The University of Huddersfield’s sports and fitness service offers students top quality facilities at the heart of campus. However, long-term membership and participation levels were low. This was partly due to an increasing level of competition from other local providers, as well as other activities on offer that were competing for their time.
Our client carried out some research and identified that their existing identity - #TeamHud – was having the negative effect of discouraging people from signing up. The university approached us to create and introduce a new unifying identity for the service, to build a sense of community and widen participation.
The client had identified three audience groups that the brand campaign would be aimed at: new or casual and social users, membership and leisure users, and those who belong to sports teams. Whilst we wanted to encourage new and casual users to attend the gym to improve their overall wellness, we didn't want to discourage those already keen gym goers from attending. We wanted everyone to feel welcome, so our aim was to create a concept that could speak to all three of them.
To inform our thinking, we led an initial customer insight workshop with the students who currently used the facilities and those who didn’t. We also devised an insight questionnaire to help us collate the feedback from the session and invited students to respond. To build on this, we also carried out desktop research of similar sports brands and facilities. Through the research, we explored the reasons why people do and don’t use the gym and what the other activities are competing for their time. This customer insight helped us to understand what would resonate with and inspire the target audience, as well as where the proposition and identity could stand out. Through concept development, we continued to seek feedback from the workshop attendees to help guide our creative process.
We created a new identity called ‘Active Hud’ which draws inspiration from the flexible and progressing nature of the sports and fitness facilities themselves. We used bright electric colours, gel lighting techniques and a range of colourful backgrounds. This creates a sense of glowing with light, energy and power and alludes to the theme of wellness. People are depicted socialising, exercising, showing that the university facilities are a great place to boost your energy levels and feel recharged – either individually or as part of a community. We represented the diversity of the University’s student population by making use of inclusive imagery.
We rolled the new identity out across a range of print and digital collateral. This included printed banners and posters, as well a suite of social media assets. We also created a full set of visual identity guidelines for our client’s internal studio to use to continue the rollout of the new identity. These guidelines also included guidance around which tone of voice should be used for each of the audience groups.
We led customer insight workshops to hear from the students first-hand.
We created a new identity called ‘Active Hud’ which draws inspiration from the flexible and progressing nature of the facilities themselves.
We rolled the new identity out across a range of print and digital assets, including printed banners and social media.
Our client is delighted with the new identity and is now using the visual identity guidelines in preparation for the start of the new academic year. We eagerly look forward to seeing how the new identity is received by the student body.
As our client is unable to use stock photography in their collateral, we provided our client with a photography brief for directing their own photoshoot, which we edited for them to bring them in-line with the new style.