iWorks Media Creates Online Identities for Retailers, Other Businesses

Firm Specializes in Creating "In-Your-Face, Can't Miss Eye Candy"

Image counts, especially in the intensely visual online world, a point iWorks Media frequently emphasizes with its clients. The team working at the branding and interactive design firm, at 5990 Stoneridge Drive, has more than 15 years experience in marketing in all media. For the biggest to the smallest companies, "the key to our success has been our creators and graphic designers who come up with the right type of images," notes marketing designer Brian Aris.

iWorks started about two years ago in Pleasanton and worked virtually until moving into its Hacienda office last year. It is an outgrowth of another company, Xtudio Productions, which previously operated a 10,000-square-foot, "beautifully designed," and well-equipped studio in Modesto for film, entertainment, and voice recording. Then the market started to change. "We saw the one area that was always busy was web design. It is something that people always need help with. In business you are either doing well or not, and in both cases you need marketing to survive," he reasons.

With its new focus on the online environment, the company has honed a design style that Aris describes as "kind of in-your-face, can't-miss eye candy." He admits that it is very aggressive, but "aggressive marketing is a good thing in this business," he insists. "You need the right campaign to get you the right results."

With each project his team puts in many hours studying the type of business from every angle. "We bookmark 50 to 100 different web sites in the same field to see what's best, and then we show our clients how to benefit by giving them something better than the competition - a much more appealing design."

Images are what the agency's clients rely on to distinguish themselves from the competition. "You need to have a Wow! factor to the website," Aris states, pointing out that normal viewers spend between one to three seconds on a site before clicking away if they don't find anything of interest. "You have to catch their attention. The site has to be user friendly and it should be easy to make a purchase. People avoid confusing sites," he adds.

The company must also appear trustworthy. "Credibility is everything. We had one client with $26 million in inventory, but the look of his site was low-end, and it just didn't reflect the resources they had. When people rely on visuals to make a judgment, the design has to be very creative."

One sector seeing a lot of activity right now is the online reseller. "It's pretty easy for a client to do a starter business online and get it going at minimal expense, right out of the home." Aris says. No matter what the product, the strategy is the same: get a higher ranking among search engines and have a more compelling electronic storefront. "It's a great opportunity to make money without investing much in infrastructure," he observes.

For more information, visit www.iworksmedia.com or call the iWorks office at (925) 468 0240.

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