Branding is emotional: A great brand makes people feel something and fulfills a need. On the flip side, businesses are desperate to make a connection with their audience, build trust and engender a sense of commitment. The way we see it, therapy and strategy go hand in hand, tra-la-la to Brand-Successville.
Aria Creative is a design consultancy specializing in strategic brand therapy. People see us for a variety of reasons. Some are plagued by dreams of dangerous sea changes, of being chased through their office halls by zombie-faced competitors, and, most frequently, of finding themselves onstage at Carnegie Hall delivering a speech to 2,804 of their past, current and future clients—in the nude. Some are a bit more actualized and recognize they need to improve their communication skills so that they’re not alternating between swallowing their words and screaming “Hey, look at my hot pants!”. Still others see us for something akin to well visits, recognizing that frequent maintenance is key to their brand health.
As part of our work in the therapist’s chair, we spend a lot of time digging around inside other people’s heads. We listen, gently probing to determine a brand’s patterns of attraction and its audience’s level of engagement. Group sessions provide an opportunity for everyone to discuss how the brand is perceived, both internally and externally. When appropriate, together we explore new coping mechanisms to encourage behavior change. We also act as ridiculously over-the-top cheerleaders, shaking our pom-poms in a way that values the brand’s unique contributions and promotes its successes. We love our pom-poms.
While our clients may share similar needs, each set of solutions generated has both been dictated by and created to support a brand’s singular personality, quirks and all. We are thrilled by the work and equally pleased to report that we’ve learned (and created) something new in the process each and every time. While our focus is decidedly on brand design, we also take on all kinds of creative assignments, including:
- Logotypes, Identity Suites and Brand Building
- Annual Reports, Brochures and Publications
- Advertising and Package Design
- Environmental Branding and Exhibit Graphics
- Writing and Editing
Last, but certainly not least, Aria is an MBE—which means we are qualified to coach federal and state governmental agencies through any marketing and branding transitions.
Aria Principal, Jen Lockard, holds an MA in Publications Design from University of Baltimore and has crammed a broad spectrum of experience into her nearly 15 years in the design industry. Established in 2005, Aria Creative is a boutique design studio and communications consultancy which combines well-crafted concepts, marketing savvy and a healthy dose of levity to help clients achieve their goals. Past clients run the gamut from foundations and educational organizations to corporate financial services, real estate development and construction, high-end B2B and retail.
Strangers have stopped Jen everywhere from grocery stores to her own birthday party, spontaneously sharing their life stories and asking for her insights. These no holds barred, painfully honest “free” sessions are often tedious but—because they’re always sprung like a high school pop quiz—have taught her how to bring her therapy game on short notice. In recognition of her special talents, she was granted an honorary therapy degree from The School of Life.
She has also been recognized by industry publications and design competitions such as Advertising Association of Baltimore, Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and Graphic Design USA.
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