Y E L P
In the face of increasing competition, Yelp can reposition themselves as the best way to connect people to small, local businesses nearby.
Yelp's reputation has suffered in the past 5 years, from South Park parodies to lawsuits and an anti-Yelp documentary. They're also facing increasing competition from other review services such as TripAdvisor and Google Maps. Yelp needs an ownable, positive brand identity and mission more than ever.
Though Yelp has been accused of hurting local business in the past, a Harvard Business School study actually found that as Yelp enters a new market, chain restaurants decline in market share and independent restaurants are positively affected.
We want to get Yelp back to their roots and re-center them around what they've always done best: connecting people to the local small businesses around them.
The first step: removing all chain restaurants from Yelp. These places are usually the least-reviewed on the site anyway, because people generally know what they're going to get when they walk into an Olive Garden. Generally.
The next step: giving the brand a slight visual refresh. The new logo resembles a dropped pin, symbolizing a newly-discovered business on a map.
Small businesses have a big impact on communities, and Yelp helps you discover the ones near you. To show that, we featured real Yelp reviews in print.
TAGLINE: Discover Next Door
We also used social to highlight notable or emerging small businesses in local communities. In this case, Richmond, Virginia's own Stoplight Gelato.
OUT OF HOME
In addition to the traditional "Find Us on Yelp" window stickers, Yelp would now also offer small businesses stickers made from reviews about the big impact they had.
Where are people most often driven to eat at chain restaurants? On road trips, when they're not familiar with the area and use highway exit signs as guides. As a temporary stunt, Yelp would feature branded exit signs with small businesses off of highly-trafficked U.S. exits.
On every small business page, there would now be a new "About" feature where businesses can share their origin stories and what makes them unique.
"Yelp Elites" are currently a group of active Yelpers who are rewarded for leaving hundreds of reviews (good or bad) with things like goodie bags and extravagant rooftop parties.
We repurposed/renamed the group to be for Yelpers interested in exploring the communities around them and guiding others to the best local businesses: "Yelp Explorers."
Yelp would host bi-annual Venture Festivals, where emerging local businesses can introduce their companies and get in-person, real-time reviews on their products.
Yelp already has an awesome AR tool within its mobile app called Monocle. It was actually launched in 2009 — long before Pokémon Go. However, it’s buried within the app and not actively publicized by Yelp. We want to highlight it on the website and app homepage, and publicize it further through two different out of home stunts.
When someone changes their location within the app, indicating that they’re in a new city, a pop up notification will ask if they would like to participate in a scavenger hunt via Monocle for a discount at a local restaurant with 4 stars or more.
Users would hold up the Monocle tool in order to find the pre-selected restaurant within 5 miles. Once they find it, they tap it to indicate they’ve got it. When they arrive at the restaurant, they will receive a discounted meal compliments of Yelp.
As a temporary stunt, Yelp would take over city bus routes to showcase the AR tool. Every 5 miles along the bus’s route, a preprogrammed local business would show up on a bus screen.
Art Director: Jake Broglio
Copywriter: Jessica New