How did our design studio from the Canadian Prairies team up with a company based in Berlin, Germany? This is a good place to start.
Cabin One posted their design brief on Dribbble, a self-promotion and social networking platform for designers and creatives. They indicated they were looking to work with a specialized branding studio on a rebranding project with the objective of developing a new modern and minimalist brand for Cabin One.
Their brief caught our attention and so we immediately reached out.
After interviewing hundreds of designers across the globe, the Cabin One team expressed that Little Ghost aligned with what they were looking for.
And of course, we were thrilled to take on this exciting project with an international client!
Cabin One’s primary objective for rebranding and renaming was to evolve into the next chapter of their business — from designing just cabins and saunas to designing cabins, saunas and multi-story single family homes.
Since establishing in 2018, Cabin One had provided minimal turnkey cabins and single story homes to 100s of B2B and B2C customers while also establishing offices in both Berlin & Austria, and launching their first hospitality project.
“Our genuine vision is to providechoice and the ability to choose the best way of living, irrespective of your circumstances or where you come from.”
— Max Mealing, Cabin One CCO
It was clear the brand was growing quickly, but they knew their existing name was limiting the full potential of their evolution.
Before beginning to build the brand strategy, we hosted several virtual discovery sessions with the Cabin One team to gather a better understanding of their goals. Despite being in different time zones and speaking different languages, we were able to find a seamless way to collaborate (thanks Google Translate).
During these sessions, we became mini experts in the Cabin One brand, getting a thorough understanding of their “why,” their brand challenges, their target audiences, their competitors and more. The team communicated that their primary objective for their new brand was for it to reflect their values of “minimal living.”
The team at Cabin One showed us what inspired them most by providing us their vision boards. They collected inspiration that explored the feeling of home and how their brand could visually communicate. They pulled in visuals from a variety of industries which helped set the bar for the brand really high.
The team had communicated that their product offerings were changing. Instead of just cabins and saunas they would now begin offering single family homes. They needed a new name to reflect that.
The word “Home” provided the brand a more inclusive feel. And so in a natural progression, Cabin One became Home One.
“We believe that customers' expectations these days are that buying a home should be as easy as buying food or clothing.”
— Max Mealing, Home One CCO
With Home One’s focus on simple, sustainable design and a hassle-free buying experience for their customers, it was clear from the beginning that this rebrand needed to be a direct representation of their business goals. And so we began our in depth development of the brand strategy.
The Brand Strategy
Our Brand Strategy began with further examining Home One’s key target audiences so that we could tailor communication to each one. Our research identified two different audiences — B2B & B2C. To create a consistent brand experience across both groups we looked at their needs and expected experience.
We then examined Home One’s direct and indirect competitors, looking at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Our research found that direct competitors positioned themselves as corporate brands, lacking visual identity systems and positioning strategies that humanized them. They positioned themselves as construction companies rather than home building companies.
Our findings indicated one major opportunity for Home One that other competitors were not capitalizing one yet their audiences were searching for;
Use storytelling to create an emotional connection with your customer.
From there, we developed Home One’s refreshed brand story, vision, mission and values. Then got to work strategizing how the brand could fully embrace our brand themes of inclusivity, community and a sense of belonging.
While these may seem like conclusions that came to us quickly, the reality is that brand strategy work at Little Ghost Creative takes countless hours and thorough research. In order to strongly position a brand, we believe our clients need to have a deeper understanding of their industry so they can stay ahead of the curve.
But after the hardwork and strategy are complete, we move on to the creative side of things!
The Visual Directions
As we do for all brand identities, we presented three different creative directions to Home One. Each direction pulled elements from our brand strategy, focusing on the feelings of home, natural colours and textures, and minimalist shapes, typefaces and lines.
Visualizing the connection between human and nature. A true portrayal of how we connect with, and create from, nature. There’s an instinctual belonging we feel from being in and apart of our natural surroundings, and we want to showcase that here.
Inspired by textures seen in nature, wood, stone, plants, and water. The modular marks express a more ‘human’ element, the tangible, and flexible mobility of Home One. Interesting perspectives, depths, and isometric icons help visualize a modular, customizable system, a personalized experience. The monochromatic colour palette brings life to the brand, and still accommodates for a more minimalistic approach.
Selling a feeling, a memory, a dream. The true roots of a home are the people, and memories created inside it. The smell of fresh baked goods, the sound of children’s laughter, the coziness, the adventures.
Here we are depicting life at home, and building up anticipation for your dream home through emotive imagery and colour. There’s more excitement around this idea, more movement in the photography, and a subtle playfulness in the typography. Rounded edges, serifs, and boldness produce a wholesome energy. The colourful palette creates warmth and life, and has the flexibility to be used subtly.
Feeding into a feeling of community, belonging, and purpose for a greater cause. There is a sense of pride in living a sustainable, and minimal lifestyle. This approach is all about less is more, and truly living mindfully.
Inspired by Japanese and Swiss design, sharp shapes, lines, and geometric sans serif typography add to the minimalism. The muted/pastel palette accommodates the desire for a splash of colour, but stays true to the minimalistic theme without being too stark.
From our three moodboard directions, the Home One team selected one they wanted to explore further.
We love hearing feedback from our clients and the Home One team clearly communicated that they wanted the final identity to be even more minimal and streamlined. So we continued to iterate.
Once we were aligned on the moodboard, we used it as a guide to develop the Home One logo and logo mark. This was an ongoing exploration and our designers continue to elaborate on the minimalist approach.
We eventually came to a final logo and mark that reflected both the products Home One creates as well as conveying the idea of home. The final logo is simple and small…just as a tiny home brand should be.
Every aspect of the Home One logo was intentional. From the colours, which we pulled from the natural elements used in and around the homes, down to the shapes within the logo mark and typography, which were inspired by elements pulled from the actual bulkheads in Home One’s cabins.
“We've been working with so many designers along the way, and was always a little bit scared with giving that responsibility to someone. But I'm super happy we found you because the quality of your work is just so amazing and it's hitting our expectations. It's really good fun working with you.”
— Simone Becker, Co-Founder
Meet Home One
We naturally evolved Cabin One to Home One by expanding the identity with new elements yet not straying too far from their roots.
“We hope you enjoy our new look and feel and enjoy this new beautiful journey with us. #WelcomeHome”
— Max Mealing, Chief Customer Officer
The Brand Launch
After months of tireless hard work, Home One was ready to be unveiled to the public. To build some hype around the rebrand, Home One decided to create an event, calling it Das Welcome Home Mini Festival.
It was my (Robyn’s) great pleasure to travel to Berlin, Germany to attend the brand unveiling and finally meet the Home One team in person!
The event was hosted on one of Home One’s customers' properties called Auszeit Tollenessee, a Nature Preserve located two hours from Berlin. Industry professionals, influencers and Home One team members were in attendance to tour some of Home One’s pre-fab homes, enjoy food and wine and explore the beautiful scenery.
The big brand unveiling happened at the end of the night where one home was transformed into a Home One brand showroom, with elements of the brand posted to the walls throughout each room.
We ended the evening with a concert and light show — the perfect ending to wrap up months of hard work.
“For our next chapter, while the name Cabin One will remain as a product, we believed it did not reflect the extent of our dreams and ambitions. That is why today we will be leaving behind the name Cabin One. With much excitement and anticipation for this new journey we are happy to introduce you to our new name, Home One.”
— Max Mealing, Chief Customer Officer
The new Home One brand did not only communicate the business' new objectives and goals from a product perspective, it also allowed them to reposition from a start up to an established national brand.
While the brand was wildly well received internally from the Home One team, the work had only just begun.
Since launching, Little Ghost has continued to work with Home One to develop their new website as well as to continue evolving the brand’s illustration and iconography system.
On top of all this, Home One is in the process of producing a documentary to chronicle the story of their name change and the journey they went on to get there.
"We are all very proud of the successful rebranding. Thank you Robyn and the whole team for the great work."