OVERVIEW

Darque Tan is America’s largest high-end retailer of luxury tanning memberships, services, and products. It offers the best in UV and sunless tanning beds and booths in addition to nationally acknowledged tanning and skin care lotions. Boasting an incredibly fun and supportive internal culture, Darque Tan is on a mission to be the world standard for luxury tanning. The company focuses on creating long term relationships with its customers and staff while providing value to its communities.

When Darque Tan first contacted IDealogic®, it had just four locations (with a fifth and sixth ready for build out) throughout the Houston area. We were recruited to help the company reorganize and rebrand it from the ground up. As the agency of record, we created the company’s brand identity and an extensive library of visual communications that helped it grow to over 125 locations in 15 markets.

CHALLENGE

With increasing industry regulation and an ongoing commercial war with national dermatological associations, Darque Tan faced many challenges. To combat those issues, we would need to create a completely original brand and position Darque Tan as the leading authority in the tanning industry. It had to look like a corporate organization in order to break the mold of the cliché “mom and pop” tanning salon image and put the company on the path toward market dominance.

From the start, the owners of Darque Tan aspired it to become the most iconic brand in tanning. But the company’s underdeveloped brand was holding it back. When we started work with the company, its brand was little more than a font treatment. We were contracted to recreate the tanning chain’s brand into something powerful and unique that would empower the company to stand out in its markets as the corporate industry leader.

OUR STRATEGY

During our preliminary research into the salon industry, we saw that an overwhelming number of independent tanning salons were utilizing a similar style: references to the sun, palm trees, beaches, sand, etc. It was everywhere. It was cliché. But most of all, it was boring. We wanted to create something fresh and original, something that would break the mold of palm tree-shaped neon lights in the window.

Even with increasing regulation and public awareness of the potential dangers of over-tanning, there is sizeable demographic that luxury tanning services appeal to: people who want to look good. The focus of our strategy was to engineer a brand that spoke directly to that demographic, women aged 18–24, by appealing to the glamorous, Hollywood lifestyle to which these women aspire.

With a clear understanding of our target audience, we set out to appeal to that aspirational lifestyle by creating imagery inspired by the types of sexy, cosmopolitan brands that are revered by the demographic and epitomized by celebrities, actors, and swimsuit super models. The new Darque Tan brand would represent a glamorous, aspirational self-image for these young women.

We began by first creating an eye catching, memorable logo that would meld two seemingly different worlds: Corporate and Hollywood. The icon includes visual references to a feminine form changing from light to dark, signifying the tanning process, combined with the letters ‘D’ for Darque and ‘Q’ for quality.

To ensure the company would outshine the competition, we proceeded to design all core elements with the goal of setting a new brand standard for the tanning industry. We incorporated a luxurious interior theme that conveyed the brand’s focus on quality and glam lifestyle throughout each location. We carried the same look and feel throughout all brand channels.

With the brand fully developed and implemented, we moved on to phase two: awareness. We created numerous campaigns by infusing witty messaging with common phrases. For example, “My Deep Darque Secret” was a clever and seductive twist on the common phrase and helped establish Darque Tan’s sexy brand into the minds of potential customers. Aside from the 18 to 24 year-old female, our campaigns captured a secondary demographic. Women 25-40+ aligned with Darque Tan as it embodies youth and beauty. Our efforts unified these demographics in the aspirational Hollywood-glamor lifestyle.

The final piece of the Darque Tan puzzle was to create a spokesmodel for the brand. But how do you choose one out of a million beautiful women to represent a brand? Our solution was a yearly Miss Darque Tan beauty contest. Small contests were held each month, with finalists competing at the end of the year to become the new year’s campaign spokesmodel. Once the contest was initiated, it immediately accelerated growth among Darque Tan’s target demographic and helped the brand reach its goal of becoming the national tanning industry leader.

SCOPE OF WORK

COMPANY BRANDING

  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Positioning
  • Brand Architecture
  • Corporate Identity Design
  • Brand Identity Design
  • Brand Naming

COPYWRITING

  • Brand Messaging
  • Positioning Statement
  • Campaign Messaging
  • Employee Communications
  • Corporate Communications
  • Content Writing

VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS

  • Marketing Communications
  • Advertising Campaigns
  • Design Collateral (Print/Digital)
  • Program Creation
  • Direct Response
  • Presentation Design

PHOTOGRAPHY

  • Shoot Planning and Production
  • Custom Photoshoots
  • Custom Digital Illustrations

WEBSITE DESIGN

  • UI/UX Wire Frames
  • Site Experience Strategy
  • Site Prototyping
  • Website Design
  • Mobile + Responsive Design
  • Content Creation

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Branding Platforms
  • Channel Strategy
  • Design & Layout
  • Content Writing
  • Management

PRINT DESIGN

  • Marketing Collateral
  • Sales Collateral
  • Corporate Collateral
  • Outdoor Design

INTERIOR BRAND DESIGN

  • Conceptual B2C Renders
  • Retail Interior Space Design
  • Event & Trade-Show Design

FROM THE CLIENT

“We started with Ron and IDealogic in 1999 and worked with them until 2014. In the beginning we had no discernible image and certainly no “brand.” From the creation of our logo, to store design, to developing an entire turn-key approach to all our branding and advertising needs, including all print, radio, billboard and TV campaigns, Ron and his team provided unparalleled performance, empowering us to achieve success and influence over our target market and building our company to a position of dominance in our industry. I have worked with many other agencies in the past, but none compare to the innovative and professional services I receive from IDealogic.

Partnering with this company has enabled our phenomenal growth from 4 locations when they started with us to having over 125 locations nationwide. This would not have been possible without the brand and image that Ron developed.

Most of all, I am glad to recommend this company because working with Ron and IDealogic is fun. Their creativity, diligent work ethic, and outstanding performance have definitely made Darque Tan an industry leader.

IDealogic Brand Lab is a valuable asset to our organization, and would be to any company looking to lead, compete, and win in their industry.”

Robbie S.

President, Darque Tan

MARKET STATISTICS

  • Women aged 18–24 are the ideal demographic in the tanning industry.
  • At the time of our brand development there were 19,000 professional indoor tanning facilities with over 160,000 employees in the U.S.
  • The typical income of tanning salon patrons is $35K–$150K
  • Annual revenue for beauty salons grew 1.8% in 2017.

FROM THE LAB

“Partnering with this company from the beginning, it was an honor to help them to grow from 4 locations to over 125 and propel them to become the national leader. It was an incredible journey of discovery, development of complex ad campaign strategies, and seeing just how powerful a brand can be when engineered to be part of someone’s life on a massive scale. We learned a lot being in the war room with Darque Tan during its path to dominance in that space. I’m very grateful for those experiences, because we are able to help our current and future client partners reach the same, and even greater, levels of success and significance.

Ron Netanel

Founder of IDealogic® Brand Lab

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