As the Auckland Zoo gets set to mark its 90th birthday this month, it's received an early birthday present in the form of a rebrand that was launched this week.
The project, which was a collaborative effort between Auckland Zoo, Regional Facilities Auckland and Auckland agency Rolfe, has led to a refresh of the logo and visual identity for all marketing communications, from Zoo-based executions right through to above-the-line brand communications. And director Jen Rolfe says the results have tested incredibly well in research.
The objective was to shift Auckland Zoo’s positioning to one of a more modern and relevant customer experience and organisation. This includes a particular emphasis on communicating the uniqueness of Te Wao Nui, its New Zealand native species precinct, to tourism audiences and help build a reputation as a must-do experience. The $16 million New Zealand precinct, which takes up one-fifth of the Zoo, recently won the Supreme Award in Landscaping New Zealand's 2012 Landscapes of Distinction Awards and also won the Zoo Aquarium Association (an Australasian organisation) 2012 Excellence Award.
The rebrand, which also includes a soon-to-be launched website, also needed to prompt stronger recall among locals to help maintain a constant presence and further motivate regular visits. Additionally, it needed to be underpinned by retail layers in order to drive visitation peaks around key events.
Auckland Zoo marketing and communications manager Ben Hutton says the rebrand took on extra importance given the upcoming anniversary scheduled for 17 December (moderately interesting historical fact: in 1923, the zoo had 36,378 visitors and in the 2011-2012 financial year, visitation was 710,813).
"The zoo has evolved enormously over the past 90 years," he says. "We've become a respected conservation organisation and it was important that the new brand was able to carry the intent of our conservation objectives, as well as reinvigorating our image as a contemporary and family-friendly outdoor experience. It's more than met the mark on both accounts."