Why Hospitality Needs Branded Environments & How to Create ThemWritten By Corinna Scott
Why Our Relationship with Hospitality is Special
The relationship between host and guest, the acts of giving and receiving, are powerful moments for our social bonds. Providing a hospitality experience goes beyond the limits of our interpersonal spheres by extending our reciprocity to strangers. People seek out cafes, bars, hotels, or restaurants, not for a practical commodity, but for what those interactions can evoke in us. Does a frequent business traveler feel like they’re at their home away from home when they stay at a chain hotel where they are a loyal member? Does a couple feel a greater sense of intimacy when they dine at a romantic restaurant? Does a cafe patron care more about how much they spend on lattes every year, or the feeling of being known by their neighbors? We all love a great cookie, but it’s not about the cookie from your local bakery, it’s about the experience of receiving the cookie.
Why Hospitality Needs Branded Environments
As a part of our social fabric, the hospitality industry has the potential to create a sense of connection and belonging in ways that other industries don’t have the opportunity to do. But, with all of this opportunity comes a saturated market and fierce competition. So what makes some hospitality businesses more successful than others? The answer isn’t just in the quality of products and services, while those elements matter greatly, the thing that will stick in people's memories is the lived story. We cannot recall taste with much detail, but we can recall the way a place made us feel. This is where branded environments come in. Think of your brand as your business’s personality, and your spaces as your personality’s embodiment. Branded environments cultivate a storied experience that people come to know, and trust in being able to find time and time again.
How to Create a Branded Environment
If you have a new space, or if you’re considering revamping your existing space then follow this process to transform your physical environment into a spatial experience that tells your story:
- Define your programming:
What will be happening in your space? How will it be used by your employees? How will it be used by your customers? What kind of equipment will you need? The more specific you can be about how your space needs to work for your business, the better.
- Plan your space around your programming:
Based on all of the information from your programming needs, you can optimize every inch of your space to ensure it’s functioning for the operations and culture you want to cultivate through detailed spatial layouts.
- Craft your brand positioning and identity:
By clarifying your mission and vision you can champion your business with a brand identity that tells a story. Your logo, color palette, and typography will be the foundational visual elements for your brand's communication, but they’re just the beginning.
- Design an immersive brand experience:
How can you bring your brand to life through the senses with textures, lighting, shapes, colors, materials, and furniture? When people interact with your space, what are they seeing, smelling, touching, and tasting? What is your spatial language? What is the story that your customers experience?
- Remember your digital space:
A holistic brand experience considers all physical and digital touchpoints. Make sure that your brand is applied consistently to your website, social media, newsletters, and all forms of customer touchpoints to preserve the integrity of the brand that you’ve poured heart and soul into.
- Open your doors:
Cultivate community by simply sharing your unique brand experience.