What do the funky chicken, a snowman and Mickey Mouse ears have in common?
This isn’t the prelude to a dad joke (but dad fashion does appear later). The answer is they all feature in the brand refresh for Blackpool’s premier shopping centre, Houndshill.
The retail climate has changed, the rise of online retailers offering consumers the chance to shop from the comfort of their own home without trudging down the shops has forced retailers to up their game.
So, when Happy were appointed to rebrand Houndshill to match the vibrancy of its offering, thoughts turned to loving the experience rather than lounging with a laptop. And with over 1,000 brands to have fun with, raising engagement with its many shoppers- and their profile – was paramount.
And there’s a lot of profiles; families, couples, young children, the older generation and those who want a quick buy and a bite.
Retail therapy is good for you. Fact. Simple and fun was our remit.
Happy’s Creative Director, James Chantler, understands the importance of an experience when it comes to what should be – and is, for millions – an enjoyable, uplifting and ultimately rewarding past-time.
“Shopping is fun, or at least it should be,” says James. “And that’s what we wanted to portray after we won Houndshill. Like the rest of the town it’s a vibrant, modern centre with lots on offer and its setting is ideal to be part of that fun element which Blackpool prides itself on.
“The client got our ideas straight away and liked the direction we wanted to take it. We inherited a brand which needed new direction.”
Posters depicting girly “shopportunists”, dad being a bag carrier as well as designated driver, young men dressed to impress (and “man moves”) have injected new life into the Houndshill branding. Outdoor media which engages rather than ignores the potential consumer; press adverts which add humour to the offering and PR which informs have all been added to their marketing portfolio.
Seasonal advertising continues the theme and we are putting the finishing touches to Santa’s grotto, complete with jolly snowmen.
Houndshill now feels very much part of the experience you find in a town with Blackpool’s dynamic cultural offering.
James added: “We have introduced a cleaner feel, a fresh approach. We’ve simplified it by making it more accessible to their target audiences which we were mindful of. Families, young people, students, can all associate with the new messages we have created.”
Debbs Lancelott, Centre Manager at Houndshill, said: “We were looking for a company who are modern and contemporary who we are able to create a new and exciting concept to represent the Houndshill brand as it is today.
“The concept that Happy has created suits our needs perfectly and the new identity we are injecting into our branding is seeing a real change in the way people view Houndshill.”
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