Crested Butte is one of Colorado's best-kept secrets nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. With pristine landscape and a thriving mountain lifestyle it is home to legendary skiing and snowboarding, world-class mountain biking and a secluded fly-fishing experience.
We first began our branding research with an in depth session locked away in a cozy lodge with the entire marketing team. We had long discussions on the resort's rich and interesting history, major points of growth and a vision for the future. We then trudged through snow to get the insights from on mountain staff, skiers, lifelong townies and reading through countless visitor reviews in an effort to define not just what you could do on the mountain but how it felt. Between the Denver airport and CB there were several other ski resorts that were somewhat more conveniently located. With the new branding, we knew we had to not only reach but influence the right set of visitors to believe this is the best and only option for them. During our research we found some critical insights we believe could do just that:
Crested Butte was a place of action. From the top level staffer to the visitor on the mountain, the people who were here were passionate about experiencing all the mountain had to offer. This was a place where you got up early in the morning and you shut the mountain down at night. With its world class extreme sports from skiing to mountain biking to blue ribbon fly fishing, this was the destination for the adventure seeking family. Crested Butte is not only about world class winter activities. From extreme mountain biking to blue ribbon fly fishing, the resort transforms in warmer months to a wilderness playground.
The history of the mountain town was critical. Being labeled the last great ski town was not something that could be ignored. It spoke to the authentic nature and genuine spirit of the staff and embodied their love and passion for the mountain itself.
The peak, which was shown in the previous branding, is distinctive. Unlike many of the other mountains, this peak had a definitive shape that was both recognizable and memorable.
The existing brand had taken on a rustic, sleepy look that seemed more akin to inactivity...lets stay inside and have some warm cocoa by the fire. It looks to exciting outside for me :(
So now what? Using the above, we decided to make some critical changes to the entire brand design for the resort by building a strong system of logos across various touch points.
Our goal was to give the marketing team a wide array of marks to choose from but give the user a singular, powerful and memorable interaction with the brand.
We knew, changing a logo alone wouldn't get the results we needed. We aimed to align the brand message and brand aesthetic with the true experience of what the mountain really felt like and why it maintained such a devoted following. This place is ABOUT getting outside. It's fun for the active family, the hard-core outdoorsman and adventure-gear-heads. It's about living up here. Not posing. We started by inserting the energy and vitality of the mountain into the aesthetic. We wanted something that immediately said grab your gear, it's go time. An important component of this strategy was the color itself, we looked extensively at great outdoor sporting companies for inspiration. We wanted something that wasn't about blending in or sticking out, but rather something that complimented the natural environment.
Ultimately, we wanted to create something inspired by the past without repeating it. We wanted to pay homage to the mountain's history, while creating something fresh and timeless.
You also can't ignore we wanted this to be cool. Not the type of hip cool that lacks any meaning. We wanted the kind of cool that genuine people with a love for the outdoors would want to WEAR. We felt the merchandise component of the new branding could serve the mountain beyond everyone's expectations, sending droves of people as willing billboards to echo the tone of the mountain.
From a complete revamp of the resort's signage, online presence, advertising and apparel throughout winter sports, summer activities, lodging and even real estate we have helped revitalize the authentic spirit of this resort.