The big question was then how we make KNS stand out in the very confusing spa and wellness marketplace? When we first started doing the work, it became clear that we needed to make spa a lifestyle.
If we look back at the original and typical connotation of what spa means, it really is about pampering or rewarding oneself, it was something that you did once in a while to treat yourself.
Hydrotherapy is not about reward or pampering; it is about ritual. We had to position KNS as a place where the demands of modern life need to incorporate hydrotherapy as a regular practice. KNS is not a place a person goes to run away from their life, to leave it all behind, but rather they go there as part of their regular routine to improve their life and support themselves. This is a regimen, part of their regular schedule.
The brand positioning and wording are about embracing (not escaping) the elements and the properties of the space and showcasing the elements of Canadian winter, fall, or summer – snow, ice, cold, hot, sun, etc.
Another key piece of the visual system was the incorporation of the maple leaf tartan. The spa director thought of using tartan robes instead of the traditional white robes and this has proven to be a famous visual element of the spa. We pulled the colours from that maple leaf tartan – the brown, the red, the green, the gold – and built a palette around those comfortable and warm colours. And we pulled that palette into all of the visual tools for KNS including brochures, the website. The palette and the tartan represented the Canadian perspective on spa and wellness. That it should be accessible and not this high-end retreat for only those that can afford it.
The colours used contrasted from the traditional green and blue used by nearly every other spa brand.
Finally, we used striking high-contrast black and white treatments on all key photography. The images would again really stand out from the soft pampering images of typical spa.