The mixture between image and identity could be thought of as related to branding. Branding is important for current social life, for business, for collective identities and for men and women’s souls. It allows people to identify, organize, classify, embody and make sense of the world.
Issues on branding are issues about identity or, more precisely, about identification, which can be understood, in a psychoanalytical sense, as the transformation that takes place when someone or something assumes an image. The identifying process with images is dynamic, because it is always joining social images to personal ones, taking the entity of just some of them and rejecting the rest of the existing images.
This selection is constantly questioning or reinforcing the way the observers see their own identity by forcing the beholders to explain themselves in their positions, in their differential belonging with other images considered to be as themselves, with other conclusions, other stories, discourses and collective identifications. It is within this struggle among images – as Foucault states it – that the image’s design becomes powerful when entering the domain of other discourses.
Why does this work? An anthropological answer would be that nothing socially exists until it is represented. In that way, representation might well be part of the resources that make any social bond alive, making visible and tangible any membership or relationship. On the other hand, people, organizations, companies or objects need image to perform the dynamic process of leading their closure of structuring totalities for having their individualization.
But if identification is related to images. Thus, identification can be understood as the embodiment with images of object discourses, something pertaining to corporate branding, and the visual embodiment of ideological discourses, something pertaining to the institutional or political branding. Both are part of human resources to structure and make sense out of all components of reality.