Rebranding Fun: Miracle Recreation

With over 85 years of experience, Miracle Recreation is one of the oldest and largest commercial playground manufacturers in the country and produces some of the highest quality products and customer satisfaction rates in the industry.

Miracle’s parent company, PlayPower, asked Falk Harrison to help them rebrand Miracle, while preserving and celebrating a proud heritage of quality, innovation and value. After a thorough review of the existing brand, Falk Harrison proposed a completely new and extensive brand and identity system for all marketing and business communication vehicles. The new Miracle brand officially launched as The Face of Play on the flagship communication, the 2013 catalog. Falk Harrison continued to work with Miracle to extend the new brand to the product brand level as well, showcasing the innovative Mega Phyzics™ line at its debut at their national trade show in late 2012.

PlayPower and Falk Harrison have worked together to strategically redesign and produce brand work and marketing materials for their well-known Little Tikes Commercial brand, as well.


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Jimmy John’s Sets Prime Example for Social Media as Customer Service Tool

Today I felt that strong sandwich craving that’s unique to fans of Jimmy John’s, so I headed to their Facebook page to order my usual #9. Always curious about the user experience in social media and how brands present themselves in the space, I took a moment to review their wall to see if they were interacting with their customers. I was blown away by how well Jimmy John’s engaged their customers online. Their Facebook page is a no holds barred groundswell of wall post activity, and the voice behind the scenes at Jimmy John’s is a class act.

As shown in the snapshot above (you’ve got to read it to believe it), Jimmy John’s is on top of their customer service and responsiveness. I first experienced their “Free Smells” back in the early 90′s at their original location in Charleston, IL, off the campus of my alma mater, Eastern Illinois University. They are now a fast-growing franchised operation with 1200 locations across the country and over 740,000 Facebook fans (as of today). Jimmy John’s is a brand with a huge client base to endear and delight.

As any fast-growing B2C corporation that has embraced social media can tell you, your fans can be as gracious and forthcoming with praise as they are with harsh criticism. Jimmy John’s seems to handle it all in stride.

Kudo’s to “Gary” for his bravery in engaging Jimmy John’s regarding their controversial texting-while-driving TV commercial. It will be interesting to see what the end result is on this Facebook wall post. Either way, the quick and agile customer engagement on the front lines of social media means Jimmy John’s “gets it.”

What do you think? Is this worthy of a future business school case study?

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Case Study – Trinity Lutheran Ministries Branding and Communication Program

Trinity Lutheran Ministries began in 1901 in Edwardsville, Illinois, as a small church. Through the decades to follow as the church congregation continued to grow, they added a school, which now serves children from preschool through grade 8, and a daycare. With outreach programs in the community, and active global mission programs, today’s Trinity Lutheran Ministries continues to grow.


After 100+ years in existence, Trinity Lutheran Church determined the need for an integrated, cohesive brand that represented who they were, not only as Missouri Synod Lutherans, but also as a well-rounded institution comprised of three functional areas – a church, a school, and a daycare. This new brand would define their organization in enhanced assimilation and outreach programs to the community and beyond.


The engagement consisted of launching a comprehensive branding and identity initiative and developing print communication tools for use in both internal and external applications, as well a refreshed and expanded web site and campus/building signage. The congregation selected Falk Harrison to design and implement the program.


To bring together the three functional areas of the organization under a single name and to represent their Lutheran heritage and beliefs through a series of custom icons that offers flexibility for a variety of applications and uses.


As a unifying element, the organization adopted the name Trinity Lutheran Ministries. Through research and discussions with their leadership, Falk Harrison determined that the identity should incorporate symbolism for the Word (the Bible) and the Sacraments (Holy Baptism and Holy Communion). This, along with the symbol for Trinity, or the Triquetra, would correctly identify the foundational ideals of the new Trinity Lutheran Ministries.

Four original, contemporary icons complemented the other religious symbols used on church paraments and the vestments worn by the pastors. A custom typeface was also part of the identity system. A new 12-page brochure discussed their rich 100+ year history and the three functional areas within the ministries – a place to worship (church), to learn (school), and to grow (daycare).

A library of new photography enhances all the communication pieces. Among the new materials are a visitor gift of a Bible and bookmark featuring the four icons, a complete system of newsletter templates, and PowerPoint presentations for use in weekend services. A new web site was created and launched, and custom signage that incorporated the new identity was designed, fabricated and installed on building exteriors and campus entrances.


The congregation warmly received the new branding, which has improved Trinity Lutheran Ministries’ visibility and meaning within the community. Both internal and external communications now share a new functionality with an integrated look and message.