POSTED BY: Gary Gleeson

Hoteliers – the right brand partners with the right experience will help you sleep at night!

13th Aug, 2018

Hoteliers – the right brand partners with the right experience will help you sleep at night!

Branding is a strange business to be in. Most clients want you to have experience in their sector… but not too much experience. If you are designing a whisky bottle, it’s great if you’ve worked with a few small, local distilleries. But if you have worked for their biggest rival it can be a no-no.

At Neworld, we have decades of experience in hospitality branding. We have become specialists in this sector, having created or rebranded dozens of quality hotels in Ireland and Europe. But recently we lost a hotel refresh project on the basis that we had previously rebranded two of their main competitors. These rebrands were hugely successful for each hotel and were markedly different in their design approach. They were unique properties fighting in the same competitive space, able to differentiate themselves with a brand story and visual approach that was specifically and uniquely their own.

So sometimes we have to scratch our heads as to what amount of experience a client thinks their branding agency should have. If an architect or builder has extensive experience building hotels based on understanding the intricacies of this sector, this would be seen as a positive. You wouldn’t go away thinking they are going to build your hotel the same as the last one. ‘That wouldn’t be illogical Jim,’ as a certain Mr. Spock might say. Yet certain clients have this fear when it comes to branding.

With every hotel brand we engage, we look at a multitude of areas. Yes, we do a lot of things that you would expect – competitor analysis, consumer targeting, market positioning, review of existing brand assets. But we also dive deeper with interviews/research with stakeholders, HODs, customers and suppliers. We conduct workshops, research into local history and uncover what is unique about your hotel. And it is only when we have all this information we can create a clear brand position for the hotel – robust in every way and unique in every way.

All the collateral we design has meaning for that property and resonates with the owners, staff and guests. But a hotel brand is more than just the logo on the letterhead or the sign over the door. A great hotel brand has pull-through in every touch-point. We exam and document how the new brand will touch consumers at each part of their journey: pre-arrival, arrival, concierge, F&B, guest rooms, spa etc. It’s here that the brand really comes alive, through its hotel staff embracing the new positioning and understanding what it means to their role within the hotel experience.

So to those potential no-no clients out there, take some time to get to know your potential design and brand partners. If they can illustrate understanding and an in-depth process to create a truly unique hospitality brand then you, like your customers, can sleep soundly knowing that you have made the right choice.

Gary Gleeson, Partner

Gary is a Partner at Neworld, a brand & creative design agency with over 30 years experience developing brands to position them for future growth. Gary has worked with some of Ireland’s biggest brands such as Diageo, John Rocha and O2 and is a recognised expert in hospitality branding, working with Fade St Social, Powerscourt Hotel, Mount Juliet and Adare Manor to name but a few. His belief in branding and its relationship with design effectiveness has seen him guide a myriad of companies through the branding maze. He realises client visions using this synergy of strategic branding and design. He is also the self-professed champion of chilli-making!