Creating Wild Memories for West Midlands Safari Park

West Midlands Safari Park (WMSP) is an award-winning visitor attraction, located in the heart of England.

It’s home to a variety of all-weather attractions, including four miles of drive-through safari, the largest animatronic dinosaur exhibit in the UK and a theme park. The Park has seen a huge amount of change over the 50 years it has been open and felt that it was the right time to overhaul their brand to reflect the modern-day West Midland Safari Park. As part of this overhaul WMSP even wanted to consider a name change too!

The project included the research, concepts, brand guidelines and application.

Closer to the Excitement

The first stage of this project was immersing ourselves into customer perceptions and where the brand sat in the market. Customer research was conducted and strategy workshops with WMSP staff. It was important to look at where the brand sat from the perspective of both the end consumer and internal teams to identify any trends or discrepancies that needed bridging as part of the rebrand.

Customer research was conducted as well as tone of voice and brand strategy workshops to help identify a strong positioning strategy for the new brand. During the customer research a strong theme was identified across all of the WMSP customer segments, which was that they enjoyed going to WMSP because they could interact with the animals.
Harrison Carloss identified an attractive position in the market for West Midland Safari Park to be a medium to high-cost attraction that families will leave having enjoyed a memorable experience, which was one of the driving factors that came out of the research as to why families would choose an attraction. All of these factors helped to inform the rebrand and to steer the emotive feel the brand deserved.


The Thrill of a Real Safari

During the consumer research WMSP spontaneous consideration was low at 8% meaning they had low unprompted brand awareness however the prompted consideration was 78% which is very strong.

These metrics insinuated that people did know about WMSP but their old brand did not stick in forefront of the target audiences’ minds. With that said if they were to completely change the name their awareness would have dropped significantly in the initial phases of the project. WMSP would have had to work a lot harder and would require more resource to regain their market awareness. With that said we suggested a tweak to the name by correcting ‘West Midland’ to ‘West Midlands’ and to design the logo in a way that is future proofed i.e. could be shortened to drop the ‘West Midlands’ in the future.

Creative Concepts

Following the brand strategy piece, we developed four logo concepts to present to the client.

The concepts were sympathetic to the existing brand name and hero colours to maintain a level of brand awareness. Three concepts used West Midlands Safari Park as the name, however we also presented one concept which looked at a completely new name.

Step into the wild concept: Introduction of a textured tribal typeface lends itself to the feeling of African safari. Accompanied with a strong logo mark which created not only a symbolic representation of safari style tyre tracks, but also a strong ‘W’ and ‘M’ symbol, both of which led to a strong, distinctive logo.

Create Wild Memories concept: The creation of a bespoke, playful font and unique colour palette gave this concept a real sense of adventure and fun. The introduction of a simple, identifiable logomark that can carry through all assets gives this concept a unique feel and helps create a strong brand identity.

Reveal your inner wild concept: A playful font adds fun to the safari brand, accompanied with a textured claw mark to give a sense of the wild. Using textures links well to the strapline ‘reveal your inner wild’ as imagery can be placed within the claw mark to create an impactful reveal.

Safari Adventure concept: This concept adds a modern twist to a traditional African tribal symbol, and uses a bold, contrasting colour palette and typeface to add playful character to the logo and overall brand.

An Unforgettable Animal Experience

WMSP chose to take concept two ‘Create Wild Memories’ forward. We developed full brand guidelines including logo, font and colour usage, tone of voice, photography and brand application.

Careful consideration was taken during this stage of the project when looking at roll out, to ensure that the brand position of being able to be in close proximity to animals was portrayed. This helped position the brand as a memorable experience, helping validate the medium to high price point in the market.

About Harrison Carloss

Harrison Carloss is a strategic creative agency with 50 years of know-how behind them.