BOOK 1 // VISUAL STRATEGY GUIDE

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VISUAL STRATEGY GUIDE

HIGHLIGHTS REBRANDING



MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

1 BRAND INTRODUCTION 8 9 12 14 16 17

Brand Description Brand History Brand Soul Mission Statement Rebranding Objective Keywords

2 AUDIENCE PERSONAS 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Persona Persona Persona Persona Persona Persona Persona Persona Persona

1 / Jack Wilkins 2 / Shiloh Green 3 / Jayden Hill 4 / Tina England 5 / Lily Chen 6 / Theresa Perry 7 / Alex Singh 8 [Outlier] / Mila Lopez 9 [Outlier] / Ian Lee

3 BRAND EVALUATION 30 34 35 37 39 42

The Brand Grid Market Analysis Current Competitors Adjacent Competitors Aspirational Competitors Brand Attributes

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

BRAND DESCRIPTION Highlights magazine is a monthly children’s publication, geared towards kids age 6-12. The magazine includes wholesome, ad-free skill-building games, riddles, craft projects, stories, and the well known Hidden Pictures™ puzzles to entertain and educate children, all the while inspiring creativity. Garry Cleveland Myers and Caroline Clark Myers founded Highlights for Children, Inc. in 1946. The first issue reached over 20,000 children through door-to-door sales. The philosophy behind the fun is to inspire children to “become their best selves by using their creativity and imagination; developing their reading, thinking, and reasoning skills; and learning to treat others with respect, kindness, and sensitivity.” The Highlights brand includes a family of products for kids ranging in age from birth to age 12, available in over 40 countries and 16 languages. The products include magazines, games, book clubs, websites, mobile apps, an education group, Zaner Bloser Inc., textbook publisher, Stenhouse Publishers, and hosting teaching seminars. 8


HIGHLIGHTS OF HIGHLIGHTS

1912

1957

1981

Child psychologist Garry Cleveland Myers and educator Caroline Clark marry and begin a lifelong collaboration, laying the foundation for the Highlights

Herb Pinzke creates the “Smiling H” logo and the recognizable rhomboid shapes on the cover of Highlights™.

Designer Jon Peter redesigns the cover of Highlights™ to include illustrations of animals and children.

1946

The first issue of Highlights for Children™ was disseminated via door-to-door sales to over 20,000 children.

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1972

Highlights expands into the educational product marketplace by acquiring ZanerBloser, Inc.

1984

The Highlights Foundation offers workshops, retreats, and other support to writers, illustrators, and all creators of kid-friendly content.


MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

1991

Highlights acquires Staff Development for Educators, to expand into the teacher development market through conferences, in-school sessions, and online.

2008

Highlights puzzle books set sail for other countries, reaching one million in China by 2012.

2017

2009

Hidden PicturesÂŽ goes digital, with its first app for iPhone.

2021

The first depiction of a same-sex relationship in the magazine’s 70-year history appears, featuring two dads .

2017

Print sales decline, and the magazine expands digitally with Fingerprint Digital. A new mobile app was launched.

Highlights, Inc. get rebranded by the design firm, Incubate Design, LLC.

2017

Highlights Retail Group partners with Penguin Random House to promote the brand in mass markets and online.

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

BRAND SOUL Cultivating childrens’ passion for learning through content and experiences.

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

MISSION STATEMENT Our mission is to create engaging, educational, and creative content and experiences for children to cultivate their passion for learning.

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

REBRANDING The new Highlights will evolve to encompass a more holistic educational content and experience, versus focusing on the magazine exclusively. In the shorter term, parents are searching for ways to engage their children at home safely. There is a huge desire for organization and resources in the learning environment. The Highlights brand has a healthy legacy and can leverage that trust to draw a new generation of customers.

A longer term strategy would be brick and morter educational venues to provide spaces for classes and events, targeted at children age birth to middle school. Highlights venues would focus on pedagogical and creative activities, with the notion of partnering with sister companies to provide a more enriching product—the possibilities are virtually endless.

Within the rubric of educational products, Highlights would focus on elementary and middle school children, with the possibly of partnering with companies to provide a more robust experience.

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ENGAGING The re-branded Highlights would strive to engage children and their families in a more physical way by providing brick and morter play spaces. In addition to a more physically engaging presence, the brand would aim to re-orient the content in the print material in order to interact more with nature and the local geographic areas. “We are creating those deeply engaging and fun, enriching experiences...� -Kerstin Reinhart, Highlights Digital Director

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

KEYWORDS

EDUCATIONAL

CREATIVE

Most—if not all—parents would prefer that their children are learning by experience versus mindlessly sitting in front of a screen. There would be an educational message in the majority of the experiences developed by the brand.

Children innately want to create and the Highlights brand encourages that by providing conventional and expoloratory ways to inspire.

“We think of ourselves as creating educational experiences that address the whole child.”

In the Spring of 2020, Highlights@Home launched a digital initiative entitled “Get Creative” to inspire children stuck at home all summer during the Summer of Covid with new ideas to “get creative.”

-Kent S. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

AUDIENCE PROFILES

PERSONAS The target demographic for the existing Highlights brand is children, age birth to 12. The iconic Highlights Magazine targets more specifically children age 6-12. The re-brand will target the same audience in terms of age, and similar ethnographic attributes, but the differentiating factor will be that the “new” generation of Highlights customers will be more discerning than the latter...or, at least their parents (the people that will be purchasing the products) will be. The existing magazine does not have a refined “voice”, or “feel” and gets lost in the sea of other childrens’ options. The “new” brand will have a specific feel that is more on-trend, hip, and fresh.

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

Age: 5 | Location: Solomons Island, MD Occupation: First grader at a private school

JACK WILKINS Precocious Boy

Educational

Engaging

Likes: Playing ukulele, building things out of cardboard 1: He is an only child and is often looking for things to do. Usually, he ends up finding something to take apart because that is what he enjoys most. 2: He would do well with more exposure to kids his age outside of the school environment because he needs more diversified friendships. 3: He lives somewhat rural, so there aren’t many formal type of “play places” and museums like you would find in a city because the population density is too low to warrant those types of places. 4: Jack has a bit of anxiety from all the structured play that his helicopter mom enrolls him in and would rather just play because he gets overwhelmed with all the scheduled activities.

Creative

5: Jack completes age-level school tasks with ease because his parents have taught him well. 6: Jack would do really well, both creatively and socially in supplemental art classes because he needs more instruction in that area. 7: He attends a small private school which has a mediocre art program, so Jack’s parents augment the arts at home because they want him to be a well-rounded person. 20


MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

Age: 32 | Location: Golden, CO Occupation: Stay at home mom; also sells homemade soap

SHILOH GREEN Granola Mom

1: There are a few great local homeschool groups in her area and they frequently meet at parks and events to share information and allow their children social exposure. 2: Shiloh eschews all of the consumerist plastic toys found in stores because it is environmentally unsustainable and would rather just play with natural materials.

Educational

3: Shiloh grew up homeschooled by her mother because her mother wanted her to have a better education than what public school could give her. 4: She wants to give the same type of education for her 3-½ year old daughter Juniper, because she feels the public school system is grossly overburdened and that her daughter would receive a better education at home.

Creative

Engaging

Likes: Hiking, rhythm dancing, hunting for morels

6: She appreciates the Montessori method because she feels it is a more holistic and intuitive way of teaching and learning, but cannot afford a private school tuition.

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5: Shiloh is not really sure how to go about putting together a homeschool plan, but has a few years to research it since Juniper will not be ready for school for a few years.

7: She prefers books to minimize her family’s screen time because too much screen time is not healthy for little ones.


MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

Age: 7 | Location: Encinitas, CA Occupation: First grade, and follows his dad around

JAYDEN HILL Free Spirit

Creative

Educational

Engaging

Likes: The beach, grapes but only green ones 1: Jayden spends a lot of time alone. He likes the other kids in school/daycare, but he prefers to read or color by himself because he would rather read than socialize. 2: Jayden waits around in daycare, usually till after dinner for his single dad to get off his shift work because his mom passed away. 3: His daycare ladies call him “Lil Drake” because he is quiet and charming. 4: His dad has dredlocks and so Jayden wants to look like dad. He is ok looking a little different than the other kids because he is self-assured. 5: When he grows up, he wants to be a surfer or a sculptor because he idolizes the older boys that he sees in that lifestyle. 6: Jayden consistently tests above average in school. but he’s getting lost in the public school system. His father is always looking for material to challenge him because the school’s gifted and talented program is lacking. 7: His dad cannot afford luxuries for Jayden such as art supplies because he has a minimum wage job.

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

Age: 58 | Location: Houston, TX Occupation: Retired high school teacher/principal

TINA ENGLAND Retired Granny

Educational

Engaging

Likes: Taking walks, her cat Grumpy 1: Tina has six grandkids, which are the highlight of her life because her kids are grown and now she enjoys being a grandma more than anything. 2: She can work a cellphone, but doesn’t “get into” all the games and social media because she feels they’re a waste of time. 3: She does not watch t.v.—she doesn’t even own one because she feels there is nothing worth watching on t.v. anymore. 4: Tina likes to be social and connect with other grannies because there isn’t really a place for her to interact with women her own age outside of church. 5: Tina grew up in the country outside of DC., then moved into the city to take a teaching job because she wanted a higher paying job.

Creative

6: She watches her grandkids a lot, and is always looking for ways to keep them entertained because she enjoys exposing them to art and education.

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7: Baking is one of her favorite things to do, particularly with her oldest 10-year old granddaughter, Lucy. They bond together in the kitchen.


MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

Age: 10 | Location: Ithaca, NY Occupation: Public school student, fifth grade

LILY CHEN Smart Introvert

Creative

Educational

Engaging

Likes: Reading, programming computers, singing by herself 1: With no siblings and parents who work long hours, Lily has a lot of down time to fill, which she usually fills with reading books after her homework is finished because reading is her favorite activity. 2: Lily is an only child to two professors, who both work as physics professors at Cornell University. They only had one child to concentrate on raising her. 3: Lily would like to make more friends but she is too shy because she has not had a lot of exposure to other kids outside of school. 4: She enjoys puzzles, riddles, and brain teasers immensely because they’re fun. 5: Lily excels in school, even the advanced programs, so her parents are looking for ways to augment her studies because they believe she craves the additional challenge. 6: Her bookbag is full of books, journals, and magazines because reading is her favorite activity. 7: She loves being creative, but isn’t really sure how to go about it without instruction.

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

Age: 36 | Location: Annapolis, MD Occupation: Part-time nurse, full-time mom

THERESA PERRY Helicopter Mom

Educational

Engaging

Likes: Spin/cycling, red wine, hanging out with mom friends 1: She loves working with mothers and babies because she loves the feeling of female togetherness. 2: She does not want to expose Liam to screen time till he is at least well into his toddler years because the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends delaying screen time till then. 3: The many options for educational material are overwhelming and reviews are confusing and varied because there aren’t many streamlined, consolidated, and trustworthy brands in this genre. 4: She considers herself “hip” and does not generally like most of what is on the market for kids because it is dated.

Creative

5: Theresa can afford to buy more elevated children’s material because her husband is a Captain at the Naval Academy.

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6: Theresa is a new mom and is looking for ways to stimulate her son Liam’s brain and creativity, but doesn’t know where to begin because she is new at this. 7: She appreciates good design in a world of bad design because she feels comfort being surrounded by “things that make sense of the world” rather than clutter it.


MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

Age: 26 | Location: Grand Forks, ND Occupation: Hiking guide

ALEX SINGH Thrill Seeker

Creative

Educational

Engaging

Likes: The outdoors, Ted Talks, his dog 1: Alex has two boys, age six and eight, who he loves to take camping in the mountains because he wants to impart his love of nature to them. 2: His favorite break from fatherhood is sneaking out to get coffee because he can chit chat with other cool people and relax. 3: Alex supports companies that are socially and environmentally responsible because he believes in voting with his credit card and wants to be a part of the solution. 4: He teaches his sons about nature, often pointing out animals and different types of plants because he wants his boys to be educated in “real life”. 5: Alex is selective about what material he buys for his sons and looks for content that is educational and well put together because there is a lot of “bad” material on the market. 6: There is a lot of down time when Alex has his boys on a trip, so he brings art activity books for them to do at night to keep them entertained. 7: He prefers clothing and shoe brands that are designed smartly because it’s environmentally conscious and good clothes and shoes just fit better. 26


MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

Age: 16 | Location: Seattle, WA Occupation: Tenth grader

Educational

Engaging

Likes: Acrylic pouring, skateboarding, concerts

MILA LOPEZ Cool Teen [Outlier]

1: She is a well-rounded teen that grew up with supportive parents that allow her to express herself because they believe in allowing a butterfly to spread it’s wings. 2: Mila is totally self-sufficient and no longer needs her parents to help her with her homework because she is a young independent woman now. 3: She loves her cell phone, but still buys print magazines because there is nothing quite like holding a paper magazine and flipping through it. 4: Her favorite magazines are Seventeen and National Geographic, but she still loves to do Mad-Libs because she enjoys puzzles and riddles. 5: Mila won the student art contest last year for an acrylic pouring piece because she worked hard until she mastered it.

Creative

6: She is involved with her friends and art pursuits when she is not doing schoolwork because those are her favorite activities.

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7: Her parents sent her to a prestigious summer immersion art camp at the MET in New York City last year in order to expose her to more cultural opportunities.


MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

Age: 41 | Location: Rehobeth, DE Occupation: Software Engineer

Creative

Educational

Engaging

Likes: Family dinners, opera, running

IAN LEE (LEFT) Traveling Dad [Outlier]

1: Ian’s husband is always looking for ways for Ian to bond with the boys, and schedules one on one events for them. 2: Ian would like to network with other gay dads to form a group of friends with similar experiences because he would like to be part of a support group of likeminded professionals. 3: He is married to Brian, and they have two sons via surrogate, Henry (age 4), and Luca (age 6) because they both have always wanted a family. 4: Ian travels a lot, so depends heavily on Brian to handle the majority of the childrearing duties because he doesn’t have the time to focus on both well. 5: He generally supports the schooling decisions that Brian makes, but would like to be consulted because he wants his input in his sons education incorporated. 6: His favorite activity to do with the boys is read to them because he believes that reading daily to children heavily influences their intellect. 7: Ian likes to do creative things with the boys, but only if it’s not too messy and well contained, because he is a bit of neat freak. 28


MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

THE BRAND GRID The brand grid helps to visually describe and define the brand as it exists today, and how it can be viewed after the brand is repositioned. The current Highlights brand has somewhat of an identity crisis; there is not a notably distinct personality of the current brand that differentiates it from other kid’s brands. The “current” grid illustrates this by showing average type of children’s experiences that are not easily identifiable. The “future” grid defines the brand and gives it a personality. The experiences in this grid show that the brand is more minimalistic, fresh, elevated and educational. The newly rebranded Highlights appeals to the more environmentally conscious, educated, and socially aware consumer.

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CURRENT

HIGHLIGHTS


FUTURE

MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 3 / THE BRAND GRID + NARRATIVE EXPANSION

HIGHLIGHTS

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

MARKET ANALYSIS By analyzing and identifying Highlights’ current, adjacent, and projected future competitive brands, we can evaluate areas for improvement and how we fit into the marketplace. We can learn where there are opportunities in the market, and which direction we can tailor the new brand to.

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CURRENT COMPETITORS

MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

What are Highlights competitive brands and what are their comparative strengths and weaknesses? What does Highlights do better and where are there opportunities for improvement? Who is occupying the same market spaces and competing for customers and attention? Currently, Highlights does not have a strong personality that differentiates it from the competition. Through market research and analysis, Highlights will be reinvigorated with a more distinct identity, yet will retain the core value of providing engaging, educational, and creative content and experiences for children.

National Geographic Kids magazine publishes nature-orienged content in 18 different languages for children age 6-14.

Chirp magazine teaches and educates children age 3-6 through stories, games, illustrations, and puzzles.

Double Helix magazine promotes critical thinking and literacy skills, specifically through science, technology, engineering, and math-related content.

Brainspace Magazine is geared toward children age 8-14, with a focus on education and Augmented Reality.

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

Honest History magazine explores the past, for children age 6-12. They value elevated design, sustainable commerce, and partnerships with schools.

Disney Princess Magazine contains stories, activities, and artistic content, geared toward girls age 3-6.

Ask magazine investigates the real world through stories, games, and projects for kids ages 7-10.

ChickaDEE magazine publishes content to educate and entertain children age 6-9.

Click magazine introduces children age 3-6 to science, art, nature, science, and environmental issues.

Ranger Rick magazine features articles and activities for children age 7+ to spark interest in the outdoors and environment.

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ADJACENT COMPETITORS

MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

If customer’s didn’t patronize Highlights, where might they go? Where would they spend their money? Highlights is currently a magazine company that parents and organizations purchase in order to give children “something to do” or a way to entertain them. There are other methods to entertain and educate children. Here are a few of those adjacent competitors.

Pinterest contains a seemingly endless amount of crafts and exploratory activities that can keep kids entertained.

Chuck E. Cheese’s is that sticky children’s arcade full of other kids that will probably give your kid strep throat.

Your local playground is where you take your kids when you’re out of ideas. It’s free. It’s nearby. It’s fun.

This is the place to take your kids when they are bored and it’s raining. Bowling, rigged claw machines, and cardboard pizza. What kid can resist?

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

The local public library is somewhere that you can take your kids for something to do. There are endless things to do there...find new books. Play at the free playspace. Do puzzles with other kids.

The Smithsonian in general, as well as each specific museum, hosts myriads of events and activities for children.

The free playground at the local mall is always a kid-crowd-pleaser.

SkyZone is a place that you can take your kids to get their energy out. Loads of trampolines and physical activity.

AMC Theatres shows movies that keeps the kiddos entertained.

McDonalds’ indoor playgroud is where your mom takes you when she is out of options and wants you to burn off energy.

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ASPIRATIONAL COMPETITORS

MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

After a successful rebranding initiative, and a more distinct identity, Highlights will evolve to compete with a different sector of companies. The tenor of Highlights will remain the same, cultivating childrens’ passion for learning through content and experiences, but it will take on a different, more physical form.

Playseum is a physical place in the mall “where kids create and parents relate.”

Imaginarium is a children’s play place, that hosts art events, classes, and educational activities.

Twirl approaches creative learning and play from an inventive approach.

Port Discovery is an interactive children’s museum that combines play and education.

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MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

Play Haven is a “teacher-created play space” for young children and families that promotes learning, arts, and activities.

The Smithsonian in general, as well as each specific museum, hosts myriads of events and activities for children.

STEMful is a physical space where children 1-10 “sprout curiosity” in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

Thinkery is a play-based, hands-on, children’s STEAM learning place where children learn through play.

Nook is an innovative and elevated familyfriendly space where young families can shop, play, learn, and celebrate.

Once Upon a Dream is an upscale openended play and educational space geared toward childhood development.

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BRAND ATTRIBUTES

MEL GALLIPEAU / GR604-FALL 2020 MODULE 2 / RESEARCH & STRATEGY

Commonalities and differences between current and adjacent competitors can help to form the direction that the rebrand can take. A collection of key words and phrases further identify weaknesses and strengths. Key words help to define and boil down what the brand and it’s competitors mean.

POSITIVE

NEGATIVE

NEUTRAL

ASPIRATIONAL

Educational

Stale

Hands-on

Innovative

Creative

Average

Classes

Experiential

Fun

Expected

Activities

Designed

Play

Boring

Open-ended

Engaging

Joy

Banal

Host

Imaginative

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