Currently showcased in my portfolio is a visual brand identity project known as HOTEL REIGN. The project taught me, as each one does, just how involved and all-inclusive the term “brand” really is.
When I am approached to create a visual identity for a brand, I must first research the market it resides in. Each market, each type of business, comes with its own challenges, goals, and requirements. The hotel and hospitality market is particularly interesting to me because of the service and experience it provides for people. Hotels across the country invest a lot in their visual brand. The reasoning behind their investment speaks to the essence of “branding” itself. You can apply these general concepts/goals to your creative work, regardless of area of focus.
You have to market your brand, enticing people to want to experience what you have to offer. They invest in a complete visual brand identity, starting with a logo and including look and feel of the building itself. They want present themselves as a destination for their target audience. With HOTEL REIGN, I want to give off a luxurious vibe so all the visuals speak to that. The pool represents high class relaxation, while the downtown night scene showcases the excitement surrounding the hotel. You need to be creative and use every visual advantage you possess. In a visual brand identity, you start with the logo and work your way out from there, creating a complete visual language. A luxury hotel’s identity is not complete without showcasing all desirable amenities at its disposal, which usually includes its location.
After you attract customers/clients to your location, you must deliver on the promise of your marketing. In a market where you have a physical location, it is about their interaction with yourself and/or your staff. It is about the atmosphere when they walk in – the architecture of the building, the visual branding on the walls, the design and feel of the key cards, the room (and the room service), everything! Your brand is everything and everything is your brand. You need to be able to not only get people through your doors but make them glad they did. Creating an impression means depositing a memory in their memory bank so positive that they will remember fondly and return without hesitation.
Keep them coming back to you. Retention is about parlaying a great first impression into a lasting relationship. Your customers should feel rewarded for being repeat customers. Sustaining relationships takes work. That work is well worth it because gaining the trust and loyalty of people means you’ve created ambassadors for your brand that will bring more to you. There is a reason hotels invest in branded loyalty programs. There is also a reason why some hotels invest in re-branding. They’ve lost the people they were trying to retain and are attempting to win them back. High quality branded content and direct communication attracts new customers and keeps the positive image you’ve created well fed.