…but it isn’t nothing
Image may not be everything but it is definitely something. It’s something we feel, it’s something we see, it’s drawn from experience, it’s painted by our memories and it’s woven into our dreams.
The dictionary offers 16 different definitions for the word image, it’s both a verb and a noun, we have a self-image, a body image, a brand image, and religions the world over teach us that we were all created in God’s image… so when you think about it, image is actually kind of a big deal.
ImageCo is a branding company and we create images, all types of images, images that brand, images that explain, images that promote, images that sell, images that touch hearts, open minds and bring people together. We do this by design and with design, with words that paint pictures, and images that speak clearly to inform people about who you are, what you offer, and the difference you can make in their lives.
Brands, Branding, Brand Images, Brand Identity?
Making sense of it all...
A brand is an identifying mark, and also the act of marking something so that it can be identified. A brand can signify virtually anything with a motive, whether it be profit or politics, a cause or a company, a brand is an intrinsic aspect of defining the value of something in the consumers mind.
Branding is what you believe your company is all about, what its purpose is, and how well it serves that purpose. It’s also how your customers feel about how well you live up to their expectations. Branding communicates a message about something and builds an expectation. Branding is like a strategic popularity contest aimed at a target audience, it’s goal is to create an image that the audience will identify with and be attracted to.
An image planted and nurtured by advertising, marketing, identity design and our own experiences. When someone says the names Ferrari or Corvette what we think of is their brand image, it’s an image that exists in our minds. That image isn’t an image of a vehicle with 4 wheels that can transport us from point A to point B, the image we have (or at least I have) is of speed, beauty, of something dangerous and exotic and even sexy. That is brand image and brand image is what makes people buy those products. Brand image is why people buy most things, from Corvette to Cokes, Huggies or Pampers, Democrats or Republicans…all driven by brand images that we can identify with.
If you look back at the origin of most branding firms you’ll find that they are often rebranded advertising agencies or marketing firms. When someone says they are in marketing most people will likely have a preconceived notion about what they do. But when someone says they are in branding…it just sounds more impressive. Perhaps it’s because branding is a term that is thrown around so much that it could mean almost anything.
Branding is kind of like advertising’s sexy sister, both are from the same family, the difference being is that advertising is about making a promise and brandings goal is to deliver on that promise.
Brand identity is an inclusive term that describes the visual elements of a product or company that influence perceptions. This primarily includes the name, the logo, the packaging, and the colors incorporated into these things, but it can also include sound, lighting, texture, signage, really anything that can be seen, felt or heard… all of these seemingly disparate elements can be components of a brand identity.
Brand Identity Design
Brand identity design helps shape the perceptions of companies, products and organizations. I create logo designs, sign designs, packaging and collateral material such as business cards, stationery and brochures. I also design websites and do a bit of GUI design. The essential role I play as a brand identity designer is to help develop the visual cues and the emotional resonance of a company’s visual identity with the goal of influencing actions, outcomes and perceptions.
Since 2001 I have helped hundreds of individuals and organizations develop their brand identities; from doggy daycares to senate candidates, I’ve done identity design for virtually every type of business you could think of, churches, universities , surgeons, restaurants, dentists, engineers, sports teams, gyms, hotels, government agencies…you name it…I’ve probably done it.
However the industries I’ve done the most work for and have the most experience in are within the following four industries.
The visual identity of businesses in the healthcare industry should reflect the positive care and well being they want for their patients and customers. The colors and shapes that are integral to a medical or dental brand identity design and will inform people of who you are and what you stand for. These subtle design elements will also serve to let them know that you are caring and empathetic to their needs and that they can feel safe in your care.
Your brand identity design and ultimately your business logo and your business sign serve as an invitation to your customers and help to create the experience your customers will come to associate with your retail business. From the quality of your products to the high level of personal service you provide, your brand identity design is an integral part of your brand image and it will be one of the things that help separate your retail business from the competition.
Dining out at a fine restaurant is more than an opportunity to have someone else cook your meal and do the dishes for you. It’s the anticipation of a night out, it is the expectation of being pampered and well fed, an experience to be shared with family and friends, or an intimate occasion with a loved one. Your brand identity and your restaurant sign are more than mere advertisements, they are the promise you make to your customers that the meal you serve them will not only be delicious, it will be fun, romantic and memorable.
I understand how important it is for financial institutions to project a positive brand image to their clients. A well crafted logo and brand identity design can help build trust and give your customers confidence that you are not only focused on their needs but you are forward thinking and the absolute best at what you do.