Design Alone Cannot Sustain a Brand

By Paula J. Azevedo Principal, dash design | April 10, 2016

Think of a hotel brand, and it’s a sure bet that far more than its logo will come to mind. From the initial booking of a room, to interactions with the valet, bellhop and reception desk staff, to the overnight room’s comfort plus amenities, and right through to the check-out process, hotel brands are banking on providing an enhanced guest experience, overall.

Certainly, the design of a hotel matters to its brand, but no matter how pleasing it may be, design alone cannot sustain a brand. It can, however, elevate the experience from start to finish – and that’s powerful.

Business? Pleasure? Both?

As designers, our job is to be forward thinkers and lead individual brands and personalities, as well as keep relevant and respond to the market’s needs. These days, that means addressing changing attitudes in business and leisure travelers, the heart of many hospitality brands’ focus. What was, in the past, a divided category of business and leisure travelers, today has become a hybrid class or what’s widely becoming known as the “bleisure customer.” Driven largely by society’s high use of mobile connectivity, along with a desire for social networking, discovery and intrigue, this customer isn’t looking to separate business travel from leisure like those before him did. Instead, he is weaving the two together, eliminating the divide and nuances between the types of travelers, entirely.

In catering to this guest, it’s important that a brand’s design aesthetic aligns and integrates with its operational needs, culture and services. To do so, all facets of the design need to be up-to-date, innovative and technologically advanced. The execution is important and it is the mission of designers to reimagine the possibilities and understand the unique selling points of each brand, since design can contribute to a hotel’s success or failure to resonate with guests.

Together, on Their Terms

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