Creating a refreshing simple brand consultancy

‘A lot of complexity goes into being refreshingly simple…’

Let’s be honest, of all the industries that need simplifying, marketing would probably be near the top of the list. The noise and nonsense we must navigate to just be effective seems to grow by the day.

Once a rudder of industry, it seems that more and more often, marketing is now just the foghorn of brands and businesses. As we blast our noise into the void, we remain deafened to the wisdom and wow moments our industry has to offer. Listen a little closer though, and there remain some incredible stories of effectiveness, creativity and impact achieved by marketers and their brands.

My own story back into marketing from psychology was frustratingly riddled with ‘what the f***’ moments. It was challenging to find the core competencies that would simply make me a better marketer. It wasn’t hard however, to find a self-proclaimed ‘guru’ talking about the new order of marketing, but with no qualifications. You didn’t have to look far to find divisions either. Digital versus traditional or brand versus branding versus marketing. Exhausting.  So, my energy was spent cutting through crap marketing advice and bad brand to get to the good stuff. But despite this rather bleak introduction, let me say that once I found it, I was hooked.

That’s why I founded Image Development, to cut through noise and nonsense, reaching those ‘wow, so this is marketing’ moments. Ideally, we’ll avoid most of the ‘wtf’ ones together too.

Our refreshingly simple consultancy is intended to be an antidote to the unnecessary complexity we marketers can be obsessed with. It’s easy to become tangled up with tactics. The real challenge is finding the structures and strategy that support more success. This is where we start. Our aim is to bring to you the core skills and structures that can be harder to find. Muting some of the noise, we hope the marketing zen you’ll find with our consultancy will make brand and marketing a rudder of business once again, reaching the results that really matter.

So, you could say a lot of complexity goes into being refreshingly simple…and a little history too.

Building brands backwards? A brief history of Image Development

‘History? I thought you just launched?’

You’d certainly be forgiven for thinking that, and not to complicate something ‘refreshingly simple’ but I suppose you could call it a relaunch?

Image Development's Consultancy back in the 90s - 'we don't monkey around'

See that photo? Yeah, that’s me. Part of the original Image Development back in the 1990s. A lot has changed since then. For one thing I no longer wear socks with sandals. I’ve also studied psychology, brand and marketing since then. I’ve also worked with some incredible clients to take me from banana boy to brand man (ish). I do still enjoy Mickey Mouse though, and we still don’t monkey around when it comes to getting you noticed.

So, what happened to that Image Development?

Well beginning as a consultancy in design, marketing and events, the demand from our clients at the time transformed Image Development into a more tactical role. Investing in expertise and technology at the forefront of printing and event marketing, it wasn’t long before Image Development became Image Display & Graphics. Since the mid-1990s, Image Display specialised in events and exhibitions, becoming renowned for extraordinary service and operating with some notable names. But with this specialisation came a step away from consultancy. We were no longer up-stream with strategy, we had move downstream with the flow of clients to the tactical pool of events. We were still asked to dip our toe back into consultancy from time to time, but over the years the deeper division between tactics and strategy made this more challenging.

Since returning to Image, I was venturing far deeper into client brand strategy and marketing than ever before. Often the challenge was being asked to build a brand backwards. By the time our clients reached events, things were tactical. Strategy and budgets were set. Despite being asked to support something more than an exhibition stand, we were limited by our place down-stream. This is where re-developing Image Development began.

Allowing us to step out of this cycle, Image Development now gives clients and ourselves the space to focus on strategy and campaign-level creative regardless of the connection to events. Separating these services allows both Image businesses to do what they do best, whilst bringing a history of brand and marketing together with a new ‘development’ or two.

Thanks for taking the time to read about why we started Image Development. The team and I are excited to see how this side of Image can do more for our clients and their businesses than ever before.

Feel free to get in touch with me for a chat about your brand, an idea for a marketing campaign or to ask me a question about Image Development and what we can do for you.

Alex

Founder & Director

alexc@imagedevelopment.co.uk

(feel free to add me on Linkedin too)