The Visual Strategy Guide

Page 1


The Visual Strategy Guide


Table of Contents Timeline Brand Overview

Origins History of the Brand

The Heart of Gymboree Who is Gymboree?

Personas A combination of audience and brand

Grid Describes the brand at a glance

Competitors Rivalry between companies

Attributes Essence of the brand

06–07 08–09 12–17 18–29 30–33 34–47 48–51



This book focuses on the brand history of Gymboree, its new mission statement and how Gymboree plans on re-branding. It dives into keywords that represent the new brand as well as the target audience/personas that would be drawn to this re-design. This book also touches on the look and feel of the new Gymboree along with its brand attributes and competitors.


Brand History Timeline

First Commercial children’s workout center opened


1976 Founded by Joan Barnes

Gymboree clothing store opened

Gymboree was operating 32 retail stores in addition to its base of 350 Gymboree franchises



1984 125 Gymboree franchises were operating in 20 states

1987 125 Gymboree chain had grown to include more than 350 centers throughout the US


Bain Capital acquired the company for $1.8 Billion

2018 they filed for bankruptcy a second time


1995 Gymboree continues to expand adding more than 50 new outlets to its chain of 350 stores all throughout the US


2017 In June, Gymboree filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. They closed 375 of its 1,300 stores In September, the company emerged from bankruptcy

2019 In January,Gymboree filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection closing all stores



Origins Who We Were

Why We Do It

Gymboree Corporation designs, manufactures, and retails high-quality apparel and accessories for children from birth through seven years of age. In the mid-1990s the company was operating more than 279 retail stores. Gymboree also operates parent-child developmental play programs for children through the age of five years old. The company grew rapidly during the late 1980s and into the mid-1990s by focusing on its retail operations.

Gymboree does what they do to offer a easy solution for mothers who want to combine a mommy and me class with a educational class. They wanted to create a brand experience that connects mom to the branded product that she loves. They also aimed to create a clothing brand that was good quality, affordable and consistent across stores around the country. Gymboree wanted to design clothes that appealed to both the child and the mother by using bright, vivid colors with low maintenance material.

The company planned to increase the size of new stores in the United States and to add more merchandise in the mid-1990s. Gymboree was also working to develop its own educational toys and products. They wanted to extend its targeted age range to seven-year-olds and hoped to have as many as 500 Gymboree retail outlets by 1998.


BRAND MISSION: We foster childhood development and physical activity through playtime.



The Heart of Gymboree


The Brand Soul: Playtime is key to childhood development and physical activity.

Our Future Gymboree would be a good candidate for this expansion because they were one of the original children’s clothing stores that not only had successful clothes but offered a learning environment for children. I think this two in one experience could still be very successful today. Gymboree could take the foundation of who they were and grow from a gym/retail company by focusing on playtime as the epicenter. They could do this by utilizing physical activity to foster social, educational and physical growth to support the overall well-being of kids.




Playful: A child-led approach that builds upon each child’s own unique abilities. “Gymboree sustained its unique image and increased profit margins by designing and manufacturing many of its own products, which could not be found in other stores.”

Innovative: Experiences designed to create challenges that inspire learning. “Classes varied to accommodate children ranging from three months to four years in age, but a typical session included the children hanging from bars to build up arm muscles, popping soap bubbles to develop eye-hand coordination, or walking on inflated logs to improve balance.”

Active: Engaging or ready to engage in physically energetic activities. “Gymboree has given my son the confidence to come out of his shell and learn new things. His favorite activity is anything to do with the parachute or bubbles.”


Gymboree GROWS healthy minds and bodies through physical, social, and educational development.


Audience Profiles


Personas Personas are made up characters that are created based on research. This variety in user types helps to understand your users’ needs, experiences, behaviors and goals. Creating personas can help you to recognize that different people have different needs and expectations. It can also help you to identify with the user you’re designing for.



Becky Fulton

(The Working Mom)

Location: Orange County, CA Occupation: Occupational therapist Age: 41

Active • Currently a single mother of two boys who are very active and like to constantly have attention • She likes to go to the farmers market because she believes that organic food is better for you • She leads an active lifestyle because she believes that physical activity is key to maintaining a healthy mind

Community • She attends a monthly book club with her girl-

friends who also have children because she wants to be able to connect with other mothers

• She values children’s brands that offer a positive message and has good prices because she likes saving money

Education • She cares about where her clothes are made and

where they come from because she supports sustainability goals

• She attends weekly church with her two boys so that he children will have a moral foundation


Jordan Williams

(The Young Entrepreneur)

Location: Annapolis, Maryland Occupation: Business Consultant Age: 32

Active • Currently a father of two twin girls and married to his high school sweet heart • Is part of a intramural rugby sports team with his friends because he believes physical activity is key for taking care of your mental health

Community • On the weekend he spends time with his family at a park or museum because he believes experiences are the best form of memories • Is very organized and strongly believes in the importance of time management and punctuality because he hates when people show up late

Education • Is drawn to brands like Gymboree because he knows that his children are being provided with an educational opportunity • Studied business and statistics in college because his dad studied business • Recently won the sales award because he helped his team drive top line revenue and growth


Kyle Evans

(The Caring Grandfather)

Location: Pensacola, Florida Occupation: Retired Age: 76

Active • Likes to swim in the community pool on the weekends because it is relaxing and he likes to get his daily dose of Vitamin C

Community • Does not like the feeling of sand on his feet because it’s too scratchy • Has three grandchildren who visit often because there school is near his home • Is always looking for reasons to spoil his grand children with clothes and toys because thats what grandparents do!

Education • Used to be a eye doctor and had his own practice because he wanted to make a difference in other peoples lives • Loves to travel and explore clothing brands throughout the world because he like to get a feel for different cultures and surprise his grandchildren with new gifts • Likes to play chess and cards with his wife because he enjoys quality time with her


Marissa Peterson

(The Newborn Mom)

Location: Arkansas, Nebraska Occupation: Marriage and Family Therapist Age: 28

Active • Recently gave birth to a baby girl • She is very social and outgoing because she was raised in a very loud and busy family

Community • Enjoys wine and ceramics on the weekend with her friends because its the only time she gets to herself without the baby

• Has a part time job at a retail store called Johnny Was because she has a huge interest in fashion • She loves brands that are reliable and consistent because she doesn’t like too much change

Education • She hopes to move to London one day because she wants her family to get a change of scenery and explore the world

• She values education for her baby and is very interested in mommy and me classes because she believes it will facilitate growth


Sophie Eaton

(The Fashionista)

Location: Seattle, Washington Occupation: Student Age: 7

Active • Loves playing with her barbies in on the swing set in her back yard because she wants to have fun with them

• Loves putting on fashion shows for her parents and playing dress up because she knows it always makes them laugh • She is very vocal and is constantly singing at home and at school because it makes her happy

Community • Does not like green beans or broccoli because they have a funny texture but loves Annie’s mac and cheese

• Her favorite thing to do on the weekend is have play-dates with friends because she likes being able to go to other peoples houses

Education • Uses her allowance money every month to buy a

new outfit from American Girl Doll because it is her favorite doll right now

• She is very obedient and always finishes her homework because she knows that if she does she gets more playtime afterwards


Maddie Collier

(The Caring Older Sister)

Location: New York, New York Occupation: Travel Agent Age: 31

Active • Loves to spend time walking in Central Park be-

cause she loves being able to read on the benches

Community • Loves trying new restaurants and upcoming wine bars because new flavors excite her • Originally became a travel agent because she wanted to get the best deals for her family and learn about some of the worlds most unique locations • She is dating because she is interested in getting married one day but her marital status is single • Her sister has three children who she babysits often because she loves to spoil them

Education • Maddie hopes to send her children to a private school so that they get the best education • She loves to play the piano and guitar because it keeps her brain sharp


Kai Rafta

(The Athletic One)

Location: Columbia, South Carolina Occupation: Student Age: 8

Active • Loves to play with his trucks and cars because he likes being able to create loud noises

• Enjoys playing tag during recess and after-school sports with his friends because he has a lot of energy • Kai doesn’t mind running errands with his mom because whenever he does she buys him a special treat

Community • He never complains when mom dresses him for school because he likes his school uniform

• He is not a picky eater and will eat anything and everything that is in front of him because he is a growing boy

Education • He is very bright and likes to read and play edu-

cational games on his dads iPad because he thinks iPads are cool

• He is very polite and has good manners because he does not like time out


Anthony Ramos

(The Giving Father)

Location: San Antonio, Texas Occupation: Mechanic Age: 27

Active • He and his wife recently moved to Chico because he decided he wanted to leave his job and create his own mechanic shop • Loves bike riding, hiking and reading in his back yard because it calms him down • He has one son who is in first grade who loves playing in ball pits because of all the fun colors • He and his son spend a lot of time at the playground because they enjoy bonding

Community • He is the chef in the family and always take initiative to make wonderful meals because he grew up cooking with his family

Education • Anthony is a sucker for good prices because he understands that providing for his family can be very expensive • He hopes that he can one day expand his mechanic business to other areas in California because he

Brand Grid









Current Competitors Brand competitors are companies who offer a similar line of products or services in the same target market and audience. Knowing and understanding the competitors of your brand is one of the crucial steps to plan and execute a successful business strategy. Current Brand: Values playtime to help foster childhood development and physical activity.



Current Competitors

The Children’s place has currently partnered with the old Gymboree and offers children’s clothes.

Gap is a family oriented business that offers baby and toddler clothing.

Ross offers children’s clothes for a cheaper pride than Gymboree.

JCP Penney offers children’s clothes that are around the similar price range.

Tea makes well made clothes and grabs global patterns from all over the world.

Target has similar styles to Gymboree as well as lively patterns.


Old Navy is a go-to store for inexpensive basics.

Janie and jack tells stories inspired by the places we go, the people we admire and all the unexpected stuff in between.

Tosty is a retail brand that focuses on innovation, quality and affability and aims at helping low income families.

Little Me creates unique clothing that celebrates those fleeting years when newborns transform into young toddlers.


Adjacent Competitors Adjacent Competitors are brands that do not necessarily align with your brand. It might be the extreme of something else. Since Gymboree is a children’s clothing brand an adjacent competitor could be a toy company. The adjacent company will fill the void of new clothes and will still have a similar soul.



Adjacent Competitors

Lego starts to release a child’s potential from the moment they pick up their first brick. It helps mold their learning.

Pottery barn kids is a furniture store who believes that kids’ rooms should be as much about safety and functionality as they are about fun and style.

A children’s jewelry company that offers playful colors while remaining affordable with a lux style.

At Little Tikes we understand every day is an adventure with more to discover. We make products that encourage active and imaginative play. Products that get small bodies moving spark curiosity, create wonder and let kids dream big.

American Girl helps to build character in girls everywhere, every day through stories and experiences both timely and timeless. Build-A-Bear serves as the special place for families to go to have fun and make customized furry friends and special memories.


A place to explore DIY play activities, toy reviews and toys and offers toys to aid in learning. Nintendo aims to put smiles on the faces of everyone they touch. They create new surprises for people across the world to enjoy together.

They create affordable and creative sunglasses for children that reflect the companies brand soul and roots.

Disney aims at entertaining, informing and inspiring people around the globe through the power of storytelling.


Aspirational Competitors Aspirational competitors are brands that would like to be seen in competition with after a successful re-branding initiative and should pair nicely with the brand soul.



Aspirational Competitors

Indoor skydiving is the simulation of true free-fall conditions in a vertical wind tunnel. It’s where the dream of flight becomes a reality and every flier has a chance to earn their ‘Wings’.

Sky High Sports is a unique trampoline fun center. This facility has been designed and created for one purpose: To have FUN.

We are your go-to provider of indoor play structures and all things fun for Family Entertainment Centers (FECs). We have helped hundreds of businesses customize their play solution.

Kids Play Gym will provide a safe and clean environment with engaging and adaptive play equipment that can be used for free play or therapy services to build physical and social skills of children.

LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. is the leader in innovative solutions that encourage a child’s curiosity and love of learning throughout their early developmental journey.

We set out to provide kids with what they love and what is also good for them.


Kids who play are resilient, empathetic, and active. Through play, kids learn to make friends, solve problems, and believe in themselves. Even in hard times.

From ABCs and 123s to fine motor and STEM skills, our educational toys offer kids the building blocks they need to succeed in school and develop a lifelong love of learning.

At Play and Learn, children establish the foundation they need through meaningful play.

Mega BloksÂŽ creates moments of joy, fun, discovery and learning for you and little one!

Brand Attributes


5 Relevant/Good/Positive • • • • •

Ethical Innovative Motivated Dependable Confident

5 Bankrupt/Stale/Negative Words • • • • •

Outdated Self-Destruct Repetitive Unmodernized Nonadaptive

5 Neutral Words • • • • •

Different Selective Quality Reliable Consistent

5 Words Your Brand Hopes to “Own” • • • • •

Modern Adaptive Fresh Balanced Friendly


Sources Designer

Sasha Coughlin


Nature of Identity/Fall 2020


Hunter Wimmer


Unsplash, Pexels

Competitor logos

Found on Google images or the brands website

This book was designed for an MA student project. Gymboreee has no association with any content in this book.



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