DesignStudio has given one of America's favourite travel resources, Scott's Cheap Flights, a complete brand overhaul, starting with a new name: Going. The new name is supported by an accessible but elevated visual identity, perfectly capturing the brand's mission.
Founded in 2015 as a newsletter to family and friends, Scott's Cheap Flights now has a membership of over 2 million people. Having grown to encompass a website, search engine, newsletter, and soon-to-launch app, they help members find more value when they travel by approaching booking differently.
Today, with a team of over 60, the brand has grown beyond just Scott and the initial proposition of 'cheap flights'. To take the brand on the next leg of its journey, Scott and co-founder Brian Kidwell brought on DesignStudio, an agency with a history of levelling up beloved travel and lifestyle brands, including Airbnb and Deliveroo.
The resulting brand work completely overhauls Scott's Cheap Flights' identity and positions it to grow beyond its humble beginnings without destroying the authentic equity the brand has built up since 2015.
To structure this sprawling project, DesignStudio began by developing a new strategic idea that bridges the gap between where Scott's Cheap Flights started and where it's (pardon the pun) Going.
Eric Ng, DesignStudio Executive Creative Director, Americas, explained: "One of the many things that makes Scott's Cheap Flights so special is how they open up the world for their members. By encouraging a new approach to booking that focuses less on the destination, they broaden one's perspective on travelling through enticing and unexpected opportunities. This inspired our new strategic idea - "Invite the unexpected" - which encourages users to adopt a different mindset to invite something new into their lives through the brand."
From there, DesignStudio set out to develop a new name that encapsulated everything Scott's Cheap Flights has always been known for helping people do. The startlingly simple solution: Going - a perfectly effortless-seeming transformation that, in reality, took incredible rigour from the DesignStudio and Going teams: over 3,000 names were considered.
DesignStudio's Ng said: "When so much of the travel industry is positioned around the price, and the company had grown far beyond its original proposition, the new brand needed to create differentiation through an emotive platform to better connect with consumers. The name, Going, instils a sense of curiosity and naturally gives the feeling of movement."
The design system that DesignStudio created to really bring the new Going together is based on "the intrepid notion of being open-minded enough to spin a globe and spontaneously pick a destination," said Ng. This translates digitally into interactive and motion principles that allow a Going member to peruse destinations and deals, discovering something new with every swipe.
A new motion-led Going symbol visualises the unique process of starting with a deal, a nod towards travel's spontaneous twists and turns, whilst pointing forward with gusto. The wordmark, meanwhile, uses oblique letterforms to communicate a sense of movement.
In a blog announcing the new brand, Going shared that "the anti-clockwise arrow nods to our reverse booking approach – choosing your destination or dates based on the deals available so you can travel more for less money." The blog also pointed out that "the loopy form of the capital G represents the unexpected journeys, meandering twists, and delightful turns that make travel so wonderful.
DesignStudio also developed a full toolkit for the Going team in which all assets aim to bring a personal touch, a nod to the brand's beginnings and a symbol of Scott's ongoing involvement.
Clever, personable illustrations interact with destinations through the globe and help the audience imagine themselves in a place in a way that DesignStudio and Going felt model photography wouldn't be able to achieve. Where photography is used, DesignStudio's team steered clear of bucket list landmarks and influencer-like models. Instead, opting for vignettes of smaller moments that tell unexpected and intimate stories. Where possible, the toolkit makes room for Going to use hero user-generated content that represents travellers' perspectives from all walks of life.
Members of Going will be glad to know that Scott Keyes will stay on, as always, with the company as Chief Flight Expert. But the fresh transformation from Scott's Cheap Flights to the elevated Going is a welcome one for him, his co-founder and Going CEO Brian Kidwell, and the wider Going team. This service has grown beyond one savvy traveller's advice, and the new brand truly speaks to that.
Going's Kidwell said: "While this is a big visual change, one thing that hasn't changed is the soul of this company. We'll continue putting travellers first and sending out incredible cheap flights, and we're excited to build even more ways to help people travel beyond what we can deliver in an email."
The new Going identity is now live. Learn more about the brand and the partnership between Going and DesignStudio, here.