Freelance Project for Red Dog Outdoors
RED DOG OUTDOORS
Red Dog Outdoors is a small veteran owned hunting themed apparel business that pledges to give back a percentage of all sales to veteran causes.
They wanted to hit the ground running with their brand launch featuring memorable branding and a sleek but personable website.
HOW MIGHT RED DOG OUTDOORS ESTABLISH ITSELF AS THE GO TO HUNTING APPAREL BRAND IN AN OVERSATURATED SMALL BUSINESS MARKET?
POSITION RED DOG OUTDOORS AS A PILLAR IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY WITH A RELATABLE BRAND IDENTITY AND A PERSONABLE CAUSE-FOCUSED WEBSITE.
A VETERAN-OWNED BUSINESS THAT SERVES THOSE WHO SERVE US.
THE RED DOG OUTDOORS WEBSITE INCLUDES
Business Opportunity Map
Business Model Canvas
Red Dog Outdoors approached me with a firm idea for the brand that they wanted to build.
To make sure that they were as successful as possible, I created a basic SWOT Analysis of a few immediate competitors.
To help further inform the direction of the brand and help the client delve deeper into their business, I created an Opportunity Map. The Opportunity Map allowed the client to continue to develop their business strategy while I focused on the visual aspect of the brand, but it also helped guide my own designs.
Based on my research and the specifications provided to me by the client, I created a representation of our ideal target audience: a Persona, Johnny.
I consulted with the client and with Johnny in mind, we created an MVP (minimum viable product) list.
An approachable and relatable visual brand identity.
A catchy front page that gives customers all the information that they need at a glance and encourages them to explore more.
A way to educate customers about the brand's goals, the brand’s backstory, who it supports, its partnered “pro staff”, and the programs and exact contribution it pledges.
With a firm Persona and MVP List in mind, the client and I collaborated in an Ideation Session. Based upon that session and the ideas we came up with, I expanded my thinking by Mind Mapping.
Once I had my Mind Map to help explore different word associations and inspire my designs, I shifted to the business side of things and created an exploratory Business Model Canvas for the client to build off of for his business direction.
Referencing our defined MVP, I created a Website Map of all of the website pages to help the client visualize the proposed layout.
Once the client approved the Website Map, I created Wireframes to further refine my designs. I created multiple iterations based on the client’s feedback.
While I was working on the website’s layout, I also focused on the business’s branding. I created a Moodboard to capture the tone and feel of the brand, focusing on something that felt natural and relatable but still had the potential for energy.
Using the Moodboard as inspiration, I created a Visual Brand Identity guide for the brand to help guide the High-Fidelity Prototype. The Visual Brand Identity included a palette, typography, and buttons/asset guide.
James River Green is a lush olive reminiscent of the beautiful forests that line the James, a staple landmark of Richmond where the brand was launched and where it calls home.
The client did not have a Logo yet for the brand, so I created multiple sketches based on his ideas. Once he picked his favorite, I refined it further, continuing to iterate until we landed on the finalized Primary Red Dog Outdoors Logo below. I also created a Secondary Logo and Icons as well.
Featuring a dog proudly heeling with the distinctive Red Dog Red collar, the Red Dog Outdoors logo is recognizable but adaptable.
Reminiscent of survival badges and emblems, it is easily customizable with space for campaign lines, and it scales seamlessly across platforms.
With the Visual Brand Identity system determined, I then applied it to the approved Wireframes to create the High-Fidelity Prototype.
To wrap up the branding and create a low-budget but high-impact impression on customers, I also sketched, sourced, and mocked up Packaging materials for that final all-encompassing touch.
As the spouse of a veteran, I was extremely excited to work on a brand that pledges to give back to the veteran community — and actually means it. It was fantastic getting to work so closely with a client and have them involved in ideation sessions. I found their feedback valuable, as their critiques helped keep me mindful of balancing their priorities along with their customers. I also really enjoyed the opportunity to take a step out of my comfort zone and work on something I was completely unfamiliar with: hunting and the outdoors.
Because of the short timeline, I wasn’t able to do thorough usability tests before providing the designs and website to the client. I believe a few rounds of testing would have definitely helped hone the design further and provided us with valuable insights into the brand’s visual identity. While I wouldn’t consider it entirely a low, I also found some of the design constraints challenging, as the site had to be creatable on Shopify and manageable by the owner. This meant that some of my proposed design assets were unusable, which in turn meant that I could have spent more time on assets that could have been implemented.
Moving forward, Red Dog Outdoors has the potential to be a wildly successful and community-loved business. There are wonderful opportunities for sponsorships with various hunting equipment providers and partnerships with countless veteran programs. While I am confident that the completed website and branding are strong enough to launch with, I believe that usability testing and consumer surveys and interviews could only benefit the design.