Kirkwood Mountain Resort: Brand Strategy & Visual Update

Brand Strategy Messaging Guidelines


This history between Kirkwood and Hammerquist runs deep. In 2007, Hammerquist did a comprehensive brand analysis and brand positioning strategy for Kirkwood Ski Resort located near Lake Tahoe. Through that work we identified Kirkwood’s key assets—challenging expert terrain and ample snowfall—and translated it into the successful “Rare Earth” marketing campaign. Kirkwood was so pleased with Hammerquist’s work that a decade later they approached us to refresh, rethink, and reposition their brand both for the modern landscape and into the future. Our team headed to Tahoe to reconnect and reacquaint ourselves with Kirkwood’s unique culture.

While Kirkwood still has the best terrain and best snow in the Tahoe area, they also have a storied history of being a family-friendly destination able to embrace new skiers and snowboarders as they progress through the years from the bunny slopes to the top of the mountain. In addition, Kirkwood’s remoteness compared to their competition in Tahoe offer an authentic ski experience that is very marketable to potential new customers. Through an extensive stakeholder and customer interview process, Hammerquist was able to identify new target audiences and develop a new, modern brand position strategy and an overhaul of visual design direction to propel Kirkwood well into the next decade and beyond.

We delivered Kirkwood a new “Brand Bible”—which included voice guidelines, social media guidelines, imagery direction, and more—in the fall allowing both internal staff and visual contractors to develop assets and campaigns with a targeted, cohesive look and feel for the 2017/18 winter ski season.