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Published by Collin Rausch

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Published by: Collin Rausch on Sep 12, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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i was raised in a town called blue springs.

it’s about 25 minutes east of downtown kansas city down i70, and about 10 minutes past its influence.

blue springs exists where endless urban sprawl turned green. in the fifties, it was all green. families lived on the land, and enjoyed what it offered. there were forests, streams, lakes…

the land became the lifestyle.

a lifestyle of simple pleasures

and wide open spaces

in the 70s, a small corrugated metal shed opened along 40 highway, next to the road with lake access. it was, practically, named forty woods.

they sold everything the outdoorsman needed. fishing poles, lures, camping supplies, hunting equipment, and most importantly

live bait. huge tubs of smelly, creepy little creatures crawling over eachother

and vats of little fish to catch bigger fish.

but the small town grew into a city. pastures were plowed, and big box stores took their place. suburbia carved into forest, and strip malls lined the roads.

up the road from forty woods, bass pro shop, a competing outdoors supply mega chain, paved over 15 football fields worth of land for a new retail compound. blue springs had been gobbled up by the sprawl.

but forty woods never changed. it never expanded, never moved location, never tried to become anything more than what it was. and now, nearly forty years later, it’s on the verge of irrelevance.

and that’s why i’ve chosen to champion them.


To begin the first steps in rebranding forty woods, I’ve set a standard to measure my next moves against.

To pres‹ve the sp⋅it that has driven F›ty W³ds’ lˉgevity and independence ¸‹ the ye‰s, establishing it as a landm‰k of a bygˉe ‹a uniquely belˉging to the pe»le of Blue Springs.


Over the years, forty woods never developed an identity model. When you sell styrofoam boxes of nightcrawlers out of a metal shed, outlining a mission statement may not top the priority list. Statements made about existing identity attributes are inferred based on conversation with the owner and observation.


Old: To s‹ve the c−munity’s μtd³rs supply needs.


New: The pr−ise to be at the st‰t of yμr advent¦es f› gen‹atiˉs to c−e, just as we always have been.


Essence is a promise of service to the customer. in the past it’s been:


Old: To pr¸ide reliable s‹vice and a unique selectiˉ of μtd³r ge‰ to μr cust−‹s.


New: To have the same ´eat selectiˉ of μtd³r equipment and specialized kn¹ledge of μr product we’ve pr¸ided in the past f› gen‹atiˉs to c−e.


currently, forty woods’ attributes are indistinguishable from many other local stores.

Old: S‹vice. Reliability. Inte´ity

The new identity will bring a unique character to the brand

New: Nostalgia.


by reminding people of some of the great times they’ve had outside

New: Nostalgia. Authenticity.


by preserving the attitude that has seen them through the past thirty-odd years

New: Nostalgia. Authenticity. R³ts.


and holding on to a piece of home.


Branding for forty woods exists in one place only, and that is in the form of now time-worn hand painted lettering on the side of the building.


and this fish… fishing in sunglasses. Though not intentionally so, there is a strong tongue in cheek charm to the lettering and character. The wear of the paint on the metal speaks of the longevity and history of the company, and the character keeps the brand from taking itself too seriously, for better or worse.


forty woods main competition lies less than a mile up the road. bass pro has been able to market itself by creating a presence as big as the great outdoors itself in the form of monstrous retail compounds across the country. the sheer grandiosity of the store makes it a destination on its own.

the logo’s bright yellow target pops off of the countless pieces of clothing, memorabilia, and equipment, making it easily identifiable from a distance. the hand carved texture indicates a rustic authenticity and craftsmanship quality to their merchandise. The mark itself has become iconic, and nearly synonymous with the outdoors lifestyle in general.


Forty Woods audience is, and always will be the people of blue springs. the store was founded for that specific community’s needs, and will continue to do so in the future. What will change is that audience’s perception of the store, shifting from a simple old bait shop to a place where memories flourish and take shape. This may cause a slight shift in demographic, however, from being a more dominantly male customer to more a stop for families.

With these shifts, I hope to help cement forty wood’s presence in the community as the gateway to an ever shrinking great great outdoors.

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