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Moving Boldly to Reinvent a 50 Year-Old Brand

PENZONE Salon + Spa. It’s safe to say that our new concept salon has been a key focus for us. Our new salon opened on May 9, 2018 and every element of the concept, the guest experience, and our communication was intentional.

Before we get into the specifics, view a time-lapse of our new concept HERE.

When our new salon project was initiated, we’d originally planned to keep our existing brand, The Charles Penzone Grand Salon brand identity. As the concept evolved, we realized that what we were creating was much different than The Grand Salons that have served our community since the 90s. Upon recognizing this, we embarked on a logo redesign project with our local freelance graphic designer. Several concepts were presented, and much to our surprise, we quickly identified the logo concept that would represent our brand in the future. Not only did the aesthetic of the logo evolve from a script, often difficult to read design, to a very bold, modern design, but our name changed entirely to PENZONE Salon + Spa. Every element of the logo itself reflected where the concept was headed – it was bold and modern, yet timeless.

The logo wasn’t the only change. Our entire brand evolved during this process. We identified a brand mantra (improving lives from the outside – in) as well as pillars to guide our entire team. We’re enlightened, we’re daring, we’re focused, we’re strong. Branding was rolled-out company-wide during a brand launch event (include video) and has been used since then as a foundation for all training company-wide. As seen in our earlier post, we also leveraged our team to introduce and reinforce our new brand mantra and pillars – making peer-to-peer learning a priority.

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[column size=’3/4′]With the rebrand came an entire set of brand standards and a variation of logo marks that are used to support the brand in a variety of ways. This guideline has been critical in launching the brand consistently throughout all touchpoints.

With a new logo and a new concept, we developed a strategic plan for how the concept would be communicated to guests and the larger Columbus community. Because so much was changing, we felt it to be critical to control all aspects of the message. Therefore, the implementation of the brand strategy was planned via a series of communication touch points that reached our internal team, internal guests, and finally the greater community.

We leveraged our website’s blog to be a primary touchpoint of our external guest messaging. All throughout the new concept build process, we provided consistent updates, “DubLeaks,” to manage the change and allow guests the ability to anticipate the changes that they’d experience in the new concept. Email and social channels were used to drive traffic specifically to this information within our site. In one of our later blogs of this series, we announced that the new salon concept would be introduced under a new brand identity. Then, at the very beginning of April, in conjunction with the beginning of our 50th year in business, we leveraged our email channel to share that with the opening of PENZONE Salon + Spa Dublin, all our Charles Penzone Salon locations would be unified under the new brand identity, PENZONE Salons + Spas.

The brand launch campaign itself was executed in a multimedia mix including print, web and email. Our website and app migration took place two weeks prior to the salon opening to ensure that we were all set and ready to go prior to the salon. Knowing the timing of the release of our local print publications, we implemented our internal communication and digital updates so they were in place prior to the campaign dropping to the broader Columbus audience.

Our brand voice in our digital channels – especially our website and email – evolved considerably during this rebrand process. With our Grand Salon concept, our vocabulary was very elegant, which made it seem somewhat unapproachable for some guests. Our new concept couldn’t be more the opposite. Now, our tone of voice across our website, in our marketing CRM emails and general emails is very conversational, girl-next door, and uses phrases often said by the millennial, up-and-coming generation. This tone of voice is also reflected in promotions, in-salon displays and all other materials that guests encounter.

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LEFT: brand voice example. RIGHT: Brand voice in retail displays.

To launch the new branding, all new printed collateral was rolled out to not only PENZONE Salon + Spa Dublin, but our other salon locations, as well. We timed this strategically, as well, to be in place prior to the busy Mother’s Day holiday. This set included branded retail bags, gift card packaging, business cards, appointment cards, operational papers, coffee sleeves and more! We also rolled-out a seasonal assortment of PENZONE-branded wearables for both team members and guests. We’ve received incredible feedback that all elements make the branding for PENZONE Salon + Spa cohesive and coordinated across all touch points.

Our brand strategy isn’t stopping here. We plan to maintain the campaign via additional photo shoots throughout the year. Print ads and even out-of-home billboards will be explored later this year. Additionally, we just announced that we’re taking our concept to the trendy Short North Arts District later this year. Our existing salon location in the Short North will be moving to a new development (with much coveted parking!) this winter! The campaign will morph to include this latest announcement and to keep the brand top of mind for all in Columbus.

It takes a tremendous amount of focus and strategic planning to not only create a new brand, but to re-brand existing locations. But take it from us – it can be done! Communication is key – both internally and externally. Take your team and guests along on the journey and it’s sure to be a success!

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