The semiotics of brand communications should be simple – the signifier and the signified. But I was sitting in on a ‘rebranding’ presentation the other day when a graphic designer was presenting some new logo designs, and I realised that in the conversation between the designer and client the distinction between the signifier, the new corporate signature, and the signified, the actual brand itself, were being blurred.
There was an unspoken dimension that somehow changing the brand identity would somehow change the brand itself – the signified. It only takes a moments thought to realise that this is not the case – the visual image is only ever a symbol for wht the brand represents.
This statement of the obvious led me to think that if the client were not to spend what would be a six figure sum on the new identity an its implemetation – the signifier – is there somwhere the money could be spent on the signified, to actually materially improve the brand and its performance? In this particular case there was – putting the money into training for it’s client-facing staff.
This is not an argument against new brand identities, far from it, but it could be a useful mental exercise to ask, “If I don’t do it, is there a something we can do with the budget to really add value to the brand?”