A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is, it is what consumers tell each other it is.
Working with multiple businesses housed under one roof is often a question of how to bring uniformity to brands that all have a unique niche, and finding a balance between cohesion and distinction.
The Ventura Wildlife Group consists of multiple franchises including; Ventura Wildlife Encounters, Ventura Wildlife Park, CiniWild and Ventura Wildlife Services. They offer a wide range of wildlife-based services and experiences from their Enfield hub. With teams dedicated in bringing wildlife closer to people, providing animals for film and TV and worldwide animal transport, they also house a number of charities involved in the protection and conservation of wildlife across the globe.
Having worked together during an advertising campaign with Eastlife. Ashley valued our opinions and input as we worked closely to get the most from his ideas. This relationship led to us being brought on board to handle all design elements of the business moving forwards.
Ventura Wildlife Services
Having launched Ventura Wildlife Services with the aim of providing world class wildlife transportation and zoo consultancy we would be tasked to create a brand from the franchise. They would then require your standard stationary (letterhead, compliment slip and business card), signage for their industrial unit and advertising for specialist publications, as well as vehicle graphics for on the road.
Branding would be a big undertaking due to the nature of the business. With the company offering consultancy as well as transport, and animals varying in size from rodents to gorilla’s using imagery or iconography would have to be carefully considered. With this in mind, we stuck to a neutral colour palette, using creatures of different species including; insects, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. Use of a more traditional font was used to combine the two elements, whilst providing a professional brand on which other elements could be developed. With the logo established, we set about the creation of some brand guidelines, including the build of an HTML email signature for personalisation and use on all company emails.
Following on from the key branding elements, one of the key components of the business was its vehicles. With these used for road transportation around Europe, the stock vehicles we currently wasting valuable, transportable advertising space. By branding the vehicles we add another layer of professionalism to the business, whilst making use of mobile advertising space that would otherwise be wasted. Due to the nature of the business, we went with a more generic styling, to ensure the vehicles could be used across the full group, whilst taking a dominant lead from the Wildlife Services brand as their main usage.
With these key elements of the business designed, we set about creating stationary in keeping with the theme to date. Using simplistic styling and bold imagery to create an impact.
The latest element to date has been the creation of a single A4 print advertisement for use in specialist wildlife publications. Tying into the stationary design, we used bold imagery coupled with bold statement headings to create a simplistic but impactful marketing piece.
Ventura Wildlife Services has become the most profitable branch of the group, picking up regular business through print advertising and referenced worked. With the consultancy aspect of the business picking up, Ashley has been impressed enough with our work to establish a joint venture in zoo signage and display design. As the business continues to grow, animals have been transported from North to South Europe and as far as West Asia.
Ventura Wildlife Encounters
Ventura Wildlife Encounters bring you closer to the wild. The team offer audiences of all ages the chance to meet, handle and learn more about a selection of invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. With the aim of targeting festivals, fetes, birthday parties and school visits, the company needed its own unique branding, marketing materials and souvenirs to help provide an authentic and respectable experience.
Despite the business providing encounters for customers of all ages, birthday parties made up a large portion of bookings. Keeping this in mind, we created a more comic styled logo, using flat illustration to keep a more grown-up edge to the design. By applying a chameleon, we were able to introduce a wider, more colourful palette that would help with advertising and creating a series of eye-catching marketing pieces moving forwards.
Once the logo and brand guidelines were established, we set about creating a tri-fold DL flyer for distribution at events and areas of interest. Using colours from the palette to define sections, the leaflet illustrates what services are available, where they can be held and modifications that can be made to create the ultimate wildlife experience for the consumer. With Christmas proving popular with garden centres and local businesses, Ventura Wildlife Encounters offer increasingly popular reindeer visits. In line with this we created a simple A5 print advert for use in the local press publication.
To assist the business in providing a high-class service, we worked closely with Ashley to create Birthday party invites and cards, for use with Birthday experiences. With these being among the most popular services offered by the team, they were keen to ensure they stood out from the crowd. By creating a custom party invite, we added a level of professionalism to the business, whilst the distribution of the A5 flyers provided an added advertising opportunity to parents in the local area. We then assembled a Birthday card, signed by Ventura mascot Sidley and the team, to leave children with a special reminder of the day.
With Zoo’s slowly making animal experiences more and more distant, the opportunity to get hands on with some of the World’s favourite animals is proving ever popular. As with most business, word of mouth advertising goes a lot further than cold prospecting. Due to this, we have been able to optimise the experience by creating a series of marketing pieces that can be handed out during face-to-face consultations or available for pick-up at events and shows.
Coupling this with smaller details that help provide a unique and user focussed experience, has proved a huge success – showing that your best option is often providing the best service possible to your existing customer base.
Ventura Wildlife Park
Opening in Summer 2016, Ventura Wildlife Park is a small but engaging opportunity to see some of your favourite exotic animals. With the park focussing on education and conservation, daily talks, feeds and shows provide visitors of all ages the chance to get closer to the wild. Opened at Van Hage Garden Centre, Ware – the facility provided Ashley with an opportunity to house his wildlife collection in an environment where others could benefit also. With the park being built from scratch, this would be a large project that would require branding, advertising, displays, marketing pieces, signage, stationery and merchandise.
Starting with the brand, Ashley wanted something simple, but sophisticated, with a keen eye on what could and couldn’t be embroidered on his staff uniform. Using this as our brief we created a simplistic text logo, using animals of varying species to adorn the top of the word ‘Ventura’. Using shades of khaki to provide a safari feel, we would carry this through the branding with the use of parchment paper and tribal markings.
With the brand decided, we set about creating a display for the showpiece entrance. With a seven-metre-long title board and numerous window displays to the welcome centre, we needed a setup that tied the components together whilst attracted attention at the back of a crowded garden centre. Keeping the tribal, parchment theme we introduced key phrases like ‘Education’, ‘Conservation’ and ‘Experience’ alongside photography of some of the more popular exhibits inside the park. Whilst assembling the entrance, we were keen to ensure that the business was advertised through the car park also, with traffic signs and pedestrian guidance. With this stage of the project, we also created a series of notice boards to host admission prices, opening times and membership costs whilst creating interior advertising posters to demonstrate a number of VIP packages that were available to visitors.
With each exhibit, and in keeping with the park’s educational philosophy, we created a series of informational displays to give key details on the animals, their habitats, diets and conservation status. Splitting this into themes associated with the zoo, such as Africa, Asia and the North Pole we created a display for each exhibit, including safety and warning signage.
As with any large-scale opening, getting traffic through the door is key to keeping the business afloat. To help combat this, we have created a series of advertisements, to be used across the year. Reducing costs by creating a generic Christmas, Opening, Halloween and a follow up generic advert, we have been able to provide a cost-friendly solution the team can use all year round.
One of the big promotional elements, available at any zoo, is the map. With the right illustrations and a user-friendly layout, you can increase the user experience of the site, but also leave them with a keepsake. Wildlife Parks are popular due to their exhibits, so creating an elegant and descriptive site map can be key to getting visitors on site. We kept our safari theme, with torn paper and illustrations rather than photography to create a softer more creative experience. Creating the map as a DL quad-fold also allowed us to include VIP package information and gift shop details to provide the ultimate in park experience.
To help create a memorable experience we have also worked closely with the team to create a series of merchandise and keep sakes for park visitors. With younger visitors at the forefront of the parks target market, we have created a series of branded colouring sheets that can be completed and taken away from the education lodge. In their own version of an Easter egg hunt, we also helped design and create a selection of dinosaur themed posters that could be hidden around the various park zones, with an answer sheet available for participating visitors.
2018 saw the introduction of the popular Wildlife Encounters Birthday Parties. With the business now owning an open plan venue to host on site parties, we created a birthday card and party invites that would be made available to those making bookings for their special events.
The park continued to expand until issues with the local garden centre brought the park to a close. With planning, ground rent and usage issues proving detrimental to the conservation of the park wildlife, Ashley made the difficult decision to shut the centre for the welfare of the wildlife. Up until the summer of 2020 the park had seen progressive growth in foot traffic, and outside investment, with links to local schools proving ever popular for educational trips. Unfortunately running a conservation centre can be very costly, and despite building links local business for support, legal costs to keep the centre running proved too high.
It’s not all bad news, as the success over the previous four years will be carried forward by the Ventura Wildlife Groups latest charity, providing education and conservation from Cassiobury Farm, where we will be working closely to provide informative and fund-raising materials.
Ventura CiniWild provide animals of varying species, for use on film and TV sets. What sets the business apart is its approach to animal welfare and security whilst on set, with the health of the animals their top priority. With this in mind they see themselves as a leader in an industry where jobs are picked up based on reputation and word of mouth. Taking this into account, they wanted a professional look to their brand, with no need for conventional marketing and advertising pieces.
The trend in film industry graphics is to use typographic logos, to create timeless illustrations. We followed this trend to demonstrate Ventura CiniWild’s professional approach, adding simplistic animal and film silhouettes to show how the business prioritises the animals themselves and add a more personal touch.
We created a recognisable brand that allows the business to gather more jobs and increase awareness throughout the industry. As animal welfare becomes a bigger and higher priority, the classy styling and animal first message is helping the business land jobs across the country.
As part of their ever-growing conservation efforts, the Ventura Wildlife Group is home to a number of charities including; The Ventura Wildlife Conservation Fund, The Black-Cheeked Lovebird Project and the latest addition the Ventura Wildlife Foundation. These charities are generally setup with the aim of increasing funding to animal conservation around the world, with projects focussed at varying species across the year.
In an attempt to create a recognisable and more memorable brand, we have been working closely with the teams to create an amalgamation of the existing charities into a single form; The Ventura Wildlife Foundation.
Launched in the Summer of 2020, we have helped create a memorable brand based around the ring-tailed lemur who had been the focus of the Groups first conservation efforts. Taking inspiration from the household name of WWF, we created iconography and brand guidelines that would give the group a single brand to showcase its efforts worldwide.
We have begun the process of developing a new website with a landing page created as a display whilst additional features are developed. Looking to launch late 2020 the site will provide information, education and donation opportunities.
Although only in its infancy, initial response to the charity branding and direction has been positive. Consumer research suggests people can get behind a single charity with multiple goals, as opposed to the previous multi branch structure. Keeping a simplified symbolistic styling helps users identify whilst providing a freedom for future design pieces.
Big companies, or those made up of multiple smaller franchises, can often suffer from a lack of identity. With multiple staff working on different elements things can quickly become disjointed and blur a message you’ve worked hard as a business to portray. By introducing substantial brand guidelines and creating a theme across all elements of the business you can help create a unity from the biggest to the smallest elements of your company.
If you need assistance creating a unity in your work, or have ideas about starting a new venture, we would love to talk. Simply contact us here and let us know what you need to get your ideas up and running.