The Dreys is set in 80 acres of Kentish ancient woodland, Squirrel Wood, near Detling. The family-run business, which takes its name from a squirrel’s nest, was Jackie Keulemans’ childhood home and she now runs the business as a venue for weddings and events with her husband David.
All of the Dreys’s woodland buildings were created by David’s master craftmanship and his ethos is simple: ‘take only photographs, leave only footprints’ – if the Keulemans were to leave the wood tomorrow there’d be no trace of their time there.
Life in the woods is a far cry from David’s previous life as the Creative Director for luxury retail brand All Saints where he was responsible for the international roll out of their upcycled store fit, including the iconic Singer sewing machines.
When The Dreys approached BISON they had just decided to go it alone without a sales agent for the first time. They needed to create a recognisable brand, but they were starting from scratch – without even a branded email address. As they put it themselves, nobody knew where they were and they themselves didn’t know where they wanted to go.
BISON’s first step was to encourage David and Jackie to take a step back.
Before beginning any design work, BISON took them through THE BISON BLUEPRINT which started with an informal discovery meeting at BISON to find out the business’s history and origins, their values, what they do and their aspirations for the business.
Initially they resisted the idea of a discovery meeting, they were busy and naturally wanted to get on with the business of promoting The Dreys. However, they realised from the very first meeting that BISON had kept their promise, the discovery phase was a worthwhile investment in everyone’s time – helping both BISON and The Dreys define the way forward.
BISON created a fresh new brand identity that left behind the old-fashioned look and connected with their back-to-nature loving customers.
BISON proposed branding concepts and a new logo that explores the themes of nature and safety. The square represents the safety offered by the site while the circle symbolises wholeness and nurturing. The straight lines represent a leaf and the swirls represent the lines found on a chestnut tree, which makes up 80% of the site at The Dreys. This is neatly encapsulated with the BISON recommended hash tag #loseyourself. The process of creating a clear brand identity also resulted in a road map of where The Dreys was going in the future.
The branded materials are all of a high quality, reflect The Dreys’s sustainable values and its USP of being a woodland sanctuary by using white ink printing and painting on earthy, recycled brown craft papers, boards and timber stocks.
This new look was rolled out to all of The Dreys marketing collateral, with BISON producing:
Within the first year, wedding bookings increased by over 400% – with the branding contributing to this success.
A brand identity that Jackie and David believed in gave them a new-found confidence when it came to striking out and promoting the business, which has fuelled their expansion and growth.
Working with BISON was relaxing, wonderful and took the stress away. BISON got the brief straight away and created plenty of options. We even approved one of the concepts straight away.
BISON’s first presentation was amazing – I still think about it now.
Most importantly, we were completely ecstatic with the end result. If we had used an online company I think it would have been a very different story.
As it is, BISON’s branding took our business from the kitchen table to the boardroom.