"... Thanks for a great meeting and great work! I called my team immediately when I got into my car because I was so excited. It's pretty cool to see the process come to fruition in something tangible, like the business card. All of those [brand] discussions then all of a sudden, there they are speaking to you from a card. Very cool!..."
Gerald Cole | Interim Director
Identify™ was developed by Impello as a unique and interactive way to engage our clients in the creative concept development process. After more than a decade in the business of design, we felt that a common challenge was establishing the core idea or message behind a brand, and getting "buy-in" from all stakeholders before developing actual design applications.
While the standard process typically involves the writing of a "creative brief" which speaks in very general terms about objectives, audience, competition and core message - we observed that creative briefs were often based on a standard set of assumptions. These assumptions were the same regardless of industry, product or service. Time and time again we would hear answers to questions about companies that sound very reasonable on their own such as:
These are just a few of the very common brand concepts we're all used to hearing, and we call them "Safe Statements". While these things may be true - the problem is that there will be a very high chance all the competing companies can say the same things about themselves. Particularly in the "professional services" sector (including financial, energy, retail or industrial services), a clear and uncontested offering that no one else has is either rare, or at least challenging to prove. Even when it does exist, there is a tendancy to gravitate towards "safe statements" because there is a general fear that truly unique products or services will not be understood.
From the perspective of using these statements as a basis for creating branding concepts, they are not very useful in identifying what truly makes a brand unique. So we asked ourselves "If the process of developing a brand is about differentiation, how can the same assumptions apply to such a diverse range of businesses? What can we do to quickly identify what a brand is really all about?"
Our answer, was in the development of the Identify™ Brand Profiling process; a carefully developed system that quickly sets aside assumptions, and helps the project team begin to visualize core brand concepts through discussion and selection of visual icons that represent various aspects of the brand personality. The process is based on the premise that all brands are representative of a bigger narrative - and, at the center of any good story, is a character or cast of characters with a personality that people can identify with. In the context of a visualized brand message, we can then evaluate visual design concepts according to their approriateness to the brand character that has been developed.
Identify™ is effective because it is quick and easy to understand. It is also in many cases fun and revealing - often yielding unexpected thoughts or concepts about a brand where we would least expect them. The process is divided into two parts:
This meeting is scheduled and facilitated by Impello, and brings together all of the people who will be making decisions about the brand. This meeting generally only requires about 1 hour, however we do not set a limit on the time we will spend in this discussion. During the course of the meeting, the various aspects of the Identify™ Brand Profile are presented and discussed, with responses recorded. The result of the meeting is a structured and clear set of ideas about the brand, which we then use to develop the finished profile.
Following the meeting, we summarize all the recorded information from the meeting into a report, to be used for future reference. Key verbal and visual concepts are included in the summary. The Summary is then distributed to the project team, to ensure that the documentation is an accurate representation of what everyone feels the brand story will be about. With that in place - we're ready to start designing your brand.