Kipling Tours A new brand for an educational travel specialist

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Kipling Tours is a tailor-made group travel company that specialises in the schools travel market.

Situation

Kipling Tours has no predefined itineraries and each tour is 100% custom-designed for the client; with the company operating across a wide range of destinations. Primarily their client base is secondary schools; however they also have some adult clients (touring choirs and occasional cultural tours). With Kipling Tours also selling in the US market to schools, colleges and some adult groups, they are truly an international organisation.

Prior to working on their new website, Kipling Tours commissioned Wild Dog Design to take a look at the existing branding. The existing brand had been in place since the company was founded and it was considered no longer appropriate to truly reflect the company’s position in the education market. Nor was it faithfully reflecting or complementing the values of the company’s experience and established credentials in this specialist travel marketplace.

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Approach

An iterative and collaborative process was adopted; and working closely with the client we took a considered approach. A new brand, even when an evolutionary approach is required is a considerable undertaking.

At Wild Dog we were able to take the client through the stages in logical and comprehensive steps; this ensured that at each stage all aspects had been thoroughly considered and that Kipling Tours management team felt empowered throughout. In simple terms the project was considered in five stages.

Stage 1 – Workshop

First we worked hard to gather a good understanding of the Kipling Tours brand through various exploratory workshops and meetings with the client.

Stage 2 – What type of brand are you?

Always a challenging question for any client to answer. Often hard to define in words, clients instinctively know what it is (and, just as importantly, what it’s not). It was our role to listen, and in both words and visual references slowly build up a picture that reflects and resonates with the client.

We helped deconstruct the various elements of the brand – colours, fonts, styles, imagery – and presented back mood boards to get an instantaneous gut reaction. Included in this stage was a competitive analysis and other examples from their category and beyond (particularly paying attention to Kipling’s customers’ and their preferred brands and lifestyle).

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Stage 3 – Brand elements / first draft creative

We then constructed a presentation of potential new brand routes, element-by-element, for discussion and review. Taking time to analyse, interrogate and process each element was important and culminated in our brand application with examples of real-life situations (website page, brochure cover, internal comms).

Stage 4 – Brand Book/Statement

Once a brand direction had been established, we created a ‘brand book’. This is more of an internal piece; rather than the standard corporate brand guidelines (although naturally it did include directions around brand application).

The Book/Statement is an internal document to ‘announce’ the new brand to the Kipling Tours family. An opportunity to view a summary of the work to date; establishing where, why, how and what it means for future communications internally and externally.

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Stage 5 – Brand application

Finally the new brand ID marque was mastered; coupled with the various elements and style guide.

The final solution is a brand marque which clearly identifies with Kipling Tours’ educational specialism and years of professional expertise. Whilst being a high-end quality offering, the brand marque is intentionally approachable and friendly in styling. We adopted a clean and elegant typographical route, with a strong supporting graphical letter ‘K’ device. Coupled with safe, established but youthful colourways the new brand fully supports the company’s ongoing objectives for future growth in this exciting & dynamic specialist market.

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