- Client Name
When distributor Global Shoe Company came to Massive looking for a fresh identity that could represent their new presence in the market, we were pretty excited.
The chance to craft an authentic brand from the ground up, covering everything from brand strategy, visual identity, and development all the way to art-directing a photoshoot? Yeah, you don’t wanna miss out on that.
GSC had years of experience as a behind-the-scenes industry distributor, supplying quality shoes to brick-and-mortar retailers across Canada. They were ready to get in the spotlight and connect directly with their customers. But “Global Shoe Company” didn’t sound like the right brand for the job. That’s where we stepped in.
GSC needed a new look that would resonate with shoe enthusiasts everywhere. Working closely with their team, Massive created a new, consumer-facing brand. We workshopped a name, designed a distinct look, captured great visuals, and built a kick-ass website. Bonus: we also got to try on a TON of shoes.
- Brand Strategy
- Brand Naming
- Visual Identity
- Branded eCommerce
- Creative Direction
Building a Brand
How do you build a brand from scratch? Hit the books—it starts with research. We began by surveying the competitive landscape and interviewing key stakeholders to discover GSC’s heart. We carried these insights into a series of brand workshops and brainstorming sessions, armed with only Post-its, a whiteboard, and our endless imaginations (snacks too, of course).
In our sessions, we identified a few key themes that resonated with the GSC team: we could build stories around the ideas of movement, craft, and belonging. GSC’s customers gravitated towards inclusivity, access, and approachability, so we knew those values had to play a role in the final brand name. The list of potential names kept growing, but Ketch stood out from the start. It’s a type of sailboat, sure. But for a company dedicated to having the confidence and comfort to get moving, Ketch was the perfect fit.
“I was going for a sense of ease, looking at different types of winds and travel. From there, somehow we made it to sailboats, and then Ketch appeared.” – Liz Stanton
Logo. Visuals. Aesthetic.
Once we had a name, the visual design and messaging followed quickly. Ketch’s aesthetic needed to be trendy and relatable. Lowercase typography. Bright, bold colours. Real people doing real things. Ketch had to feel confident, hip, and accessible, elevating style without sacrificing comfort or practicality.
Lights. Camera. Action.
Organizing and directing a product shoot? Not gonna lie; that part was pretty fun. Before the rebrand, GSC relied on disparate imagery provided by the shoe brands they sold, but there was no unified look and feel. Our Ketch shoot would provide cohesive, on-brand images to be used throughout the site and in print and digital marketing materials. Beyond practical needs, this was an opportunity to really dig into what Ketch stood for.
Turns out, the perfect place to do that was a lush Vancouver Airbnb filled with over 100 different plants. Here, we paired our favourite shoes with outfits that made them pop and crafted scenes that felt real—playing cards with friends, lounging on the couch in some comfy sandals. After several hours of hard work, we were pretty happy with the results. (@Vogue, feel free to get in touch)
“The main goal of the shoot was to establish a unified brand style across the website, but it was also an opportunity to capture images that not only represented the brands Ketch sold, but Ketch itself.” – Christina Cooke
The right website experience (for everyone)
When you’re in e-commerce, your site has to perform—no excuses. Ketch’s online store needed to be robust to support their business. Their existing site, built on Shopify, did the job but lacked design polish and operational excellence. Fixing the design? No problem. Creating an optimal user experience that could be easily managed by the Ketch internal team? That was a bit trickier.
As a distributor, Ketch had to manage data and inventory from many different sources pooling into their online store. Their team needed the flexibility to toggle products on and off, and their customers expected a seamless user experience complete with powerful filtering and search options.
Massive’s development team leveraged an open-source solution called CRISP, developed by our friends over at Satel Creative, and heavily customized it to suit the site’s search requirements. CRISP allows for broader ranked search results, enabling customer queries to return the products they’d expect. Our developers even became part of the open-source project, producing bug fixes and adding to the code repository.
The proof is in the footing
The new site is only weeks old, but the positive reviews are already flooding in. Streamlined page templates and an intuitive authoring experience have empowered Ketch’s internal team with the tools and resources they need to add, adjust, and manage content without calling on a developer.
Tasks that used to prove onerous, like adding new product variants, managing colour swatches, or creating promotions, are now easy and — dare we say it — fun!
The new site’s intuitive product search, stunning visuals, and catchy copy have transformed a faceless distributor into an e-commerce hub that’s about more than pushing product: Ketch is where shoe and fashion-culture become real.