Founded in 2004, Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Parks created an entirely new category of location-based entertainment. Over a decade later, Sky Zone had opened over 150 franchise locations and expanded into new countries. But as the business matured, so too did the competition; imitators began springing up left and right, feeding off of Sky Zone’s rapid success. It became increasingly clear that a change was in order if Sky Zone was going to keep its position as category leader.
We were tasked with determining the viability of—and ultimately executing on—a brand positioning that could appeal to new customers without alienating the existing core audience, thus growing the customer base and driving long-term growth.
We conducted and reviewed a great deal of research to identify which cohort of consumers would represent the greatest opportunity for growth. We supplemented primary research commissioned by Sky Zone corporate with secondary research and further attitudinal analysis to unearth actionable customer insights across demographics.
When selling an experience, it’s imperative to define in less abstract terms what the experience is offering. We developed brand pillars that could define the experience as it currently exists while providing a foundation for the brand moving forward. We then crafted a positioning statement that could unite all the brand pillars, appeal to our expanded audience, differentiate from competition, and serve as a north star to guide the company and our creative executions.
With a defined target audience and a new brand positioning, we reevaluated marketing strategies at both national and local levels to ensure that the new brand positioning would be executed in an impactful and profitable manner. We shifted promotional strategies to give individual franchises more flexibility, outlined new types of content for future development, set the foundation for a web redesign, and provided media strategies for content distribution and driving web conversions.
With brand positioning set, we began building out a distinct brand identity, both visual and verbal. Our visual approach centered on three key principles: motion, moments, and owning orange—an existing, yet underutilized brand color.
Our brand voice was guided by similar principles. But rather than looking at vocabulary, we addressed the evolving media space by defining our brand voice as a point of view—identifying what topics and areas of conversation were relevant to the brand identity, then defining guidelines for executing in those conversations. More practically speaking, the voice is active, engaging, inclusive, impactful, and aspirational.
These guidelines, along with new fonts, updated logos, brand manifestos, and other approved assets were compiled into a brand book and style guide to help establish continuity for the evolved brand between corporate and 150+ individual franchises.
A large multi-day production drove the development of all-new brand assets: action photography and video, website and social content, green screen footage, and more. We created a new brand spot, as well as videos for popular attractions and programs to be used in web and social. All video was focused on bringing the experience and feeling of a day at Sky Zone to the forefront: Music had an athletic drumline feel, edits are energetic, intercut with key slow-motion focus on the moments where jumpers are living in the moment, and the overall tone of the executions were more mature, competitive, and dramatic.
We also held various supporting shoots and created graphics to bring some of the new brand flavor to the existing content calendar while we continued to plan for the launch of the full brand evolution.
Design & Development
Franchise businesses present a unique challenge when it comes to web design. Not only did we have to bring forth a design language that would communicate the new positioning, we also had to develop capabilities that would allow 150+ individual parks—all with different hours, prices, attractions, and park-specific imagery—to keep their pages accurate and up to date while avoiding inconsistencies, slow load times, or complications to the user experience. Graphical complexity and expectations for high traffic lead us to a development approach of serving content out of cache, allowing us to keep load times and infrastructure needs minimal.
Regarding design, we made subtle use of parallaxing and animation of photography and graphic elements to align with the brand direction. Again, we brought the in-park experience to the forefront, serving action video front and center on the homepage. Animations, parallax effects, typographical layouts, and imagery are fully responsive while remaining lightweight—allowing users to get the full experience no matter what device they’re viewing on.
Perhaps the largest technological challenge was designing and developing a custom CMS in a way that mirrors the organizational structure of the franchise business—allowing individual franchise owners to control and edit crucial information regarding their parks in a way that keeps the content fully integrated into the design and experience of the site. This information then had to be packaged and put forth on other relevant sections of the site, such as the park locator so that users know exactly what’s available to them at their local park.
Over the course of less than nine months, we led a rebrand process from start to finish: research, planning, positioning, strategy, brand ID, production, and execution. The new website has greatly eased multiple burdens held by franchise partners under the old system, while greatly enhancing the user experience. New content and strategies for distribution have given greater flexibility in marketing strategy at both national and local levels.
With the web redesign launched and new creative out in market, our brand evolution is still an ongoing process, but already same park year-over-year sales have steadily increased and the website has driven more conversions to local park pages by a significant factor.
Communications and content have just began to introduce the new Sky Zone to the world, and the challenge ahead is to implement changes to the in-park experience to continue facilitating a premium experience.
Smart thinking, compelling design, and a process that flourishes with your contributions.