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Great Wolf Lodge

Product extension

My role:

The team:

Product Design, Brand Strategy, Secondary Research, Copywriting

Sarah Hardin (Brand Manager), Andrew Harper (Brand Manager)

The Ask:

Develop a product extension strategy for a brand based on quantitative evidence.

The Problem:

Great Wolf Lodge is beloved for their family-focused, multi-attraction resorts. The facilities provide a wide array of activities and amenities designed for guests to "come as a family, leave as a pack." While the resort offers so much to do in activities, the brand does not standout among their competitive set.

The Solution:

Develop a product extension for Great Wolf Lodge that can offer an exclusive experience and amenities to both differentiate and dominate within their competitive set.

Brand Background

Great Wolf Lodge started in 1997 as a single resort in Wisconsin, offering year-round indoor water park fun for families. Today, they have expanded to 19 locations across North America, each featuring sprawling water parks with slides, pools, and activities. Their resorts go beyond water, providing themed entertainment, dining options, and even mini-golf.


What do you do for the resort that has everything?

 Our strategy had to ensure that the product extension for Great Wolf Lodge did the following:

  • Retain its core base while offering them something new.

  • Acquire new customers who are seeking family-centered fun.

  • Maintain the message and spirit of family-centered experiences.

  • Offers something completely unique to the brand that can be applied across locations.

The ultimutt opportunity

Currently, no resort has a connected luxury pet boarding service, only hotels with pet-friendly rooms. The humanization of pets has led to increased demand for luxury services, with the industry being worth $11.8 Billion in revenue with a predicted 1.1% growth in 2023 - 2028. (IBIS)

Given that pet boarding facilities often add additional cost and hassle, 37% of dog owners would rather skip the trouble and opt to stay home with their pet than travel. However, every year, 78% of Americans choose to travel with their pets. (The Roanoke Times) (Rover)


The opportunity:

What if Great Wolf Lodge was able to fill the need of traveling families by offering an alternative to traditional kennels, while including their pets in on the fun?

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Great Wolf Lodge’s Pet Boarding Services will see an expansion of Great Wolf Lodge resorts for the addition of pet boarding facilities and guest rooms meant to accompany families with their pets. These services will bring the addition of:

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Professional pet care services, including pet-sitting, walking, feeding, and grooming.

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A pet mess hall providing nutritious meals and a designated dining area for pets.

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Expansive green space for exercise, relaxation, and socialization with other pets.

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A dedicated dog water park with splash pads, wading pools, and water features for dogs to enjoy and cool off.

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And of course, spacious and secure accommodations, including a variety of kennel sizes and comfortable beds to cater to different pet sizes and needs.

A world of play, now with a woof.

This opportunity allows for Great Wolf Lodge to both expand their customer base and offer something new and exciting for even their most loyal guests. The product extension will not only increase revenue but strengthen Great Wolf Lodge’s goal of having guests “come as a family, leave as a pack” by allowing for guests’ entire families to be included.

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