Why you should focus on branding before marketing your hospitality business

January 30, 2024
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If you're a hotel or restaurant owner or manager then you already know that in the fiercely competitive world of hospitality, standing out is a necessity. In our experience, effective branding is key to attracting guests and ensure they come back again and again.

However when it comes to new hospitality offerings, we often see branding left as the final piece of the puzzle. A quick logo, a visual polish before launching. This inevitably leads to missed opportunities and a rushed final outcome.

Here's why we think that branding should be the first piece of the puzzle, ensuring that all marketing, design and PR efforts are aligned before the very first brick is laid and the word gets out...

Strategy first

Your brand is more than just a logo or a colour scheme – it's the entire experience you offer to your guests. By putting strategy first and defining a clear brand platform (name, concept and story) before touching anything else, you'll already be miles ahead of the competition.

The strategy will help inform your brief for interior designers, PR agencies, marketing teams and - of course - the visual identity designers. Everyone will be aligned and the outcome will be a far more cohesive and consistent with the strategy signed off first.

Establish a strong visual identity, sooner

Your hospitality brand should have a visually appealing and distinctive identity, that goes without saying. But when should you have the visual identity ready? We would suggest that the visual identity design should happen at the same time as designing the interiors.

This way, the brief for both interiors and identity can go hand in hand. There can be alignment on the tone of the hotel or restaurant, and all creative teams can have input on each others work. We love working alongside interior designers and we find that it makes for a more rounded and well considered final outcome.

For Doppietta, we worked alongside interior designer Mudi Ruiz to create a photo wall that told the story of the Mille Miglia road race; the inspiration for the identity.
Craft a compelling brand story

In a crowded hospitality industry, storytelling can help set you apart. Your brand story creates an emotional connection with your audience. Before you start marketing, articulate a compelling narrative that communicates your values, uniqueness, and the experience you offer. Incorporate this story into your marketing materials for a more authentic and engaging approach.

The brand story for Chandigarh Café was inspired by the joyful city of Chandigarh in India, designed by Le Corbusier.
Get legalities in order

Before you invest time and money in marketing campaigns, make sure your branding is legally protected. It's important to register and trademark your logo and brand name with plenty of time to prevent any potential issues down the line. This step not only safeguards your investment but also ensures that your brand remains uniquely yours.

Test the branding early

Honest feedback from your target audience can provide valuable insights and help you fine-tune your messaging for launch and for future marketing efforts. Only by having branding ready early on in the process will it be possible to pick up on elements to tweak.

This all might just sound like us trying to avoid last minute project requests – and in some ways, it is! But only because we see the value in considering branding as one of the first steps of the project. Good branding takes time.

So the next time you're making plans for your next hospitality idea, consider getting a branding agency involved in those early conversations and you'll save time (and money) later down the line.

Let's cook together!

Want to work with a branding & design studio that's really passionate about hospitality? Then what are you waiting for? Get in touch, we'd love to discuss your next project!

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