Though still the most popular review site, Yelp's reputation has suffered in the past 5 years, from South Park parodies to lawsuits and an entire anti-Yelp documentary. They're also facing increasing competition from other review services such as Google, TripAdvisor, and Zomato (formerly Urbanspoon).
Yelp needs a strong, positive brand identity and mission more than ever.
The thing is, it's been hiding in plain sight all along: standing for local, small business.
Though Yelp has been accused of hurting small 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 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 a Starbucks.
The next step: giving the brand a slight visual refresh.
The new logo resembles a dropped pin, symbolizing a newly-discovered small business.
Small businesses can have a big impact on their communities, and Yelp helps you discover the best small businesses all around you.
To celebrate small business in print, we featured real Yelp reviews talking about the big impacts they had on someone.
Tagline: Discover Next Door
Yelp would use social to highlight notable or emerging small businesses in local communities. In this case, Richmond's own Stoplight Gelato.
OUT OF HOME
Yelp would also host bi-annual Venture Festivals, events where established and emerging small businesses can showcase their companies and get in-person reviews on their products and service.
Yelp already has an awesome augmented reality 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.
Art Director: Jake Broglio
Copywriter: Jessica New