2021 — Sportswear brand — Branding, identity, brandbook and style guide, web-design, 3D
Step 2. Brand legend, name, and slogan
Step 1. Market research and brand positioning
A to Z Branding for EQPT
EQPT is a Russian sport and lifestyle brand specializing in refined, functional, and stylish equipment for sports and life. Clients came to us for complete branding for their new company.
With that in mind, the following deliverables had a scalable quality to them, and were translated into Russian and English:
Founded by sportspeople, for sportspeople, the brand needed to be scalable, recognizable, and exude trust. Company founders managed brands like adidas and Reebok in the CIS market, and exuded a deep understanding and love for the world of athletics. Their collaboration with professional athletes stemmed across different disciplines, specifically football, basketball, and winter sports.
While the brand initially catered to the Russian market, a worldwide growth trajectory was discussed as a foreseeable next step.
• Brand name and slogan
• Logo and brand identity
• Messaging
• Positioning
• Voice
• Brandbook and style guide
• Social media branding
Following an extensive study of the CIS market, our analytics team developed a specialized strategy and positioning statement for the brand. Pin-pointing our brand’s niche helped us navigate through the creative process, make quick decisions and stay focused on our end goal. Our report included a "Three C’s" framework (Company, Customer, and Competitors) and SWOT analysis. This information helped us identify the brand’s competitive edge, determine advantages and disadvantages, and describe our ideal customer personas. In addition, a comprehensive analysis of 2020 and 2021 trends in sportswear benchmarked our strategy suggestions for future product development initiatives.
One questionnaire, two interviews, and a brainstorming session later, together with our clients, our team came to a clear understanding of our goal at hand. We discussed a logistical framework for the next few months, approved scope and list of deliverables, agreed on a budget and timing for the project.
EQPT is an abbreviation for "equipped". Straightforward, refined, focused, functional, elegant — terms we have already used when describing the brand.
Organically we arrived at our brands' legend. As we picked their brains, we picked up a sense of nostalgia in their voices when they described their introduction to sport. It started in childhood when soccer was just a game they played in their backyard. Eventually, sports, and specifically soccer, developed into a successful career and lifestyle for both founders. Beyond that, both recognized the good athletics brought to their community, and that belief inspired them to start a brand, and inspired us to create the perfect name, slogan, and logo that encapsulated all that.
The name had to be short, memorable, and easily translate into a logo. We searched for words that would describe a feeling of excitement, joy, and obsession with the game. After sorting through over 50 different name versions, we arrived at EQPT.
EQPT is a customer-centric company. Yes, it sells athletic equipment, but, beyond that, it inspires a mindset. An EQPT customer is a prepared customer. A person, ready for what’s ahead: victories, setbacks, grind days, rest days, and everything in between. EQPT inspires to chase after your dream with confidence.
The slogan came as a logical progression of the name. EQPT: equipped for sport and life. After some discussion, we agreed that "sport" needed to come before "life" so that our mission remains crystal clear, and our customers are not questioning what our company specializes in.
Come up with a brand that will stay relevant for generations to come? Ensure our work can withstand the test of time, and drive a loyal customer base? We worked closely with our clients and had several conversations to get to the bottom of WHY. Why are they starting the brand? What motivated them? What issue are they solving? What inspires them to keep going, especially when the odds are against them?
Step 3. The logo
A circle? In sports? Hear us out. A complete, absolute shape stands for:
The EQPT logo lockup consists of two elements: a ring and the name of the brand, "EQPT". Symbolically, the core represents a persons' personality, physical traits, skills, and dreams. The outer circle, or the ring itself, is everything else. We almost viewed it as a protective shell. A coat that represents your equipment, environment, and community. EQPT belongs somewhere on the outer ring. Circle graphic is the main symbol of the brand and is transferred across sister brands under the EQPT umbrella: EQPT Football, EQPT Basketball, and EQPT Volleyball. It also acts as an independent graphic solution in the identification system.
Focus. An athlete's gaze is symbolic of determination, concentration, and passion.
Competence. At the center of a ring is love, skill, strength. The outer ring is everything else: equipment, people, environment. They come together to accompany you on this journey. We promise to do our part and exceed expectations.
Connection. An athletes' inner circle and support system: teammates, family & friends, coaches, fans, community. A community of like-minded people.
A simple, holistic approach to sports and life is at the core of the brand. While creating the logo, we worked on more than a dozen options, but somehow, our designs resembled our competitors and didn’t stand out.
The solution again came to us when we zoomed back into our mission statement. The meaning behind "the circle" logo stemmed from our brand legend, name, and slogan. We wanted something wholesome. Organic. A shape that explains a feeling of connectivity, focus, and balance, and is opposite of our top competitors in the market.
Step 4. Messaging and Brand Voice
Have you ever struggled with writers' block or with generating creative ideas? Not that we think we solved the riddle, but we do believe there is a science to the creative process. Coming up with sharp designs and slogans is not always smooth sailing, however, setting guidelines early in the process yields better results, especially when working in a team. People are more inclined to collaborate and contribute unique ideas.
Once we had a general direction in place, we used information from Steps 1−3 to build out the following brand deliverables:
• Mission & Vision Statement
• Brand Pillars
• Tone of Voice
• Elevator Pitch
• Value Proposition
We are fortunate to have exceptional English and Russian copywriters in-house that composed various types of print and digital marketing materials.
Client’s commentary
Step 5. Branded deliverables
Step 6. Launch
(ранее — Вице-президент / Генеральный директор бренда Reebok, Adidas СНГ)
— Андрей Обухович, Основатель и управляющий партнер 360 Consult и EQPT
На базе нашего первого проекта родилась идея о продолжении взаимодействия в постоянном партнерстве. В рамках этого партнерства я уже не раз рекомендовал Дарью и ее команду Social Animals своим партнерам и клиентам, а также был рад пригласить Social Animals к взаимодействию в статусе партнёра в одном из проектов.
It’s no secret that there’s a lot of pressure in coming up with the perfect logo. However, it won’t reach its full potential without a well-thought-out color palette, font, and grids. Our team provided the following items:
Branding has been taken care of. Clients are extremely happy with the result. We are approaching the launch date with confidence. Currently, EQPT team is dedicating full attention to their first collection of apparel for soccer players, while we are patiently waiting to share all the exciting updates with you.
После сотрудничества с Дарьей и командой Social Animals на проектах по созданию айдентики нескольких моих Бренд-проектов в совершенно разных сферах хочу отметить высочайший уровень клиентоориентированности на всех стадиях ведения проекта, впечатляющий стиль коммуникации с клиентом.
Баланс между деловым подходом и человеческими качествами, умение слушать и слышать пожелания, потребности клиента. Было очень приятно общаться с Дарьей.
Оперативность взаимодействия, точность, пунктуальность по всем договоренностям и дедлайнам. Минимальные расхождения в ожиданиях и в результате, который получаешь на выходе.
Совместная работа над проектом проходит в уважительном, профессиональном формате. С большим фокусом на то, чтобы клиент получил тот продукт и с теми качествами, которые он ожидает, по разумным ценам.
• Business documentation and business cards
• Packaging: paper bags, different size shoeboxes
• Marketing materials: banners, posters, Instagram grid
• Branded apparel and clothing labels