A Newly Inherited Brand Seeks a Fresh Start
If you need to buy shoelaces online, you have likely seen Shoelaces Express. From their Google ads, to their front page results in all search engines, to their Amazon presence, they are a hard company to miss. The Winge family has owned and operated their family business since around 1999 and have achieved great success by going above and beyond on customer service and offering what seem like near endless options for shoelace customization. When Jim and Page inherited the business this year they found themselves concerned that Shoelaces Express's look didn't tell the story of their values. Additionally, concerns with navigation and ordering difficulties arose so they reached out to Trig for a full brand image reconstruction.
Let's Begin With the Logo
The original logo suffers from having unusual color choices, font that switches between bold, italics, and regular sizing, and a train mascot that doesn't really create any connection to what the company sells or what they stand for. Connie Tran, Manager of Trig's Brand Development department, was inspired once she discovered that the Winge family has a long history of generous charitable giving and volunteering in their local community and also on a global scale.
A casual observer might not know about the Winge family's kind acts from the former Shoelaces Express site, and while it is good to be humble, it is also essential for a company's image to reflect what they find important outside of the literal items they sell. US consumers are more conscious than ever of where their dollars are going. Companies that give back in some way are increasingly viewed as favorable, with charitable acts seen as a point of pride by the customers who then feel connected and generous themselves.
The new logo has an understated refinement in both design and color palette, giving the viewer a more professional, contemporary visual. Delicately intertwined laces represent feelings of connection to each other as a family business, connection to clients in the promise of excellent customer service, and connection to the world with humanitarian altruism.
Leaving the Past Behind
We first performed a competitive landscape analysis to see what the industry was already doing and to make note of any emerging trends in usability and visuals. From there, we asked Jim and Page the hard questions of who they are and who they want to be using brand archetypes to guide the conversation. We then synthesized our findings with their answers to craft a brand strategy that not only addressed their primary concerns of website usability, but to do so in a way that resonates with their core: charitable giving, community, and their utmost commitment to people.
The original homepage and all other pages that followed were very rigidly structured, harkening back to web design of the late 90s and very early 2000s. Organization was somewhat peculiar compared to how we expect products to be displayed by today's standards. Once you navigated to the item you wanted, each length had a separate cell and order quantity had to be entered manually. Groupings could sometimes appear sporadic or scattered. Navigation is disjointed, trying to do way too many things at once. Providing robust navigation is usually a great feature, but this was too much for an average consumer to parse.
The Big Reveal
This is a project that all of us here at Trig took very personally as it was an excellent opportunity to showcase an extensive range of what our branding services can look like. Creating not only a new visual concept for how a company represents itself, but also crafting a full website with a hugely extensive line of retail offerings was a monumental challenge that we dove into headfirst, completely thrilled to see our results come to life. After hundreds of working hours, many pots of coffee, and countless collaboration sessions, Trig and the Winge family are proud to introduce the fantastic new Shoelaces Express.
So Fresh and So Clean
What we love about the new look is how clearly it communicates everything going on with the brand. Right away we have the navigation to the laces and all the company information neatly aligned to make sense within the layout. Everything you could want or need from the site is easily accessible and intuitive to use. Now scrolling down the front page is fun. As the viewer explores, they encounter visuals that are compelling, drawing interest to click through. One of the primary goals with a vertical scrolling homepage is for the audience to feel rewarded with compelling graphics and information.
The brand archetype we chose to focus on was The Innocent. A traditional Innocent type should come across as: Optimistic, Trustworthy, Hopeful, Positive, Simple, Straightforward. An Innocent brand beams with a sense of kindness and caring, which is a perfect representation for a family business so focused on altruism. (To find out more about the 12 brand archetypes, take a look at our more complete explanation here.)
Tying It All Up
Last but certainly not least, we are now able to view information about the philanthropic work Jim and Page's family has spent their lives dedicated to performing. Interactive galleries give viewers a first hand look at the communities being assisted by the Winge family's kindness. New charitable causes are being added to the Shoelaces Express repertoire regularly, so check back often to see what organizations are currently in focus. From building churches to funding city youth programs, the sky is truly the limit.
To explore the new site and see all of the changes yourself, please visit ShoelacesExpress.com.
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