• Alex Cosham

A New Chapter in a City of Stories - Image Development

So, why build a new brand during a lock-down, amidst a pandemic and a global recession? Well it all stems from a love of telling stories...and they’re going to be important.

Stories. We all have them. They have the power to capture imaginations, impart wisdom, engage and excite. Ours began in 1989. Along with Taylor Swift, The Simpsons and the World Wide Web, Image Development was born. Our offices on Norwich’s Cathedral Street housed our design and admin, whilst an unassuming garage belonging to the father in law of Managing Director Iain, housed our production facilities. From this first humble chapter, our story unfurled. We grew from our passion of helping clients share their very own stories. Getting them noticed with striking displays, immersive events and a knack for finding that interesting angle.

Engines rev on a showstopping early experiential piece for what was then, Norwich Union

As we grew, we became even more specialised in events and exhibitions, incorporating as Image Display & Graphics Ltd. in 1996. From there, we gained a reputation as award winning exhibition stand design and build contractors, with this fast becoming over 80% of our business. In recent years however, our wider marketing expertise has taken a more central role in the events we deliver for our clients. Many have touted the ‘end of events’ as we know it at many points in our history. Of course we’ve seen events change. Yet far from ending, they have evolved, with more integration of digital and the wider marketing mix. Importantly we never lost sight of our roots, allowing us to evolve with this growing need for a cohesive understanding of marketing in all our work. It was natural as more clients came to us for their events needs, we had grown in a specific direction, but our multi-talented roots were never far away. So what does this have to do with a new marketing brand in 2020?

Graphic design & marketing materials in support of Aviva's Broker Roadshow events

Well we’re glad you asked...or maybe we asked for you. Looking back on our own history, we reminded ourselves of how important it is to share stories in business. We also looked at our home city of Norwich, a city of stories. A bustling community of creatives, independent businesses, entrepreneurs inspiring us to look harder at what we do and how we do it. So we took a moment and realised that in order to write this next chapter for Image, we had to go back to our roots. Often our clients would be surprised to hear that we offered a comprehensive array of design, marketing and branding, even though that’s exactly where we had started in 1989. So, surprise! We do all that. In fact we’ve become pretty good at it, so here we are launching (and relaunching), Image Development. An experientially driven creative marketing service built around you.

Brand development & design for Castel

Wait, experiential what?

There’s a reason we’ve been yammering on about stories. Stories are experiences. They may be experiences we’ve had, shared or been transported to. We humans like hearing and being a part of compelling stories. Are they all leather bound tomes constructed by literary giants? No. They can of course be extraordinary, but they can also be found in the day to day. Strong brands have realised the importance of these stories and experiences. Delivering a genuine and engaging experience of your brand is now one the most crucial things to get right. That’s where our experiential approach comes in. Traditionally experiential marketing involved ‘activations’ like an event, stunt or immersive environment. Yet after 30 years of creating physical experiences and environments, we believe the core of an experiential approach can be applied across the marketing mix. Considered creative design, marketing that moves people and a brand sharing humanity and values, all have the power to connect people with a story. We’re passionate about supporting every business and brand in doing just that.

So, are you ready to share yours?

The #NorfolkBiztory Campaign

To mark our launch of Image Development and share the power of stories in building brands, we want to hear yours. To share the network of incredible people and brands in our local business community we’re asking you to use the hashtag #NorfolkBiztory to get involved. With more reopening and recovery on the horizon, allowing clients and customers to be a part of your story will be more important than ever.

Using #NorfolkBiztory, you could share:

  • A unique insight into your origin story

  • The problem you set out to solve for your clients & customers

  • The reason you do what you do

  • A value or values that underpin what you do

So use #NorfolkBiztory, tag us @ImageDevelop across your socials (Twitter, Facebook, can find us on Linkedin too), and spread the word and a little experience of you!

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