Illustrations: Steve Doogan
Once the seat of a grand aristocratic family. Now one of Ireland’s most legendary five star resorts, with a legacy spanning centuries. Adare Manor Hotel was undertaking an epic refurbishment of the estate. The team was developing an extraordinary new five-star offering, but they were up against preconceptions of what a historic country house hotel is and who it’s for.
As they brought the property back to its original glory, their focus was on its future. They needed a total reimagination of their positioning and image to do it justice. So they came to Neworld for a wrap-around rebranding project that touched everything from brand strategy to visual identity and beyond.
How do you move a historic hotel brand from antique to exciting?
Heritage and pedigree go a long way in hospitality, and Adare Manor has an eye-watering amount of both. But if you want to become the #1 five star hotel in the world (and there’s no question: they did) it’s not enough. They knew that, and so did we.
The new brand needed to; escape a reputation of “grand but old fashioned,” appeal to a younger, international demographic, showcase a modern and elevated five-star experience, celebrate the magic, charm and warmth of its history.
We had a fine line to walk, and opposing forces to balance. And we knew exactly where to begin.
We started by excavating two hundred years of brand story. The history of the manor house. Family legends passed down through generations. Original documents. Ancient blueprints. Centuries of records. We engaged in qualitative research with the guests, the owners, the partners and the staff, from GM to housekeeping.
We visited the competition—international luxury hotels at the peak of the industry—to reveal the specific touches and moments that stick with guests long after check out. Piece by piece, our strategic team put together a detailed picture of what makes this hotel one of a kind. We uncovered the core of the brand that would carry Adare Manor forward into another two hundred years (and more) of gracious hospitality.
The answer we found was captured in the new brand positioning, “Beyond Everything”. These two powerful words distil the absolute essence of the revitalised Adare Manor brand. This forward-looking phrase reaches back into the past, sparked by the ancient family motto of the original family of the manor house, the Dunravens, translated as “I wish to see what is beyond.” It became a rallying cry for the rest of the project.
We’d nailed the strategy, and the next step was to bring it to life with a fresh visual identity. The brandmark combines architectural elements from the manor house itself: the A&M are gothic letters inspired by the exterior; the fleur de lis and flourishes were elements from its stained glass and coat of arms.
We created a full kit of parts, combining typography, colour palette, patterns, illustrations and photography to be used across all customer touchpoints: from signage and advertising to food and beverage menus, websites and social presences to uniforms and napkins (and even umbrellas). Each piece was another opportunity to tell the story and build the extraordinary world of Adare Manor. Historic? Yes. But also vibrant, luxe, compelling. Unforgettable.
This is how you create a brand experience that customers carry in their bones.