Our Visual Brand Language (VBL) Tool uses a visual stimuli set in order to help companies create a visual starting point for their brand identity.
• Interviewing companies that are known for their professional application of design in The Netherlands we learned two important things: Companies use several market positioning models in their strategy phase preceding the tactical project definition to define their brand values and brand identity.
• Companies themselves do not know how to translate their brand values and brand identity into a visual briefing instrument.
Companies frequently let a designer do this translation even though they often feel that a designer does not understand their briefing. It appears that they actually DO know what they visually want, and try to manage that is what the designer will deliver.
Creating a visual tool will enable them to create this visual briefing and visual reference point. The tool will assist their strategy definition as well as the creative delivery process of the designer.
The fact that positioning models play such an important role led us to use them as a selection for the image set for this tool. The most commonly used models are de Bock & Dekker (brand expression), Aacker (brand personality), Motivaction (Mentality Profile), Jung/Jansen (Brand Archetype) and the Brand Culture Monitor to describe the character of the brand.
Accepting this reality we started of with a random set of 1200 images of contemporary products. A carefully selected group of professionals plotted the images on the models resulting in five visual market-positioning models. Images that were agreed upon in most of the models were selected for the image set and models were enhanced with additional images to ensure a good spread across the models with the same set of images. This finally resulted in the set of 203 pictures that are the basis for this tool.