A carefree branding for srprs.me
For some, the biggest pleasure of traveling is preparing every detail of it. Those who keep an open mind, however, have all the more fun! The surprise journeys offered by srprs.me, where you only find out your travel destination at the moment of departure, are all about spontaneity. Why the secrecy, you ask? If you have no specific expectations, you are much more open to wonderful new experiences. Discover how we matched srprs.me’s open-minded approach to their identity as a brand.
The ultimate expert in surprise travel
So, how did a Dutch scale-up end up with a Belgian branding agency? One phone call from Raymond Klompsma, CEO of srprs.me, got the ball rolling. Having searched for the perfect agency for six months, Raymond met with us for the first time at Starbucks in Ghent. The verdict? Instant chemistry! Fun fact, by the way: the location of our get-together was unusual on purpose. In keeping with srprs.me’s mindset, their team and ours decided to add an element of surprise to all meetings. But we digress. Our challenge was to turn sprs.me into the ultimate reference in surprise travel and make waves on an international level, too – no easy feat considering the rather dull image the company had before teaming up with us. In addition, we were pressed for time to claim sprs.me’s spot as market leader since other companies had already begun copying the concept.
The story behind the story
Back in 2014, srprs.me was launched with a clear goal in mind, i.e. to make travel more spontaneous by enabling people to book surprise trips. But it soon became clear that that was not the whole story, and that srprs.me in fact did not even revolve around traveling as much as it was about open-mindedness – you know, that magical view on life we all have as a child but lose as an adult. Just think of Alice in Wonderland or Pippi Longstocking and their uninhibited way of handling whatever gets thrown at them. ‘Carefreeness’ was therefore one of the strategic lines of thought we proposed to srprs.me during a joint road trip to Rotterdam, and the concept which Raymond ultimately fell in love with.
First things first: hitting the road with srprs.me
With the foundation of the brand story laid out, it was time for us to take the first step of the strategic process and spend a few days traveling with srprs.me. What better way to connect with an expert in spontaneous travel, right? For Tom Andries, the creative mastermind behind this branding project, such a surprise trip was miles away from the carefully planned travels he was used to. And yet even he noticed that he came across a lot more interesting sights and people by letting go.
Island versus magic hat
In terms of visual identity, we proposed seven trajectories of which two turned out the top competitors:
- A dynamic logo in the shape of an island that takes on the contours of the city you’re in.
- A logo shaped like a magic hat; a universally recognized symbol of surprise.
Strong in its simplicity, the magic hat became the uncontested winner.
Naive yet reliable
We also designed a custom font for srprs.me, with straight lines evolving into round shapes. It represents the evolution customers go through by picking srprs.me, from thinking inside the box to simply going with the flow and experiencing a rollercoaster ride of surprises because of it. We took an unconventional approach to all photography, too, only using photos made by real travelers (with their permission, of course!). We also opted for a somewhat naive tone of voice, spiced with quirky humor and fun twists. To put the icing on the cake, we overhauled the overall booking experience at srprs.me. Because travelers can now put together their journey much more easily, the number of conversions has risen significantly. Just a few clicks and before you know it, you’re arriving in … well, surprise!
A matter of trust
This case was a real milestone for us, since it was the first time that a Dutch party came to us for their branding. Much to our delight, the collaboration soon developed into a bond of trust and friendship with Raymond and the rest of the srprs.me team. They still call us with questions and consider us a regular sparring partner to discuss new ideas with, regardless of whether those ideas are related to branding or not.