Notice Anything Different About Us?

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Notice Anything Different About Us?

Last Updated
22 October 2019
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Anything at all? We’ve been hard at work re-branding ourselves. Can you imagine anything more meta? 

Change the world, start with yourself.

We took this idea to heart when we embarked on the rebranding of QUO this year. The truth is, every shiny brand in our portfolio means nothing if our own branding isn’t strong, singular, recognisable and impressive. 

It wasn’t easy. The project required a large group of creatives learning to see themselves in an entirely new light—and to see themselves, collectively, in the same new light.

At the project’s heart, it required a long, hard look at who QUO is and what we stand for. 

It All Started with ‘QUO DAY’

Our re-branding journey began on QUO Day, a date when agency staffers abandoned their desks and formed small teams, each set on quickly brainstorming, creating and presenting a new identity that represented QUO best.  

What came to light in the process were ideas of duality, of East meets West, classic meets contemporary, witty meets humble. These concepts represented the work we do as well as the team behind it.

After cherry-picking the best ideas from each presentation, the project began to take a more defined form. 

Branding a Branding Agency

QUO’s Chief Branding Officer, Catherine Monthienvichienchai, explained, “Following the same process we take with client projects, we pulled some key team members together for an internal workshop and brainstormed QUO’s Vision and Why (our reason for being). We considered:

What is our ultimate dream for QUO?
Why do we exist?
What’s our underlying purpose?

 

“We quickly narrowed our focus on what we do bestdefining cultureand the lengths to which we, as an agency, go to probe beneath the surface and understand each brand’s core. This is where distinction and differentiation is born. Our Why then become obvious.”

We believe that every organisation has a soul worth uncovering.

From this Why, the strategy was formed. QUO’s updated brand culture focused on a combination of passionate creativity and strategic intellect, alongside bold opinion tempered with absolute humility. 

Visualising the Soul of QUO

From there, a visual identity emerged built on perspective. The letterform of our name was enlarged with wondrous, saturated images visible inside, offering observers a window into the soul of our brand.

Our own culture, defined through duality and perspective

 

We evolved our previous dual font logo to better represent the idea of old meets new by crafting half of it in classical Serif font and the other half in modern Sans Serif font. 

QUO Content Director Derek Kirk explained that this strategic new thinking required an updated Tone of Voice for our brand as well. “We felt this striking visual treatment demanded a more measured approach to copy,” he said. “We took a less-is-more stance—paring down headers, embracing white space and cutting the fluff. Our goal was to create a decidedly human voice that’s unpretentious but just witty enough to keep readers smiling.” 

Our new identity feels right. It reflects who we are, what we do and what we want to do. It represents us, but also inspires us, beckoning us to continue discovering and defining our own soul, so we can better understand the souls of our clients.

QUO Partners with Steigenberger in Brand Re-Launch

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QUO Partners with Steigenberger in Brand Re-Launch

Last Updated
21 October 2019
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QUO has partnered with Deutsche Hospitality to evolve its flagship hotel brand, Steigenberger Hotels & Resorts.

The agency designed a new corporate identity to modernise the classic German luxury hotel brand and demonstrate a more compelling brand positioning as it moves into new segments and territories, with plans to invest €120 million in 2019 in its existing portfolio.

ITB Berlin attendees ­­were this week treated to the unveiling of a reimagined logo that maintains elements of the classic brand image invigorated with new typefaces and soft, complementary pastels. These will combine with newly designed photography guidelines for advertising and collateral. A set of new guest experiences has also been created.

“Our challenge was to find the perfect mix of tradition and modernity – to hold onto our heritage while meeting the needs of contemporary travellers and guests,” said Deutsche Hospitality CEO Thomas Willms. “We feel that we’ve achieved our goal with this new brand identity, encapsulating the quality and service we are famous for in an innovative, future-facing brand.”

QUO CEO David Keen said it is rare to find a classic hotel brand that is so willing reinvent itself.

“I’m delighted to see a deeply traditional German hotel company like Steigenberger embracing guest experience and making that a core part of its brand,” he said.

QUO’s Creative Director Pierre Vermeir said the new logo is evolutionary.

“While I wanted to position Steigenberger as fully modern, I also knew it was important not to alienate the brand heritage,” he said. “The main typeface was carefully considered to strike a balance between classical and modern. In the location descriptors below, the sans serif typeface creates a sense of modernity. The combination of dark brown and grey in the logo is timeless.”

The unveiling took place at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair. Steigenberger launched in 1930 in Germany and is now found in 10 countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The brand continues expanding into new markets, with a recently opened hotel in Dubai and several others slated to open by 2021 in Denmark, Egypt, Qatar and Thailand.

For comment on QUO’s role in the evolution of Steigenberger Hotels & Resorts’ brand, contact David Keen at david.keen@quo-global.com.

Nation Branding in Maldives and Sri Lanka

CLEVER STUFF

Nation Branding in Maldives and Sri Lanka

Last Updated
10 April 2020
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The hospitality sector is defining external perceptions of South Asian countries in the absence of adequate government funding for proper nation branding, according to David Keen.

Speaking in an interview with Sri Lanka’s The Sunday Times, the Bangkok-based branding expert praised private companies in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, in particular, for taking up the slack when it comes to building positive perceptions of their respective countries abroad.

“What is happening in many countries – South Asia and in particular, Sri Lanka and the Maldives – is that there aren’t enough budgets or state financial support in the definition of the nation brand,” he said.

“It has been left to the private sector to do that job and I think particularly in the Maldives the private sector has done a wonderful job.”

That Keen singled out Maldives is not surprising. The nation’s very identity is defined by hospitality and its position as one of the world’s most sought-after and exclusive tourism destinations. It is in this context that hospitality brands have played a significant role in defining how the nation is perceived, often succeeding where government agencies have failed.

QUO CEO David Keen.

“Maldives is an incredible canvas for brands, because under the one island, one resort concept, each island is a fresh canvas. And each island is set apart from the island next door… It’s that distinction – the cumulative impact that all these elements have on each other – that forms that brand,” said Keen.

The situation in neighbouring Sri Lanka is not so different. As Sri Lanka Tourism struggles to get a long-awaited marketing campaign off the ground, innovators within the private sector have picked up the slack with a willingness to express the nation’s personality through innovative brands.

“Nation branding has to be defined by the people, by the infrastructure, by the technology,” said Keen. “It’s the people of the nation that defines its beauty, the culture, and the warmth … that’s the way a destination is defined.”

You can read the full The Sunday Times interview with David Keen here. For more on nation branding, check out this Guardian article from 2017.

CEO David Keen Talks ‘Brand Sri Lanka’

OUR CREATIONS

CEO David Keen Talks ‘Brand Sri Lanka’

Last Updated
10 April 2020
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QUO has been involved in the branding of quite a few ‘household names’ in Sri Lankan hospitality, including Jetwing, Sun Aqua and Galle Face Hotel and CEO David Keen frequently visits the country for business.

On his latest trip, the Daily Financial Times Sri Lanka caught up with him for insights on destination marketing in Sri Lanka, the challenges faced by local operators and areas that need improvement.

Read the full article and David’s recommendations for ‘Brand Sri Lanka’ here.

Refined Bliss: Amilla Fushi Gets a Branding Makeover

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Refined Bliss: Amilla Fushi Gets a Branding Makeover

Last Updated
16 July 2020
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Amilla Fushi has made waves in the Maldives resort space in the two years since opening in 2015.

It quickly became known as a glamorous getaway for discerning jetsetters, with sleek whitewashed villas and a greater selection of large, multi-bedroom residences than any other Maldives resort.

This has opened up the archipelago to families and groups of friends who appreciate Amilla’s clean, contemporary design, diverse dining options and ideal location, just 30 minutes from Malé International Airport.

Amilla Fushi had successfully established its key selling points and did not need a radical brand overhaul. However, the resort’s management came to QUO to refresh the brand to more precisely target guests and drive direct bookings.

Amilla Fushi’s identity in its first two years focused on the concept of ‘your island home’. It was a natural brand essence that derived from the name; Amilla Fushi literally translates to ‘My Island Home’ in Dhivehi. Ultimately, this identity didn’t quite capture the glamorous exclusivity of Amilla Fushi, so tweaks to its brand traits and brand essence were in order. 

To define exactly how Amilla Fushi should evolve its brand, QUO analysed competitors and guest typologies before creating a new brand strategy, which involved the creation of an updated visual identity and a new tone of voice. With the brand strategy and guidelines for images and copy in place, QUO proposed ideas to amplify the brand, before moving on to design and produce brand collateral, brochures, a new tagline and various marketing materials.

The new tagline – Island Bliss – more adeptly captures Amilla Fushi’s seemingly effortless delivery of idyllic luxury. At the core of the new identity: an alluring vision of the good life, indulgently simple and blissfully free of ostentation.

QUO also created a modern website for the resort, with a crisp magazine-style layout that reflects Amilla Fushi’s chic, minimalist aesthetic. Meanwhile, a poetic new tone of voice paints a lyrically descriptive picture of Amilla Fushi’s richly idyllic surrounds. 

Check out the new Amilla Fushi website at www.amilla.com

A Clean Slate: Rebranding a Phuket Icon

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A Clean Slate: Rebranding a Phuket Icon

Last Updated
10 April 2020
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In February 2017, we reported that QUO was in the process of rebranding Phuket’s iconic Indigo Pearl resort.

The Bill Bensley-designed luxury property desired a new identity that would reposition it at the higher end of the market. The project entailed adopting a new name and visual identity, plus the development of a tone of voice, a brand video and a whole new website.

After months of creative development, the final element of the rebrand has been launched with the new site. 

An immersive experience for the user, the site showcases the arty industrial aesthetic of The Slate’s new visual identity and incorporates its new whimsically poetic tone of voice to create an enchanting portal for this innovative brand. The responsive site is heavily led by the resort’s new imagery, drawing visitors into the fantastical world of The Slate, and driving direct bookings through an easy-to-use and attractive interface.

The website joins a comprehensive range of marketing collateral and operational items to form a full 360-degree rebranding of the property, bolstering a refreshment of The Slate’s hardware that saw its suites and villas, dining venues and wellness centre rejuvenated with new looks.   

Visit The Slate’s new website at www.TheSlatePhuket.com

Tiger Palace Resort Shakes Up South Asian Entertainment

COMPANY NEWS

Tiger Palace Resort Shakes Up South Asian Entertainment

Last Updated
27 December 2019
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One of Asia’s up-and-coming gaming operators, Silver Heritage Group, is revolutionising the entertainment landscape in South Asia with the launch of Tiger Palace, its first integrated resort brand.

QUO created the resort’s distinct identity with a strong focus on the ‘Dare to Go Wild’ brand essence.

The resort’s brand was created with the clear vision of transforming the Indian – and broader South Asian – casino entertainment industry. Located in Bhairahawa, Nepal only 8kms from the border with India, Tiger Palace Resort is easily accessible from the target markets of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Around 430 million people live within a six-hour drive of the resort and Tiger Palace Resort provides an exhilarating entertainment destination, unlike anything these consumers have seen before.

A place to let loose, escape the everyday and live for the moment, it perfectly combines international flair with a local sensibility to create a truly dynamic, engaging experience. It is the first integrated resort brand that speaks to the needs of today’s Indian consumer. An accessible yet aspirational fully integrated entertainment destination, the target audience includes bachelors, groups of friends and young corporates who enjoy the good things in life and like to have fun.

The first task when Silver Heritage gave QUO the branding job was to analyse the resort’s competitors and guest typologies. After that came brand strategy execution that included logo design and production of Visual Identity Guidelines and a Tone of Voice document to give the brand a distinctive look and personality. With these guidelines in place, QUO proposed ideas to incorporate the brand ethos at different touchpoints along the guest journey.

One of the most important touchpoints is the website, which QUO designed to highlight the brand’s identity. The engaging, easy-to-navigate website focuses not only on the resort and casino but also the destination of Bhairahawa, Nepal which is near two UNESCO World Heritage sites; the birthplace of the Buddha in Lumbini and Chitwan National Park.

Since the initial branding and strategy work, QUO’s New Delhi office has been the Tiger Palace Resort brand custodian. This has meant naming the resort’s bars and restaurants, overseeing design and production for sales and marketing collaterals, creating over 150 front-of-house and back-of-house collaterals as well as a strategic 360-degree marketing and communications rollout plan. Currently, QUO’s India office is busy with the brand launch advertising and PR campaign.

Visit the Tiger Palace Resort’s website at http://tigerpalace.com/

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