Since the company didn’t even have a logo, it was quickly apparent that the first objective for this client was Corporate ID. The second objective, Brand Development, would assist the client in realizing their goal for major company growth. By eliminating their lackluster brand and replacing it with something powerfully unique and exciting, the company would have the ability to stand out and be seen as an industry leader.
1) For the logo, the client requested that we design a symbol to go with the company’s pre-existing font treatment. In research performed prior to the start of the project, we found the tanning industry to be fragmented (primarily owned by individuals instead of large companies). We also found another common trend- these small tanning businesses typically used references to the sun, palm trees, beaches, sand, etc. The over-use of this trending theme had become cliché, to the point that businesses in the tanning industry had all begun to look alike.
Our goal was to create something completely opposite of cliché: a symbol that exudes an upscale, high-end feel; powerful and easily recognizable; and all the while, conveys an image conducive to the health, beauty, and tanning industries. There were multiple subtle references that the client wanted featured in the symbol, which were incorporated using pure, creative ingenuity. In the final product can be seen a girl lying down, luxuriating in a tanning bed; the girl, going from light to dark, represents the tanning process; above the girl in the upper, right portion of the logo is the letter D (for Darque), which also makes the top of the tanning bed and subtly represents the sun; and the entire symbol, in conjunction with the girl’s arm, creates the letter Q (again referencing Darque).
2) Having achieved the desired objective for the logo, we began building a brand that would utterly outshine the competition so completely that the company would automatically be recognized as an industry leader. The client desired to set a higher standard for tanning and offer something new and innovative instead of the typical tanning options that previously existed. Without question, the brand needed to effectively communicate this goal in order to be believable, and therefore launch the company to new heights.
We developed, and have since maintained, the Darque Tan brand from its inception. We began with a luxurious interior theme that consistently relays the brand message from the front door to the individual tanning rooms and bathrooms. We design all exterior signage and work diligently with vendors to ensure they are produced correctly and to our standards. We create exterior renders for new site locations to assist the client in obtaining landlord approvals and facilitate lease negotiations. We design everything from their business cards to billboards; brochures to in-store POS; promo cards to the yearly calendar featuring coupons, freebies, and specials; price boards to gift cards and gift card holders. We initiated a yearly Miss Darque Tan beauty contest consisting of preliminary heats and culminating in a final pageant. Each year the lovely winner is featured in an annual branding campaign, which typically is comprised of a clever use of the word Darque, and is displayed on billboards throughout the target area. TV and radio ads are also used in conjunction with the branding campaigns. We also design t-shirts, baby-doll tees, and employee apparel to promote the campaigns on an in-store level. We design emails advertisements, create clever promotional ads, manage Darque Tan’s Facebook advertising campaign, and so much more. We organize and schedule all photo shoots, from hair and makeup artists to wardrobe requirements; also, we have shot and produced their entire custom photography library.
Gender: 75% women; 25% men
Income: $35K-$150K range
Female Age Ranges:
Ethnicity: 40% English, 12% Hispanic, 8% German, 8% Scotch, 8% Irish, 1% Jewish
Marital Status: 70% married
14% Upper Management
12% Sales and Marketing
6% Middle Management
Darque Tan has an ultimate brand- what we have termed the Powerbrand. The company is the leading tanning salon brand in the entire tanning industry. It has become the leading tanning salon chain in the nation; and, including both the corporate-owned locations and those of the licensees, has expanded into over 15 markets with over 100 locations.
With professional indoor tanning businesses in thousands of towns throughout America, the indoor tanning industry has grown substantially in 25 years. Today it is a strong part of the American small business community. Each year about 10 percent of the American public visits an indoor tanning facility. Most indoor tanning facilities in the United States are small businesses, and more than 50 percent of them have female ownership, as compared to 25 percent of businesses in other industries, according to the U.S. Census.
Total Number of Professional Indoor Tanning Facility Businesses: 19,000
Total Number of Professional Tanning Business Employees: 160,000