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The collaborative, hardworking, creative-thinking kind. Clarity is in. Bravado is out. Pretty simple.
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Here are a few case studies for your literary pleasure (with minimal fancy pictures).
Hawaii’s Number 1 Paid Attraction in La‘ie, Hawaii
Given the brand was fragmented and dated, primary research was crucial in identifying the new brand promise. One-on-one interviews—both entrance and exit—as well as focus groups were conducted. We also talked to tourists who chose not to visit the center. What we learned is that prospective visitors to the center want a throwback experience to authentic Polynesian culture. No Waikiki glitz and glamour, but the real traditions of the real ancients.
To date, over 800 design projects have been executed by The Design Farm for the Polynesian Cultural Center, from brand identity to website to brochures to signage to fauna. It has been a complete branding face-lift inside and out and, for its industry, unprecedented. Local competitors soon got skittish and started refreshing their brands (the ultimate compliment). Travel awards for best destination and best marketing poured in. Best yet, the Polynesian Cultural Center remains Hawaii’s #1 paid tourist attraction.
- Redesigned corporate logo for 1997
- Anniversary logo used in 1998
- Anniversary logo used in 2003
- Anniversary logo used in 2013
- Redesigned corporate logo for 2013
Most Attended Arts Organization in Utah
The theater has always been clear about it’s key promise: Affordable, family-friendly theater for grandkids, parents, and grandparents. What the theater didn’t have was the legitimacy and continuity of a brand. Secondary research plus the key promise helped us calibrate the brand in such a way that it maintains the family-centered persona while upgrading the image of the theatre as more professional, reputable and artistic.
What the theatre has learned is that great creative really is the secret weapon. In 2003, when we began work with the theatre, season ticket subscriptions were 12,800. In 2004 they jumped to 16,070. And such has been the trend year after year. In 2012, subscriptions hit a record high of 23,156, an increase of 10,356 season tickets from 2003. Multiplied by a season of six shows that’s 138,936 seats sold before the season has even begun. Hale Centre has been able to upgrade it’s production values, its lighting, its sound, and its reputation in the artistic community. And is now looking to build a new,
Best Rafting Vacations in the West Since 1961
In an ideal world, before a creative team dives in, it has a holistic understanding of all the identities it will be working on. But what makes this profession so thrilling is there’s no such thing as this ideal. In the case of Western River Expeditions, we began with a logo and catalogue design. That was to be it. The challenge came when the client asked for two additional identities for its affiliates: One for the Moab Adventure Center and one for Red Rock Outfitters. Creating continuity between three sister identities without a strategic heads-up, plus staying true to the individualism of each identity, plus working with different stakeholders for each identity, all in all, it was a juicy challenge we took head-on.
Working with the client, we moved swiftly to identifying a key promise. We knew we needed to dial in on a promise that would work for both the current identity and the identities yet to come, as well as differentiate all three from the competition. A promise that had never been claimed by an adventure company was an Old West experience combined with eco-friendly stewardship combined with a trusted partnership. Once this promise was nailed, we could design two new identities that were on strategy, but very much their own entity.
Growing Brands by Celebrating Careers, Rewarding Results and Noticing Effort
As the worldwide leader in teaching companies how to appreciate their people, O.C. Tanner saw that it was time to breathe new life into the industry and, in so doing, transform it. Understanding that an outward facing brand is only as powerful as the vision shared by employees and stakeholders on the inside, we went to work to help redefine O.C. Tanner’s culture using collateral materials. Once refined inwardly, the new brand would launch outwardly. We worked alongside some of the best in the industry to jointly develop a strategic direction that embodies O.C. Tanner’s expertise. It’s called appreciateology: The art, science, and practice of appreciation.
The appreciateology brand was launched and received by its 1,600 employees with unprecedented enthusiasm. As a company that has always been unified in its vision, appreciateology supercharged the vision with newfound passion. Collateral materials were provided for employees to appreciate each other in creative ways. This year alone, 13,000 moments of appreciation have been exchanged between employees using these materials. Not because of managerial dictate, but because of a vivid understanding of “what we stand for”. Last year when O.C. Tanner introduced it’s new brand to the world at SHRM in Chicago, two major competitors cornered their appreciateologists and said, “Your company has changed the industry forever.”
Icons for various award levels for O.C. Tanner’s internal re-launch
of Appreciateology: The art and science of appreciation.
of Appreciateology: The art and science of appreciation.
The Largest Global Network for Family History Research
As the largest global network for researching family history, The Generations Network has seven different identities. At the time we went to work for The Generations Network, all seven identities were disconnected and brand awareness was low. What The Generations Network did have was a passionate clarity about their purpose. We worked closely to brainstorm and whittle to the key promise: “We connect families across distance and time.” The humanity of this promise, the imagery of a family tree, and the organic nature of making new connections, became our muse.
It wasn’t long before the green leaf budded and revealed itself as the iconic visual for all seven identities—the lead brand and the six sub-brands. Symbolic of new opportunities, the leaf grew into the prevailing unifying element. The cumulative impact of all seven identities has been remarkable. Since 2005, unaided brand awareness increased from 8% to 39%, and aided brand awareness increased from 37% to 65%. Even the prospective talent pool has noticed. As the identities compelled an unknown company into mainstream awareness, top-notch talent from around the world took notice with their resumes.