C Resorts

Concept & Brand Creation

Since August 2017, Luxury Branding has been working with Constance Hotels, Resorts & Golf, the leading Indian Ocean operator, to develop an innovative second-line brand, ready for official launch in Spring 2019. Born from rigorous conceptual, creative, and strategic thinking, we are delighted to introduce C Resorts, a younger sister for Constance.

Case Study

The development of C Resorts by Constance was commissioned by CEO Jean-Jacques Vallet to fuel growth for the prestigious Mauritian hotel operator, Constance Hotels, Resorts & Golf. Luxury Branding was tasked, therefore, to help Constance accelerate its expansion by adding to the propositions it offers, thereby increasing opportunities for new management contracts.

For C Resorts to be successful and avoid the risk of being considered as a discount version of its luxury sibling (Constance Hotels & Resorts), we needed to create a compelling, stand-alone promise that would establish clear water between the two brands.

The new brand, which is positioned in the lifestyle, upper upscale segment, is distinguished by a distinct Brand Concept called ‘Nature’s Playground’, which was designed deliberately to appeal to leisure travellers that might not otherwise consider Constance or the Indian Ocean destinations where it is currently present.

These guests were identified as belonging predominantly to Generation X, a cohort of global consumers born between 1964-1982. With 65% of their spending years ahead of them, although Gen X is in its vacation-booking prime, overshadowed by the Millennials, its needs have been largely ignored.

Gen X travellers are reward hunters that want to indulge in the unexpected. They are experience chasers, seeking friendly convivial atmospheres, and urban escapists that travel purely for liberation, fresh air and new thrills.

Reward hunters, experience chasers and urban escapists, during the course of the concept development phase, these three traveller tribes became affectionately known as our community of ‘C-kers’. Found in many different corners of the world, they share two common characteristics: they are innately curious and they wish to let go from the worry and daily reality of being an adult.

With these consumer insights in mind at all times, our Brand Concept was then designed in detail. After all, where better than ‘Nature’s Playground’ to let go and discover – in natural environments that are true, human, simple and crafted? In playful atmospheres that are cool, vibrant, casual and sociable.

We partnered closely with the marketing and operations teams at C Resorts to bring the Brand Concept vividly to life on property in a freeform, freehand and freestyle brand identity, a set of stunning, signature guest experiences, fresh and friendly service, stylish design and a breakthrough communications campaign.

By animating the properties of C Resorts with playful software, heartware and shareware, all of which has been consciously designed to produce an extraordinary experience, we are enabling C Resorts to earn premium rates in comparison to competitors of similar size and specification.

To replace the conventional brand or property brochure, we collaborated with two incredible creative talents – Patrick Latimer, an acclaimed children’s illustrator, and his brother Alex Latimer, a brilliant children’s storyteller – to devise and design a beautiful children’s storybook entitled ‘Nature’s Playground’.

And what better way to awaken the inner child of the brand’s target market audience and to invite them to experience some grown-up playtime than through the charmingly innocent medium of childlike storytelling albeit laced with an adult moral?

This 28-page, hardback book tells a magical tale of Christoph and Carol as they leave their worldly worries behind and escape to C Resorts where they pursue their own dreams and adventures and are changed forever by experiencing the brand’s joy-inducing cignatures in the wonderland of ‘Nature’s Playground’.

The signature experiences, staged at C Resorts, are the branded differentiators that enable the C-kers to enjoy a special, child-like feeling of freedom when they visit ‘Nature’s Playground’.

In a series of innovation workshops, we created, developed and refined more than 100 springboard ideas. These concepts, which were generated by Luxury Branding and the C Resorts team, were then evaluated carefully against a range of selection criteria to arrive at a final set of 12 experiences that define the difference of C Resorts.

Practical, entertaining, surprising and fun, these special ‘Cignatures’ put the C into ‘cizzle’.

1. Crossing: An organic threshold heralds a C-ker’s entrance
What could be better than to be welcomed by nature? An entrance festooned with living plants leads to a lobby flowing with potted local flowers. An organic approach to the Crossing from outside to inside helps C-kers transition from a world left behind into a new arena of pure, unspoilt nature.

2. Concoctor: An arrival drink of scientific genius
C-kers are greeted with a crazy cocktail contraption, the brainchild of inventor, Chris Jones, renowned for his steampunk coffee constructions in Cape Town. This piece of engineering brilliance theatrically produces a perfect colada every time, a welcome replacement to the ever so expected arrival drink.

3. Charm: Children live a charmed life at C
On arrival, junior C-kers are gifted a beautiful, handcrafted charm bracelet. Designed to appeal to both girls and boys, it’s more than a cool souvenir to show off to friends. Charm doubles as an invitation to join an exciting C Quest, on which children have the opportunity to collect more charms through a range of challenging, educational tasks.

4. C Shirt: A welcome gift designed by you
C-kers receive a personal invitation to meet the resort’s resident Craftmaster where they are tutored in the art of printing their own unique tee shirt. An artistic souvenir of co-creation using biodegradable inks and island stencils to depict elements in nature.

5. Cpicerie: A bustling marketplace of delightful delicacies
The lively agora located at the heart of each C Resort. Here, guests meet to enjoy barista-brewed coffee, local crafts and live cooking featuring an always changing presentation of fresh, sustainably sourced ingredients and prepared dishes. This fresh and modern take on a traditional ‘epicierie fine’ is imaginatively stocked and beautifully merchandised.

6. Club House: Boats and board games on the boardwalk
A colourful clubhouse bar with an unashamedly playful purpose. C Resorts re-introduces a nostalgic compendium of sociable activities to be enjoyed by new friends and old. Sporting activities span sand and sea while the apres-waterski bar is stocked to the rafters with complimentary local spirits.

7. Crustacea: A bountiful feast aboard the salty Sirius
A friendly local guide leads guests into the lagoon to explore the fascinating and spiky world of the sea urchin. C-kers will learn how to prise free these curious creatures before enjoying the freshest of marine treats straight from the ocean on the boat. Served raw, accompanied by crisp white Burgundy, one of the most delicious meals imaginable.

8. Cascade: A magical musical shower
C-kers cool off after endless days of sun, sea and sand under a super-sized beach shower that doubles as a musical speaker. C-kers will have fun rehearsing their best dance moves before posting their most hilarious #CascadeMoment on Instagram.

9. Circuit: A biofit approach to training
Healthy design principles, equipment made from natural materials and a unique training method, which is always fun and interactive. Training sessions in the biophilic gym or boot camp on the beach show C-kers how to take their fitness regimens back to nature.

10. C Trek: Guided sociable saunters
Great for exercise, treks and hikes also create excellent opportunities to cultivate sociability, good conversation and enjoyable shared experiences. Whether a purely scenic or a cultural ramble, designed around art, architecture or history, the guide will share a local perspective through stories told along the way.

11.Sessions by the C: Life’s a dance with sunny tunes
C Resorts teams up with Music Concierge to assemble a roster of guest DJs and to compile exclusive playlists showcasing the best in chilled lounge rhythms, organic house, easy funk and soul. Amped up as the sun begins to set, Sessions by the C is a social sundowner with a cosmopolitan edge.

12. Clustre: A community artwork chandelier
Expressive C-kers are invited to shoot creative interpretations of the eight elements from the C Resorts Brand Concept. A gallery of printed images is displayed on a giant replica of Ingo Maurer’s iconic pendant light, which hangs centrally in the resort lobby. The result is a unique collective artwork that’s recreated every week.

To become great, a hospitality brand must be invested initially with a strong identity and a clear sense of purpose. Together, they represent a service philosophy that exists beyond fine words, has real meaning and connects deeply with the team members that work for the organisation.

For C Resorts, it was important for the corporate team to de-learn the ‘Constance way’ and begin to think about the ‘C Spirit’ of service.

We began by facilitating a series of interactive exercises with the team to determine the Service Philosophy, using ‘The Fishbone’, a highly effective framework for describing Vision, determining Purpose and identifying Values.

Although Constance and C Resorts were to share the parent group’s Core Values, we challenged the team to breed a distinctive culture from these same words. We transformed the Core Values into Actionable Beliefs, by modifying the meaning of the word for C Resorts and by pairing it with an activating verb. Accompanied by model behaviours, we ensured that staff understood each Belief’s application to their day to day engagement with guests.

We then turned to Purpose, the brand’s raison d’être. For C Resorts, the Brand Purpose is ‘helping our C-kers let go and play’.

This purpose is the contribution C Resorts makes towards its Brand Vision of ‘a world without boundaries’:

A world where lines in the sand are washed away.
Without borders or artificial constraint.
A world where adults can explore, discover and escape.
Where childlike wonder knows no limits.
Where people reconnect with what matters most.
Welcome to a world where nothing is impossible.

With Values, Purpose and Vision complete, Luxury Branding was asked to help put the philosophy into practice. We designed and facilitated an interactive Perception Points workshop, through which we initiated the process of designing a sequence of brand encounters (e.g. arrival, housekeeping etc.) – points at which the C-kers will come face to face with the brand and make a judgement. We chose a selection of Perception Points within each encounter (e.g. check-in, turndown service etc.) to alleviate pain and deliver delight, providing flavour and intrigue to an otherwise monotonous basis of basic standards.

The Service at C Resorts would not be complete without the right team members to deliver the C Spirit. The challenge, therefore, was to pique the curiosity and interest of dynamic, young Mauritians who might be relatively new to hospitality but demonstrated other talents that would bring fresh and distinct energy to the brand.

By treating the recruitment campaign as a talent show, we invited the island’s movers and shakers to audition for ‘Nature’s Playground’, a new direction in hospitality, through a campaign that put hidden talents at the forefront of the call for talent.

As part of the C Resorts brand development, Luxury Branding was tasked with conceptualising and executing its global communications campaign.

In ways that would create cut-through and clamour in the crowded market of lifestyle brands, our objective was to creatively evoke and portray the spirit of the Brand Concept, ‘Nature’s Playground’.

Knowing that the brand’s target audience of C-kers is innately curious and wishes to let go from the worries and daily realities of being an adult, we designed a creative platform that would invite them to reconnect with time when they were younger and unencumbered by these adult concerns. Our intriguing promise of a little ‘Grownup Playtime’ is all about enabling C-kers to reclaim the best moments from their childhoods while improving them with an adult twist.

Our bold and striking brand communications were designed to remind them of the fun and freedom of their youth. Directly, therefore, we address and awaken the C-kers’ inner child by inviting them to “Come play. Let go. Feel free”.

Print Campaign

The print advertising addresses and awakens a C-ker’s inner child through the medium of illustration. We partnered with creative talents Patrick Latimer, an eminent children’s illustrator, and his brother Alex Latimer, a renowned children’s storyteller, for their ability to evoke childhood memories without going down an obvious nostalgic or childish route.

Five vivid executions set C Resorts apart from other hospitality brands whose product and lifestyle imagery is more or less identical. Each print ad brings to life one of the ‘Cignature’ guest experiences, paired with lighthearted motifs and innocent copy that draws parallels to memories of the past.

Storybook Brochure

Instead of the conventional brand and property brochure, we collaborated with the Latimer brothers again to awaken the inner child and inject some grown-up playtime through storytelling. Our 28-page, hardback cover, children’s storybook tells the magical tale of Christoph and Carol as they experience their own adventures in ‘Nature’s Playground’.

Patrick’s minimalism and simplicity is reminiscent of the books the C-kers read as children and his psychedelic colour palette injects a euphoria that brilliantly represents the mood and personality of C Resorts.

Brand Film

To break away from the conventional brand film, we commissioned SeaMonster, a leading animation house, to produce a 2D of the brand ‘Cignatures’ within ‘Nature’s Playground’. After all, what better medium to awake and address the inner child, than a cartoon?

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