From the moment we sat down with Ciaran (Purestretch founder) and Elly (Second-in-command) we could see they had some great ideas, tonnes of energy and bucket loads of personality. They were also really driven to grow the business. Also (and crucially!) they seemed really open to our ideas and approach.
We found their collective energy infectious and so were excited to begin helping them to tackle some tricky design problems that would enable them to move the business forward, and position the brand for a relaunch.
As always the conversation started with trying to identify what the issues were with the current setup. The first pain point became clear quickly – the internal overhead of running and managing a pair of websites; one for purestretch members, and another general public facing site.
Having two sites led to a lot of cross-over and duplication of content. Most crucially it made it difficult to understand what purestretch even was! Using the site was a confusing and frustrating user experience. The time and energy required to manage frustrated customers was proving costly and needed rectifying. The second major issue was in the identity – it was abundantly clear that the current brand look and feel fell short in capturing the life and personality of purestretch.
Now we knew the motivation driving the need for our help, we did what we often do in this scenario – a discovery workshop. Before putting together costs and scoping the requirements, we needed to understand more. We spent the day together having lots of different structured conversations to dig deeper and create a unified purpose and a clear way forward. Our aim being to identify clear and tangible outcomes that will help us form a tight brief, understand not just the problems, but uncover deeper purposes and re-imagine the future.
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The evolution of the visual identity
Building on our findings we started with the visual identity. We’d established that the brand needed to convey an enthusiastic, friendly, funny and slightly quirky tone and so wondered what themes might be fun to explore and draw out?
- Stretch is not new
- Stretch can help you achieve
- Stretch can make you chuckle
- Stretch changes the shape of things…
- Stretch can be played with…
- Stretch type…
- Stretch as a gesture
The existing logo carried an icon with pointed edges and one that resembles many existing marks in the health and fitness industry. We were convinced that we could either improve the mark by giving it more personality and ‘stretchiness’ or even doing without it completely. Even though we came up with an evolution and dynamic concept that would have made for an interesting graphic utility, it still felt superfluous when used in context. It was legacy, and through the process of showing it in application the detachment happened.
We ended up using a modern, simple and straight forward sans-serif typeface and introduced a hint of stretchiness where the ‘c’ connects to the ‘h’. Using lowercase lettering throughout made it more informal more representative of the brand personality.
What we needed to capture in the identity was the fun and approachable energy that Ciaran and Elly inject into the purestretch experience. Spend any amount of time with them and you’ll experience constant banter and a totally candid personality. You can’t capture this through staged photography, so we introduced the idea of capturing the moments between shots, and between exercises where people are most relaxed and their expression of enjoyment is genuine.
Luckily purestretch have a great studio and so we enlisted the help of our friend Ben Wheeler to take the photos and they organised for some of their purestretch’ers to come in for the day.
The online experience
Recognising the need for one online experience we set about the task of interrogating the business model and products to fully understand how the different user groups needed to navigate the site. That process highlighted some new product opportunities that hadn’t been explored yet. Gaining an understanding of the customer journey and what products or memberships were available at each stage was fundamental in building the right framework to build the content and future proof the website for the future. Part of that work was creating a new naming system, for the product types to make it clearer for customers to differentiate between the various levels.
Digitising the course manual
One of the biggest tasks was to re-align the course manual for online consumption. In its current printed format the flow and information needed addressing. We re-organised the content to make it more digestible outside the context of a training weekend coming up with a modular system for different types of content creating a flexible template and multiple options from within Wordpress (the content management system we used).
This new structure and system then easily transferred back into a new and improved printed manual which we also delivered.