HobbyZone Brand Refresh

For the launch of the new Firebird Stratos, a refresh of the branding for HobbyZone was created. This involved a rejuvenated logo, a new package design, new ad template and a new website.

HobbyZone RC Rebranding
The rebranding of the HobbyZone RC brand was one of the most exciting and unexpected challenges to arise for myself and my group in the last few months. We were developing a series of videos for a new product called the Firebird Stratos. After I heard a little about the product, I raised a real concern as to whether our current branding was strong enough to fully support the launch of the product. After consulting with the Brand Manager, Director of Marketing and other key personnel, it was decided that the brand should be refreshed. Unfortunately, we working against a very tight deadline, which meant the entire rebranding would have to be accomplished in a matter of weeks, with only a couple additional weeks for final executions.
One of the first challenges was determining how much the logo should change. HobbyZone had previously been developed to cater to a much younger audience. Since that time, the goals of the company and research into our target consumers had led us down a different path. However, the branding for HobbyZone still felt very juvenile in some ways. Our goal here was to not lose the valuable brand recognition we had achieved or the sense of fun the logo conveyed, while at the same time making sure it was matured to a level that was appropriate to our consumers.

Logo executions by Ralph Roether.
One of the most important aspects of the box design for the Firebird Stratos was that it should be easy to navigate. Information is organized in a way that is friendly for a first-time buyer of RC product. We wanted a clean, colorful look that would stand out on the shelves and demand attention.

Box art execution by Matt Freden.
One of the strongest drivers of the rebrand was to make sure lifestyle was very present on the box. This is not something that has been typically done at Horizon Hobby, and is very rare in the industry in general. We carefully selected models and locations to showcase a variety of people experiencing the fun of RC. The use of lifestyle imagery in the inset shots was another first that ended up being very effective.

Box art execution by Matt Freden.
National print advertising for the Firebird Stratos reflected the emphasis on lifestyle and reaching out to a younger market. We were also very cognizant of how the imagery would play in European markets.
Another goal of mine was that the website for the brand should also heavily reinforce the lifestyle message of the brand and offer up a friendlier, more interactive experience for consumers not familiar with the world of radio control. Large, impactful imagery is used on the homepage, combined with easy navigation. Taking the existing lineup of products and making sure they were all captured in a lifestyle setting was a massive undertaking. We had teams sent to California and Texas to get appropriate backgrounds for video and still photography to achieve the right look.

Website execution by Eric Strubinger
Photography by Rory Schweighart
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