Crafting a Tale of Curious Wonders
When QUO received the opportunity to create a new brand that would become part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, our team embarked on a journey to bring La Festa Phu Quoc to life.
Building from the foundation, here’s how we crafted the brand essence, naming strategy, brand and visual identity that form the experience at this novel property.
La Festa: A Tale of an Artist
Since its conception in 2018, Sun Hospitality Group (SHG) has been at the forefront of luxury in Vietnam’s dynamic hospitality landscape. In 2023 the group will open a new resort under Curio Collection by Hilton—the brand’s inaugural property in Vietnam. The 197-key resort is set in a vibrant coastal destination, Sun Premier Village Primavera, featuring distinctive Mediterranean-inspired architecture and an array of restaurants, bars and iconic landmarks.
Working closely with our clients, the QUO strategy team led a workshop to determine La Festa’s brand culture and essence. The process began with a story genesis—a fictional tale that will serve as a foundation for the brand concept and the hotel’s naming.
For La Festa, the journey started with the tale of an artist from Phu Quoc whose vocation takes him on a seafaring adventure, and ultimately into the arms of love. After returning home with his partner, the two create a whimsical place of hospitality inspired by their travels. Our strategy and editorial teams built on this narrative, and La Festa was born.
Bringing the World to Phu Quoc
Celebrating Love and Kinship
QUO’s creative team then stepped in to design and develop the logo by drawing inspiration from the stacked buildings that have become the epitome of Amalfi Coast ingenuity. The final logo reflects this architectural distinction and adds a subtle layer of meaning through the connected letters ‘a‘ and ‘t‘—symbolising bonds of friendship and celebrating love among people and cultures. For the logo and brand colour, turquoise blue takes centre stage as a shade that awakens emotions associated with joy and festivity.
TONE OF VOICE
A Cinematic Dream
“Art is a lie that makes us realise the truth.” – Picasso
La Festa’s tone of voice captures the intensity and romance of the couple falling in love with one another and the Mediterranean world. Creating this sentiment in Phu Quoc, QUO created a tone of voice based on the core concept of ‘Imagine the Wonder’.
The voice traits we designed are ‘festive, familiar and cinematic’ to capture the experience of a distant adventure that touches their hearts—now brought home so guests can experience them in the same way. It does not attempt to recreate or replicate, nor does it pretend to be what it is not. Thus, it is a cinematic dream of the Mediterranean informed by memory and retold through this festive sharing of the imagination.
Bringing Phu Quoc to the World
In addition to conceptualising the brand culture and establishing La Festa’s visual identity, QUO also created marketing collateral and other resources for La Festa. These include designs for the hotel’s PowerPoint presentations, stationery, brand brochure, factsheet and more.
Hybridised space for a summer holiday experience
Since its founding in 2014, My Property Host (MPH) has built a prominent position in the UK’s hospitality sector, offering end-to-end solutions for short-term rentals.
In 2020 MPH soft-launched ‘Relax’, a new accommodation solution that utilizes vacant student accommodation during the July to September summer holiday period. Following initial success and the prospect of a boom in domestic travel for the 2021 summer season (due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions), MPH decided it was time to re-launch the brand with a stronger concept and identity.
QUO worked with MPH to identify the strategic opportunity defining a brand that stands for a fun, engaging summer experience. Zeni was born.
Capturing the Summer Spirit
As a seasonal brand, Zeni’s positioning and identity needed to be closely associated with the joys of summer.
QUO’s strategy team developed a unique concept of a fun summer-only brand, tapping into the emotions of the holiday period and what it means. Underpinned by the values of the conscious traveller, Zeni promises to welcome guests to its vibrant community with open arms, with a focus on nurturing meaningful human interactions.
Named for ‘Zeus Xenios’
MPH brought their concept to QUO as a yet-to-be-named Brand X. QUO’s content team undertook several rounds of naming, exploring words and concepts related to travel, hospitality traditions and summer vibes. Everything from Chaucer’s tales to Bedouin welcoming rituals were on the table.
The name Zeni draws inspiration from the Greek god of hospitality Zeus Xenios—as he’s called in some stories—invoking his role as a protector of travellers. It was once believed that Zeus sometimes masqueraded as an out-of-town traveller, so welcoming road-weary strangers into your house was tantamount to welcoming Zeus, himself.
Zeni is a shortened, sounds-like tribute to that welcoming spirit.
Picture Summer. Unlocked.
Our creative team developed a logo that connects strongly to the meaning behind ‘Zeni’ and represents opening doors to a new community through the use of the letter ‘i’, which is stylised to resemble a keyhole. A pastel colour palette invokes a sense of springtime turning into summer.
The result: a cheerful, accessible logo that conjures summer vibes, unlocked potential and a perpetual sense of welcome and togetherness.
TONE OF VOICE
“Book a Room While It’s Hot. Literally.”
With its cultural foundation in place, and a name to boot, it was time for Zeni to find its voice. The content team developed that reflects a summertime attitude with positive vibes and a pinch of humour. It adapts to each location where Zeni operates with a touch of local vernacular.
Punchy, upbeat and fun-loving. It’s the Zeni way.
Digitising Summer Vibes
Once the brand’s distinctive visual identity and tone of voice were clearly defined, it was time to build the Zeni website. This one-stop digital portal introduces the brand to consumers and presents MPH’s room inventory on a freshly branded platform. Users can explore the cities where Zeni operates, view room availability and complete their booking through the site.
Visit the Zeni website here.
QUO’s creative team produced a range of applications for Zeni. These were tailored to the client’s specific marketing plan and included social media templates, PowerPoint templates, an investor presentation, branded facemasks, key cards and stationery.
Unlock the Summer
In line with the concept developed, QUO also created a social media video—featuring fast cuts and energetic music—to engage Zeni’s target audience in on-brand, summertime activities.
Pioneering hybrid space in South East Asia
The creation of the Wink Hotels brand presented a new set of challenges for QUO. When we were approached by Vanguard Hospitality and Indochina Capital in 2016, we were not simply asked to develop a dynamic new Vietnamese hotel brand, we were also tasked with building real brand recognition across Vietnam long before the first Wink Hotel opened its doors.
Here’s how we tackled one of our most exciting and rewarding projects to date.
A New Concept for a New Vietnam
We started this branding journey as we always do—by building a culture and essence that defines the spirit of the brand. Our strategy team worked closely with our clients to decide where this new brand—which didn’t even have a name yet—should fit within the Vietnamese hospitality space.
We travelled to Vietnam to lead an intensive two-day workshop to unearth the answer. By the end the direction was clear. The new hotel brand would focus on the needs of a dynamic new generation of travellers while remaining underpinned by traditional Vietnamese values. From this, the brand’s ‘Indochine 2.0’ cultural essence was born.
Indochine 2.0 is inspired by the tenacity of the Indochine mentality, finding harmony between modernity, innovation, efficiency and the city vibe, ensuring guests leave with a vivid impression of the destination and the brand.
To help bring the brand to life, QUO’s strategy team developed a suite of touchpoints and experiences attuned to the needs of Indochine 2.0 travellers by tapping into contemporary desires and expectations. Inspired by traditional Indochine shophouses, our strategists imagined a hotel where work, life and relaxation could blend seamlessly together in one vibrant whole. This work-life dynamic was to be expressed with exciting features and touchpoints in Wink’s hotels, including multifunctional, multifaceted open-plan lobbies that offer entertainment, food and drink; a library and retail space; flexible minimalist-style guestrooms; intuitive in-room technology; well-equipped co-working spaces; and more.
A Name for an In-the-know Brand
A vibrant new brand needed an energetic, playful name that would connect with the Vietnamese millennial mindset. An English name was preferred, but it had to be easily understood by a Vietnamese audience, easy to pronounce and carry a strong meaning that connected to the brand culture.
In the end, the name ‘Wink’ was chosen from a strong shortlist. It was preferred for its approachable, playful meaning, and its ability to communicate an ‘in-the-know’ brand that aligned perfectly with the guest experience and Wink’s place at the centre of Vietnam’s vibrant urban communities.
Easy on the Eye
Once the ‘Wink’ name was in place, it was time to bring it to life with a logo that reflected the youthful spirit of the brand. In the end, a simple, modern sans serif font was chosen, with the second part of the ‘W’ contracted to give the subtle impression of a wink. This treatment added a playful dimension to a simple yet sophisticated logo that reflected the contemporary aesthetics of Indochina.
TONE OF VOICE
Sleek, Chic and Fun
The Wink tone of voice is built around a ‘chic and cheerful’ voice concept that embodies Indochine 2.0 and reflects the region’s infectious optimism and bold style, peppering its speech with upbeat exclamations while maintaining a cool, clued-in tone. It seamlessly alternates between sleek prose and cheerful expressions. It plays with punctuation—using ‘;’ to represent a wink—onomatopoeia and phrasing, creating a unique and engaging tone while remaining easy to understand.
A Nod to the Future
Even though Wink had yet to open its first hotel, it needed plenty of marketing collateral and other resources that would help it grow its presence ahead of launch. QUO developed visually compelling materials such as a brand brochure, factsheet, PowerPoint presentation, stationery and more. We also designed a full suite of operational collateral, ready to be rolled out on the opening of the brand’s first property.
Indochine for the Digital Age
The absence of a physical property didn’t mean it was too early to establish Wink’s digital presence. Not by a long shot. QUO immediately designed and developed a sleek holding website that combined the newly developed visuals and tone to create a compelling online representation of this vibrant new brand.
You can see it for yourself right here.
See Indochina with fresh eyes. Well ahead of Wink’s launch date, QUO designed a holding site that communicates the Indochina 2.0 philosophy with on-brand visuals, a chic and cheerful tone of voice and parallax scrolling effects.