Over the past few years, the Snowdonia region of North Wales has increased in popularity. With over half a million visitors a year, it has the highest concentration of mountains, beaches, castles, forest and lakes in the UK. And in 2020 it was introduced to a nationwide audience as the location for the TV series I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.
The main focus of the area is Snowdon, which most visitors come to climb, but the journey to the top has become increasingly busy, to the point where queues form at the summit of people awaiting a selfie photo opportunity.
Whilst running a successful hostel business in the area, the founder became increasingly aware that his customers would arrive, climb the mountain, and then be unsure about where to go next. We were approached to create a brand for a new tour company that would solve this problem, and show visitors there is more to the area than just the mountain.
In The Know
Living and working in the area means the founder has a wealth of knowledge about the region, making him a credible local authority on what to see and do.
We developed a persona around the ‘curious tourist’, an audience that is well travelled and who crave authentic experiences to share with their friends.
To appeal to this audience we put discovery at the heart of the brand. Taking people to places that they might not have heard of or seen before, that are away from the tourist-trap and off the beaten track.
We wanted to showcase what the entire 823 square miles of the region has to offer beyond the mountain, and make visitors feel like they are experiencing something special.
We developed a brand positioning around ‘Delightful Discovery', which puts the experience at the heart of the brand. From the moment you are collected to the time you are dropped-off, every part of the experience should put a smile on your face, whilst also giving the feeling that you’ve experienced something others haven’t.
A knowing tweak
Due to the founder's extensive knowledge of the area, he knows the beauty spots, the best local suppliers, and the most interesting shops, as well as the region's hidden gems.
We reflected this knowledge in the brand name by taking the name of the region, Snowdonia, and tweaking one letter. Knowdonia immediately feels like it’s born out of the area, and gives the brand a great platform for messaging. With digital channels being a priority, the name also allowed the business to secure short, clean social handles.
Don’t Follow The Flock
We wanted to create a stand-out brand with an attitude and personality that felt unlike other tour and travel businesses.
Having developed the outward facing tagline ‘Don’t Follow The Flock’, we used this as the inspiration for the brand symbol and logotype. The symbol depicts the head of a sheep that sits on top of signposts that form a cross. The nose and mouth are formed by the letter ‘K’ from the brand name, adding an element of ‘Delightful Discovery’. This is also seen in the logotype where the letter ‘O’ resembles a sheep's head and body.
Standing out when out and about
We wanted to ensure that the vans that take the customers around the region were highly visible on the road, and create intrigue around the brand. Therefore we used the sheep symbol at a large scale, and also applied it on top of the vehicle along with its name, to enable walkers and climbers to identify the van from a height.
To further enhance the brand recognition, the van colour is used as the main highlight colour throughout the identity.
Setting the scene
Imagery was key to showing what the region has to offer and what to expect during a tour. We worked with the supremely talented SIGHTSEERS to capture the area across both photography and film.
From the outset we knew we wanted to create a business and brand that would feel unique and different in North Wales, but we didn’t know how to do it.
Knowing we hadn’t been through a branding process before, Thisaway walked us through each phase of the project with clarity and understanding. The thinking and output speaks for itself.
The name, identity, and tone of the brand is something I’m very proud of. It puts a smile on my face, and I’m sure our customers will feel the same.