Case Study: Stratus2020-02-18T23:22:27+00:00

Project Description

Case Study: Stratus Performance Apparel

Because of our background in sports industry apparel design and brand positioning, we teamed up with a local startup aiming to market high performance undergarments to the action sports industry.  The following presentation takes you through our typical process when approaching the  full brand startup process from market research through ideation, logo concepts, slogans, web and marketing mockups, throught to implementation.  This was a real fun project that tapped into our full range of competencies, skills and Brand building. Our first step was to analyze the existing market and see where the best opportunities existed.

Brand Positioning Analysis

An early part of our process is to create a market influence board.  This includes lifestyle and product imagery currently defining the industry, competitors and other cultural influences.   Once we have built a list of industry leaders and influences, we locate the strongest competitors on a graph based on relevant criteria and see where there are opportunities to create our own space.  In this example, we wanted to see if there were any mainstream action sport lifestyle brands that could be emulated withing the undergarment industry.  We overlayed the direct competitors in the performance underwear market with the mainstream fashion brands and identified a number of successful lifestyle brands that could be influential.

Based on our analysis we saw influential opportunity from brands like Nixon watch, Etnies, Fox racing and Ruca.  Frome these we created 4 concepts inspired by our positioning analysis as well as our own creative vision.

Concept 1: First On, [B]last Off

The positioning of this direction is intended to correlate with the motocross and action sport industry.  This is the most natural progression for Stratus out of the directions we explored, as the brand has previously been marketed to this segment  with some success. Stylistic and visual cues are tied heavily to the action sports industry.  Background imagery for the main page, and potentially other marketing material includes heavy use of clouds.  This is a visual message that can be received in multiple, positive ways:  Stratus is a type of cloud. Clouds connotate positive associations to freedom, dreams, possibility, big air etc.

Concept 2: Layers for Players

This direction explores a tiered product line where we feature 3 lines aimed at different sub-sets within the action sports lifestyle market:  athletes, weekend warriors and casual athletic.   The implication is: “Are you a player?  We’ve got your base layer”.

The primary logo being proposed here is the wordmark and it’s varied treatments.  The typeface is meant to bridge the gap between action sports and fashion.

Concept 3: Software Update

The most mainstream exploration, this would concentrate mostly on beach lifestyle and a casual image.  This positions Stratus as a fashion-forward brand, roughly in the area of Hollister, but with a slightly older focus.  Imagery would heavily  concentrate on a northern California lifestyle,  beach life, laid back and mellow.  There is far less focus on competition or performance here.

The motto is once again a play on words, with less direct connection to the name.  The idea is that you’ve been wearing old fashioned underwear:  welcome to underwear 2.0

Final Concept

We took the best ideas from each direction, concentrating on the “First On, Blast Off theme,  presenting a brand direction that evokes an performance, athletic, adventurous and fearless attitude, as well as an outdoorsy, exciting beach lifestyle.  We use cloud imagery to evoke both comfort and aspiration.   

Responsive E-commerce Website

We carried the branding theme into a Wordpress Woocommerce site 

Product Line

We used our years of lifestyle fashion industry experience to propose a full line relaunch,  based on a dual-tiered line approach from casual comfort to performance features.  

POP Retail displays and Packaging