengths and beliefs that made them extremely successful.

The simple truth is this; just because something works for my company and my market, does not mean that it will work well for you and your organization. Companies must become self-aware to the surroundings, customers, market conditions and competitors. Be authentic, stay in your lane, and stick to the things that make you great, because this is what makes people fall in love with brands!


nb_teamNick Brucker is the President & CEO at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. Learn more about him, here. If you have questions about building a relationship, contact the Sparq team today.

Follow Nick on Twitter & LinkedIn

03.06.2016

The Power of Brand Storytelling

Sparq Designs in Cranberry PA is committed to helping brands storytell through web development an online marketing services

Image sourced from Flickr User Magenta Rose

“Stories are how we think. They are how we make meaning of life. Call them schemes, scripts, cognitive maps, mental models, metaphors, or narratives. Stories are how we explain how things work, how we make decisions, how we justify our decisions, how we persuade others, how we understand our place in the world, create our identities, and define and teach social values.”
– Psychology Today

Storytelling is at the core of human existence. Ancestors hundreds and thousands of years ago passed down stories to younger generations of people hungry for an understanding of the past, and a lens through which to view the present and future. But why? What makes storytelling so important to us today – more specifically, to our businesses?

Stories connect and engage people on an intimate level. A real connection happens when someone says, “Really? Me too!” – whether happy or sad, an emotional connection draws people together and gives them something to stand behind, together.

But how would this apply in the business world – to your business specifically? How would making an emotional connection with a potential customer take them from simply browsing your site to making a purchase, and ultimately, a higher ROI?

1. Build an Emotional Connection

Storytelling allows consumers to connect with your brand. When a consumer emotionally connects to your brand, you’re selling more than a product – you’re selling a feeling, an experience.

Take Disney World, for example. When a consumer purchases a ticket to Disney World, they’re not just buying admission into a theme park: they’re buying an emotional experience. They get to feel like a kid again and reminisce over past visits with their families and friends, or reminisce over their favorite fairytales and daring adventures portrayed in Disney movies. Disney creates a place where consumers can be immersed in an experience that takes them back to some of the happiest moments in their lives (and allows them to create new ones), increasing the connection between the consumer and the company.

2. Build Meaning

In addition to giving consumers a chance to connect to your brand through experiences, telling a story also builds meaning around your brand. What makes a company like TOMS so successful? Consumers know that by buying a pair of shoes, they’re helping someone in need, which leads to feeling good, which leads to increased meaning in the lives of those who support TOMS.

Companies that implement storytelling will more effectively connect with consumers, leading to brand growth, and greater ROI. By using storytelling to create an experience and build meaning around your business, you will flourish and build an incredibly strong customer base that not only wants to do business with you, but who is invested in the mission of your company.

So… what story is your brand telling?


 

Jenna Sasala is the lead Graphic Designer at Sparq Designs, a web development and online marketing company in Cranberry, PA

Jenna Sasala is a Marketing Account Manager & Designer at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. Learn more about her, here. If you have questions about building a relationship, contact the  Sparq team today.

Follow Jenna on Twitter,  LinkedIn & Instagram