Norm Hann Expeditions

How a purpose driven standup paddle company found clarity, confidence, and cohesion in their brand

Brand Strategy (Brand Field Guide), Brand Marketing & Management (Print Assets)

Season | Winter, 2021 - 2022

As a leader in the industry, Norm Hann Expeditions (NHE) offers guided wilderness standup paddle adventures along the British Columbia coastlines to foster connection and protect, preserve, and respect the land, people, and the oceans of Canada’s West Coast.

After years in the SUP business, Norm was working on growing his team of paddle guides and building a prominent presence in the coastal water sports industry when he approached Tortuga Creative Studios in 2021 for help with bringing consistency to his brand.

Challenge

Although Norm Hann Expeditions was experiencing amazing growth and popularity, it lacked a strong, cohesive brand identity and Norm was seeing the effects of this problem trickle throughout his business.

Norm had tried to bring his branding together and put it under one umbrella brand guide that everyone on his team –including himself– could use moving forward, but it just wasn’t working. There were still rogue and inconsistent designs and it was becoming difficult to explain the heart of the brand to his ever growing team.

When Norm approached us, he was dealing with the ripple effects that flow from branding inconsistency and desperately needed a strong and cohesive brand guide to combat these issues.

Strategy

Norm's brand is built on his deep ties with the British Columbia Coastlines and the indigenous people that call it home.

With his indigenous connections and participation in bringing awareness to the environmental threats present along the coastline through adventure paddle expeditions, we knew going into the project that Norm had a very purpose-driven backstory that would easily flow into his overall brand. To tie everything together, though, we needed to dig deep and make sure that we expressed Norm's purpose in the right way to the right people.

Through research and working 1-on-1 with Norm and his team to understand his competitors and ideal client, we found the threads that made up the brand's heart and began to weave them together.

With purpose at the core of everything that matters to Norm Hann Expeditions, we crafted a strategic position that focuses on connecting people to wild places, others and themselves.

From identifying Norm Hann Expeditions' unique position, we identified and crafted a brand personality and message framework that feels authentic to the brand and the purpose that drives it.

To wrap up the brand field guide, we looked through the varied and often off-point visual material Norm had accumulated through years in business and got rid of the extra weight. We prepared guidelines for using his logo, aligned his colour palette and breathed life back into an essential but forgotten font.

Results

Through the often intense and sometimes uncomfortable process of digging deep into his brand and facing his team members' differing opinions, Norm uncovered the heart of his brand.

With the brand field guide in hand, Norm is now confident that all his team members have the information and tools they need to be on the same page and help the brand move forward with clarity and confidence.

As trip guide Neil said after seeing the brand field guide for Norm Hann Expeditions:

"I find the brand interview to be extremely insightful and useful for me when I'm thinking about planning trips and talking to clients. The Storybrand framework is also great for writing trip descriptions and making sure they're on brand."

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Norm Hann Expeditions

"Before working with Tortuga Creative Studio, there were loose ends with my brand. My business had grown and I needed to bring everything together so our messaging was consistent.

My partnership with Tortuga has laid out an effective brand strategy, field guide, and messaging for my business, and helped me find clarity in our brand. The work we did together and accomplished was invaluable to where our brand has come from, where we are at now, and where we are headed in the future.”

Norm Hann

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