Standing Out in a Competitive Marketplace.

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Graff is a distributor of a wide range of industrial products for both the large and small industrial wholesaler. The company is the outgrowth of years of practical marketplace experience dating back to 1930 when the grandfather of the owners founded a small surplus plumbing supply house. That company grew into the largest importer of pipe fittings and flanges in the country. Graff Valve & Fittings Company advertises to a niche market: companies that need valves, fittings, and flanges for the construction industry.

When we began working on Graff’s advertising campaign we wanted to present what Graff does for their customers – rather then advertise the individual products, because we believed that delivering the right product at the right time was Graff’s key competitive trait. All companies say that they can do things better, faster and cheaper than their competitors, but we wanted something more: something that would create an interest within their customer base and to potential buyers. Our research showed that (in many cases) people would come to Graff because products that they ordered from other companies were either not delivered on time – or were substitute products. Graff’s customers (mostly contractors) relied on the correct products being delivered on time in order to meet each project’s standards and schedules. The slogan that we created, and built the advertising campaign around was “Results – Not Excuses.” The ads worked well and people who saw them began to associate the slogan with the company, thus strengthening the brand of the company as a whole.

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Advertising Two Services to Overlapping Audiences.

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Craig Bergmann Landscaping Design, Inc. is an award winning commercial and residential landscaping corporation. The landscaping company has a plant growing subsidiary known as Craig Bergmann’s Country Garden. The company is located in a northern suburb of Chicago, and focus their attention on both the Chicago and Milwaukee markets

Craig Bergmann’s Country Garden consists of a retail plant sales outlet and a perennial nursery operation that blends exquisite antiques, diverse architecture and a stunning array of perennials and other garden specialty offerings. The garden center is regionally located in Illinois, near the Wisconsin border in order to service two major metropolitan markets: Chicago and Milwaukee.

Our mission was to develop advertising campaigns directed to plant and garden lovers for both of these companies. Obviously, there was tremendous overlap in both the demographics and the audience. We needed to create separate advertising campaigns, with totally different visual feelings, within the same general markets. The placements would be in mainly in different media, but they needed to not conflict with one another The solution that we came up with was to created one of the campaigns around beautifully photographed gardens (for “Landscaping”) and a graphic treatment for the “Country Garden.”

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Business-to-Business Advertising With a Punch.

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The greatest exposure that can be developed for a smaller company within its marketplace is generally in the form of an exciting advertising campaign. These business-to-business ads (above) run in industry publications. DesignMarks developed the “Boil/Burn” advertising campaign focusing on different the various company services: heating, cooling, energy savings. All the advertisements were contracted as full page ads – thus dominating any other ads or editorial content on the opposite page. has worked with The Bogot Companies (which consists of six very specialized, but product-related companies in the energy management industry) to integrate the marketing, branding, advertising, and the graphics of each of these sub-companies in support of the basic mission of the larger organization.

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