Hike Nova Scotia is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage and promote a growing hiking culture throughout Nova Scotia. We began our journey with Hike when they applied to our annual Brand Spring Clean Contest looking for help updating and refreshing their existing brand. Our team loves to spend our free time unplugged and enjoying the great outdoors, and truly appreciate Hike NS’ dedication to educating the public on preserving and respecting our beautiful wilderness; that’s why we were very excited to name them the 2016 contest winners.
In our discovery session, we identified several key areas in which their current brand faced challenges - namely:
- A need to connect and resonate with a younger demographic
- A need to leverage a large social media following to strengthen brand awareness and engagement
- A need to create opportunities for additional revenue streams through merchandising
These key areas gave us direction for the project. We set out to build out the brand by developing a contemporary, visually pleasing logo and implementing a brand strategy that would solve their challenges.
We used the organization's mandate of promoting a hiking culture throughout Nova Scotia, as a springboard for our research and brand development stage. Our goal was to engage with both the existing outdoor enthusiasts while also appealing to a more novice subset of people who may be less experienced trail users; it was important that we speak to all ranges of physically active lifestyles.
Philosophy, Language & Tone
Hiking culture is about creating a community where hikers gather to share experiences from the trail, exchange ideas, plans and tips for hiking & snowshoeing adventures within Nova Scotia.
In order to appeal to a younger demographic (while keeping the interest of existing members), the tone of voice needed to be written in a conversational, friendly, and casual manner. From the novice hiker to an experienced trail guide, all levels of outdoor enthusiasts should feel like they benefit from being a member of Hike Nova Scotia.
Connection, exploration, adventure health, fun, challenge, community, friendly, encouraging, welcoming, fun, authentic.
Look & Feel
From sunny strolls on the local beach trails to snowshoeing in freezing terrains, our objective was to be fully inclusive of the varying outdoor activities our beautiful province, with its diverse climate, has to have to offer. Showcasing more than just the physical benefits of exercise, we also felt it was necessary to have the brand represent the emotional and spiritual advantages of being in nature such as, making lasting memories or building stronger connections with family, friends and loved ones. Read more below to see how we combined key messaging with picturesque imagery to help drive home the new Hike NS brand.
Tagline & Typography
Using the existing tagline of Adventure in Every Step, we recommended that copy be used as a compliment to the tagline, and for it to be both a play on words and an expression of the Hike NS brand. This copy can be used in brochures, online and even slogans on merchandise.
Photography & Colour Palette
Scenic Nova Scotia provides the perfect backdrop to showcase the trails and snowshoeing options available to members all on its own. We advised using photography that focuses on the natural landscape and terrain.
Sun, soil, sea to sky - we relied on shades of mother nature's true beauty to inspire the brand colour palette. Both earthy & bright, we wanted to represent all aspects of Nova Scotia’s wilderness.
Hike NS relies on printed collateral for a lot of their program resources and materials; this meant they needed graphic assets that their team could easily implement onto everything from logbooks to letterhead.
Social Media Strategy
Keeping the tone fresh and fun aligns with the new branding. Because the target audience (25-35 yrs) are inundated with mass amounts of tweets, Facebook posts and constant social media updates, we recommended using humour or a sense of cheekiness to capture attention and gain interest in the content.
From promoting an upcoming event to raising awareness for initiatives such as the Leave No Trace program, the copy aligns with Hike’s brand attributes.
Hike NS produces branded shirts to sell upon customer request. Through selling merchandise they are able to bring in a small profit that helps to fund their programs. Our team helped to envision a larger merchandising catalogue encompassing everything from water bottles to knapsacks; focusing on using durable and sustainable products made from naturally sourced, organic and local materials.
We advised them to look for ways to collaborate with local artists and manufacturers and to stay away from mass produced merchandise products in order to stay authentic to their brand.
Hike Nova Scotia officially launched their new brand in April 2017, since that time they have been hard at work applying the new brand guidelines to their existing assets. They have gone on to implement a number of our marketing suggestions including a collaboration with a local healthy snack company, Made with Local, on a speciality Hike NS granola trail mix!
We are proud to have played a part in supporting this deserving non-profit and look forward to hitting the trails with a newfound appreciation for all that they do.
“We were so pleased with the look and feel of our new brand. Bits nailed the essence we were looking for, creating a brand that will really resonate with the audience Hike NS is trying to reach.”