According to Bill Gardner, of Gardner Design, you get one chance to make a first impression and if you’re a brand, you better get it right.

At AMA Wichita’s luncheon, Gardner’s speech “Image Counts: What Top Brands Understand About Great Design,” he explained how companies that are designed-centered earn a higher return on investment because they understand the power of a strong visual presence.

He highlighted the rebranding work of several nationally recognized logos and emphasized how design changes can influence the consumer’s perception of a company. For example, he said companies such as Coca-Cola, Chobani and Formula 1 have reevaluated their brand identities and successfully deployed revamped logos and messaging.

Gardner noted that intentional design and a well-developed marketing campaign can drive consumer behavior.

“As creatives, we spend a lot of time looking at visuals, but what is the general consumer’s impression?” Gardner asked. Whether the consumer is buying a commodity such as a soft drink or a laundry basket, they often purchase because of the product’s thoughtful, differentiated design.

Throughout his presentation, Gardner repeated two words: visual vocabulary. Effective design should represent the brand’s identity and extend beyond the logo and make its way on everything the brand represents.

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