How we Branded ‘Freedom’
What is freedom? Is it something you can buy, or brand?
These questions and more arose when we began our branding journey with The Nautilus, a new Maldivian project aimed at ultra-high net worth individuals. Looking to create a stand-out brand for their intimate, untouched island in Baa Atoll, The Nautilus needed an identity that truly offered something of elusive and undisputed value to people who ‘have it all’.
QUO was tasked with not only creating a brand strategy and culture for The Nautilus, but also a distinctive visual identity, a brand voice, all kinds of collateral, a website, and a brand video shot on The Nautilus’ idyllic Maldivian island.
But first we had to ask: what is the most precious commodity of all?
Tone of Voice
The answer? Time.
Time is the one thing money can’t buy. But on a private island in the Maldives, why address time at all? This was central to the brand positioning created by QUO, as we completely stripped the concept of time away from The Nautilus experience to create an immensely private resort where a whimsically bohemian attitude allows guests to do what they want, when they want. The Nautilus emerged as a sophisticated refuge affording guests the freedom to enjoy life’s elusive elemental pleasures, namely the ability to simply be.
Breathing Life into an Empty Shell
The Nautilus, having come to QUO with a name in place, needed a visual identity that flew in the face of expectation. While the resort hardware itself would have echoes of a nautilus shape, the designers and strategists at QUO didn’t think it would position the brand correctly to utilise the shell shape overtly through its corporate identity.
Instead, we crafted a logo that would breathe bohemian sophistication into The Nautilus and its collateral, one that would resonate with both its luxurious side and its more free-wheeling spirit of liberation.
TONE OF VOICE
A Modern Bohemian
The voice created for The Nautilus does not shy away from its poetic side. Unafraid to ponder aloud, it sets a philosophical mood with provocative questions peppered throughout the prose. It also ‘paints with words’ to create a sense of intrigue and invite readers into a world without inhibitions—a world of their own making.
What is Your Greatest Freedom?
Before The Nautilus opened, QUO crafted a microsite using a different approach to recreating the guest journey with visuals that reflected The Nautilus’ bohemian-but-sophisticated essence. All of QUO’s departments were involved in the creation of the initial site map, integration strategy, design, content and digital direction to create a fully immersive user experience. Based on the key experiences offered by the resort, its whimsical tone laid the groundwork for the full The Nautilus website, which was released after the resort’s opening.
No Ordinary Brochure
The Nautilus was never going to have a normal hotel brochure. The 32-page book was Chinese-bound, providing more flexibility with printing, and allowing us to add a twine binding around the outside of the cover, in keeping with the bohemian style of the visual identity.
A Place Beyond Time
Finally, to fully capture The Nautilus guest experience, the QUO video team went on-site to film a brand video. Outlining the resort’s aim of letting guests escape the bounds of time, we sourced models and travelled with them to the resort to craft a two-minute story about the resort’s offerings amidst the stunning scenery of the Maldives.
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