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ThoughtMatter Puts Dachshunds Center Stage for Launch of Witzig

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Agency delivers offbeat charm with identity and designs for newest member of Kinship

ThoughtMatter Puts Dachshunds Center Stage for Launch of Witzig

As all dachshund owners know, they are a unique, funny, and often stubborn breed with an outsized personality in defiance of their small stature. It’s no wonder that dachshund owners are some of the most loyal and devoted around, committed to providing their furry friends with the best in quality pet care products. In need of a brand that mirrored that energy, pet care coalition Kinship partnered with New York-based brand design studio ThoughtMatter to launch Witzig, a new lifestyle brand anchored by an ecommerce site and online community specifically created for dachshunds and dachshund lovers.

Witzig, which means 'witty' in German, provides specially curated products for dachshunds and their owners as well as an online community and blog with articles and content ranging from instructive ‘How-Tos’ to fun, informational articles. While you can buy the usual leashes, toys, clothes and other items for your dog elsewhere, Witzig provides specially curated items made just for dachshunds and people who love them. Most importantly, Witzig provides a sense of belonging for a very special community. 

Needing a more collaborative, fast-paced relationship that would bring to life a new type of brand – one that’s never existed before – Kinship Labs’ Director of Growth Ali Miller approached ThoughtMatter, confident that they could build something wholly different from typical brands in the tech space. ThoughtMatter designed the entire brand identity for Witzig from the ground up, including name, brand positioning, messaging, brand strategy, brand design, logo, illustrations, and even website design (in partnership with web development agency, Markacy).

“Dachshunds are known for their big personalities as they are usually very smart, clever, and lively,” says ThoughtMatter design director Wednesday Krus. “Everything we heard about dachshunds seemed like they are witty creatures too, so the name Witzig came to be - it also has a fun, lively sound to it, which felt right for the brand and breed.”

Drawing cues from dachshunds’ unique body shape, ThoughtMatter’s designs reflected the full nature of the breed, from the typefaces down to the illustrations. The logo was based on a strangely warped font - a subtle nod to how dachshunds are a little weird too - which ThoughtMatter customised for legibility and to add a hidden dachshund illustration in the letter forms. The agency also explored a range of illustration and photography styles as well as color palettes to differentiate design options. These concepts were then brought to life via animation and applied over various areas of the website and social media assets.

“With this execution we really wanted to convey that the brand understands the unique qualities of dachshunds, their owners, and both of their needs,” explains ThoughtMatter design director Sam Barbagiovanni. “People see their pets as more than companions, but as true family members, so our work had to show that connection. To do this, we used an expressive illustration style that showed dachshund owners as reflections of their pets - including long legs, short legs, odd hair, and more - to connect them to the weird shape of dachshunds. We also used an unusual colour palette, pairing brown with bright purple and yellow, and adding cool blues to bring an element of unexpected brightness to the brand.”

Working with the Kinship team proved to be a very collaborative process, one which saw ThoughMatter functioning as a true partner -  trusted to use their expertise and creativity to see the project through. As a result, the creative and strategy teams were able to think outside the box to come up with fun and unorthodox visual ideas. 

“In its heart, Kinship wanted to build a trusted community: one for dachshunds and people who love them that feels special to them and allows them to feel understood,” continues Krus. “At ThoughtMatter, we also believe in the importance of building a community. Witzig’s desire to create a home for people who do things differently aligns with our own values of curiosity and thoughtfulness.”

To complete the launch of the brand, Witzig hosted pre-launch events in LA, Houston, and NYC for dachshund owners to meet up, learn about the brand, and have professional photos of their dachshunds taken. The photos were used in a coffee table book designed by ThoughtMatter for sale on the Witzig website. 

Ultimately, the challenge of building Witzig not only affirmed the power of design, but the value of the agency’s approach. “This project allowed us to really build a new and exciting brand from nothing,” explains managing director Jessie McGuire. “It started as just an idea and is now a real community, one that honors the familial bond between pets and their owners – a heartfelt relationship that we can all proudly support. With Witzig, we were able to do more than redesign an existing brand, but build something totally unique that connects on an emotional level. It proved that the right partnerships and thinking can make that happen successfully.”

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Lore, Tue, 12 May 2020 18:51:52 GMT