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Why is brand iconography so valuable?

Everybody loves iconography. This is why deceptively simple images of pop culture like the I love NY t-shirt, the Rolling Stones tongue and Hello Kitty merchandise have succeeded in capturing the global imagination and launching multi-billion dollar consumer empires. Since Off the Shelf launched in 1997, we have been on the quest for the brave new vocabulary of Afropop iconography for ourselves and for clients.

In Southern Africa there is so much opportunity for us to continually reinvent our own cultural frame of reference in line with international styles and trends. For example our region is so often associated with the so-called BIG 5, that animal imagery runs the risk of becoming a visual cliché. We reinvented the "wildlife genre" for our clients - by introducing wraparound wallpaper imagery which added appeal to paint and hardware packaging while strongly positioning the brand within its region.

Region specific iconography adds value by:

  • Adding relevance and likeability among employees, stakeholders and customers
  • Encouraging excellence and pride in companies and their region of origin
  • Acting as hedge against predatory competitors, sending a message that local brands are well established in their markets and not ready to be squeezed off the shelf
  • Increasing company value for floating or sale
  • Encouraging brand loyalty among consumers
  • Inspiring and motivating work forces, consumers and stakeholders
  • Enhancing perception of companies and regions from within and without
  • Helping companies live up to excellence in the quality of their products and services and ways of doing things.
  • Concretising mission and vision statements and help develop unique and valuable corporate cultures.
8 May 2013 13:32