Fresh Tracks is a travel company based in Vancouver, and we are the 'trusted experts for creating memorable experiences in Canada & Alaska'.
Our strategy is to bring people in through about 10 niche sub-sites that show up naturally in the search engines, or appear through pay-per-click - for example, http://www.CanadianTrainVacations.com , http://www.CanadaPolarBears.com or http://www.AlaskaRailVacations.com - then later we direct them to our main site http://www.FreshTracks.ca for repeat business.
This strategy works well for search engine ranking and for conversion of searches into sales - but it does rather diffuse our brand identity.
So this project is about finding a unifying theme by creating a strong identity for Fresh Tracks without overpowering the site names.
If you like, you can consider it as a "Kellogg's strategy' - all our subsites are different products like Cornflakes, Rice Krispies etc - but the Kelloggs brand gives them a unity without overpowering the name. Or you could think of it as like trying to put an 'Intel Inside' seal on a computer - only in our case the inside magic is a service.
The common theme about all Fresh Tracks sites is that behind them you have a trusted expert to talk to. We are the opposite of a booking engine - we are real friendly people who can make a difference to your experience.
70% Americans, 10% Australians, 10% Brits, 10% others. Middle to upper income. Baby Boomers and Seniors, 45 plus - but our biggest selling site by far is http://www.CanadianTrainVacations.com and these tend to be older. We want to bring in younger people without putting off the older ones. Our clients tend to be professionals, independent-minded travelers - but because we only do Canada & Alaska we must be a 'broad-church' that appeals to most people 30+.
Psychographically our current clients are probably mostly 'no-hassle travelers' - in other words they just want a nice well-planned vacation. We would like to broaden our appeal to two other groups - a) 'free spirits' who want to sample lots of things and care about the quality of the experience, and b) 'authentic experiencers' who care about adventure and getting off the beaten path.
(Our company used to focus on adventure before rail trips took over and we would like to recover some of our 'adventure soul' in this process, without putting our existing clients off. )
We want a fresh tracks logo that can unify our sites e.g. see http://www.entreecanada.com - but ideally ours would express the concept of talking to a trusted expert with the benefit of getting a better experience.
Encouraging people to talk to an expert is what sets us apart. Sometimes we say 'ask a local expert', sometimes we say 'ask a friendly expert' - and either works I think.
Please go to http://www.CanadianTrainVacations.com and look at the bit that says 'a division of Fresh Tracks' - that is the part we want to turn into a logo that communicates the idea of an expert to talk to. (You can forget about the words 'a division of...' or you can add words as you wish.)
I leave it up to you how you do this - it could be dialog boxes (e.g. as in Charles Schwabb, or it could be a 'wise old traveler' figure or it could part of the fresh tracks typography or a letter or some kind of other symbol like an animal or some made up Indiana Jones or pioneer character...)
Our belief is that most great journeys begin with a conversation - as when pioneers sought out an experienced guide to talk to.
Don't worry about the rest of the site design or the site name at this stage - we will work out how that all fits in around the fresh tracks logo after we get the logo organised. You can feel free as you like to choose colors etc but the logo needs to work horizontal and vertical and big and small.