Building a brand from a scratch
Alena Vavel Brand manager of the sports clubs network Monkey
Alena Vavel Brand manager of the sports clubs network Monkey

“We liked the conceptually structured in-depth work of the team, the analytics and research conducted on the additional education market. Thanks to DS1 branding, we began to change the approach to our product and service line.
We are also gradually introducing the visual image presented in the brand book. We`re grateful for being heard, all our points were taken into account”

The task and the brand

Gym Kids – a federal network of gymnastics centers providing professional classes in the following areas: gymnastics, acrobatics, neurogymnastics for children and adolescents.

The brand was founded 6 years ago on the basis of a worldview and a system of values of the founders: they wanted to give children the opportunity to develop gradually and promptly; teach them not to be afraid of obstacles no matter where they appear; create a base for their mental health.

DS1 branding faced the task of creating a separate, independent brand inside Gym Kids. An important condition was to set up a new company, while maintaining the loyalty of existing customers. It is important to provide a smooth transition of the company to avoid psychological rejection of the “radically new” image of the center.


  • Analysis, research, audit
  • Brand positioning development
  • Corporate style development
  • Logo development
  • Brand book

Analysis, research, audit

The first stage of the DS1 branding team’s work was conducting an audit: assessing and analyzing the audience’s perception of the existing GymKids center. Based on the data obtained, alternative directions for the growth and development of the new company were proposed; perspectives for future business separation from the competitive environment were defined.


The main trends in the preferences of children and the values of parents when choosing classes were noted during the research. The criteria for choosing clubs, leisure activities, and sports schools are also outlined: when exactly companies are approached for certain services.

Global trends in the education market and category trends were also taken into account: gamification, informality, individual approach to students, immersion in the community, capture of all spheres of life.

All these factors were taken into account when creating a strategy for launching a new brand Monkey (name provided by the client) and distinguishing it from the competitive environment. The concept of harmonious development, where each child is helped to open up and acquire the soft skills necessary for the future, was chosen.


The DS1 branding team proposed the concepts of verbal (descriptor) and visual identification aligning with the research and in-depth interviews of the target audience.
The main character – the mascot, reflecting the values of the new brand Monkey, is a dynamic, smart monkey. It symbolizes comprehensive child development, intelligence and activity – the priorities of the sports center. A monkey demonstrating gymnastics exercises evokes trust and affection among children, causing an association with the Monkey company.

Work on the visual image of the new brand was carried out taking into account the client’s business objectives. The DS1 team selected forms and colors that were consistent with the visual style of Gym Kids.

The Monkey brand has a new concept, a different name, image, mascot separating the company from the GymKids center, but at the same time, a smooth transition is provided.

The DS1 used a bright color scheme that prioritized blue, orange, yellow and green. The brand book was compiled with corporate colors, typography and tone of voice. The descriptor has also been developed to emphasize the uniqueness of the brand.

The DS1 branding team proposed basic ideas for the branding of the space, as well as the design of merch and center paraphernalia: uniform for children and coaches, sports bags, mugs, baby water shakers.

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