What do guests remember about your hotel? It might be the tiniest detail, but all details should be coherent. This is how you think about a luxury hotel brand.
Luxury hotels are not just about tangible assets: a lot of their value comes from intangible things, and their brand is one of them. A luxury hotel brand is a very peculiar kind of brand: it has to be discreet but memorable, unique but not overwhelming.
Define the unique brand promise for your luxury hotel
Every great hotel has a unique promise that keeps its guests coming. It’s never just about the rooms or the food: it’s about the overall spirit that makes the stay different and memorable. Whether it’s the cosmopolitan feeling or an adventurous “kick”, a luxury hotel brand should be able to convey this promise at every step of the experience.
This means that – in the early step of your brand design – you should focus on values and emotions rather than shapes and colors. Knowing what you want your guests to feel will guide you through the next steps.
Express your luxury hotel brand through the experience
Hospitality is a deeply experiential business: this means that a luxury hotel brand can leverage many unique touchpoints in order to help the guest “feel” the brand.
Traditional visual identity items are just a tiny part of a luxury hotel brand. There are many more to consider: interior design, staff uniforms, room amenities, and restaurant materials are just as important in ensuring that the brand experience is aligned and consistent. Of course, you don’t want to overlook non-visual cues like sounds, smells and the tactile feeling of materials.
This multisensory branding makes it all more important to understand the luxury hotel brand in terms of a concept rather than an image.
Use a symbol to make the luxury hotel brand an insider’s secret
While you want your luxury hotel brand to be recognizable, you don’t want it to be mass market. At the same time, you want your guests to feel part of a community of people that appreciate the same kind of things and experiences.
In other words, they should be able to recognize each other even around the world.
To keep this a bit more hush-hush, you might want to use a little subtlety: having a symbol that can travel even without your brand’s name will give your guests a way to show their allegiance. Maybe it will appear on a pen, on a shopper bag or a pair of slippers. Nothing too obvious: if you know, you know.
Tone your colors down a bit
Every hotel is unique. If you have multiple locations, even though your brand is consistent, each experience will differ. Every guest is unique, too: while they all love your brand, they might do so for different reasons.
This is why the palette for your luxury hotel brand had better be subtle. Not because it’s more elegant, but rather because it stays open to possibilities, whether it’s being adapted to the local colors or reflecting the guest’s mood, neutral tones are more flexible and inclusive.
You might also opt for a dynamic palette that can vary depending on the location or the hotel area. While more complicated, this option will allow you for more vibrancy in case your luxury hotel brand has a young and energetic personality.
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