LUX* Resorts & Hotels

Brand-led transformation

In 2011, Luxury Branding was appointed by the failing Naiade Resorts to devise a turnaround strategy that would rescue the brand from near bankruptcy and provide a new foundation for growth.

Case Study

In 2010, Naiade Resorts Limited, the former LUX* Resorts & Hotels, was in financial crisis and had lost its way in the eyes of the tour operators on whom it depended for business. In response, recently appointed CEO Paul Jones began implementing a turnaround strategy and hired Luxury Branding as his strategic advisor in early 2011.

Luxury Branding masterminded multiple projects for LUX* Resorts & Hotels and partners with the brand from 2011–2016.

With little capital to spend and recognising the critical importance of the people working for the moribund Group, we worked with new CEO, Paul Jones, and his leadership group to first articulate an inspirational ideology for the 3,500 Team Members who had lost faith in their company. Once installed, the Vision, Purpose and Values became the foundation for all the work that followed.

The next step was to define a positioning that would enable a rebranded resort company to stand out in the ‘sea of sameness’ that blights most Indian Ocean resorts – a challenge made all the greater by the constraints placed on spending by banks who had only reluctantly agreed to continue their support of the cash-starved operator.

Necessity, therefore, was the mother of invention as we set about masterminding a truly differentiating concept for the brand; one that relied not on expensive upgrades to the hardware but on software and service dependent only on creativity and passion, which was happily abundant among a reenergised team.

We charged and supported the group to think differently about every facet of a resort vacation and to banish thoughtless patterns that so dominated their peers.

Our ‘Island Light’ concept was rooted in a quite different approach; one that celebrated the Nature, Flavour, Culture and Wares of the Indian Ocean islands.

To express the concept dramatically, we developed the LUX* Resorts brand name and supervised the creation of an inspiring and eye catching brand identity with regular design partner & SMITH. Together, we defined the brand’s ‘Lighter. Brighter’ communications platform and its accompanying advertising concept as well as conceptualising and writing the launch brochure, website and a suite of trade and consumer communications.

The brand was launched globally to critical acclaim at a gala event hosted at LUX* Le Morne on 1 December 2011.

Three years later, LUX* Resorts & Hotels is the most successful hotel company in Mauritius and its share price has climbed from 25 Rupees to over 61 Rupees since we started working with them. Learn more about what it took to turn around an ailing hotel company by watching this five part documentary, which charts the remarkable journey from Naiade to LUX* Resorts & Hotels.

Encouraging LUX* to make the ordinary extraordinary and to banish the thoughtless patterns so entrenched in their peers, we bade farewell to old world wines and conceptualised an innovative range of fresh and sexy South African wines, producing a house label that delivers both great quality and value.

To replace the traditional and largely French oenophiles experience with something more appropriate to the brand’s Indian Ocean setting, we approached leading South African wineries to curate a collection of exclusive Cape wines – single varietals and New World blends. Bottled under screw cap, so was born the Scrucap brand – a range of 12 still wines and two Methode Cap Classique (Cape ‘champagne’) individually selected for LUX* from leading Cape vineyards by our friend Kent Scheermeyer.

Four years and 293,000 bottles of Scrucap later and with the brand garlanded in Platter’s by Diners Club, the world-renowned South African Wine Guide, in 2016 we augmented and elevated the concept with the introduction of a premium range of signature wines. Working closely with our winery partners, Kent carefully curated a ‘reserve’ collection comprising a Semillon / Sauvignon Blanc blend (2012) and Nebiolo (2013) by Steenberg’s JD Pretorius and a Chardonnay (2014) and a Pinot Noir (2014) by Andries Burger of Paul Cluver.

Reflecting the personal approach to making and selecting these elite wines and their premium positioning in relation to Scrucap, we christened the quartet ‘Signature’. This idea was realised in the branding and front label design by featuring prominently the winemakers’ autographs. A first-hand description of the wine’s composition and qualities from the winemaker is provided on the reverse.

A pure, luxury aesthetic brings the wine’s creator closer to its consumer and contributes to a satisfying and sumptuous all-round experience.

For a generation or two of digital natives, there is a nostalgic allure to the tactile experience of the print publication, which has effectively been elevated to objet d’art. As such, a new breed of print publication is emerging, drawing on hand-crafted, traditional and bespoke print and binding techniques; with editorial content driven by passion and creativity and not by advertisers’ expectations and demands. LUX*01 was created to meet this need.

As part of our portfolio of services, we regularly write and publish promotional material for our clients, which has led us organically into the wider world of publishing. We are therefore proud to announce our first hotel magazine project, produced on behalf of LUX* Resorts & Hotels.

In curating and assembling the world’s best writers, photographers and designers for this project, Luxury Branding has produced a hotel magazine unlike any other.

Storytelling is an art form we’ve loved since the beginning of time. Philosophers and farmers, explorers and kings have all traded tales and images across the centuries. Now it’s our turn. LUX* 01 celebrates life in its many forms, flavours, cultures and characters. We invite you to open your eyes to inspirational journeys and colourful new lands…

Click here to download a pdf of the LUX* Magazine

LUX* Resorts & Hotels tasked Luxury Branding with devising and producing its 2015 global resort advertising campaign. Exemplifying the brand’s ‘Lighter. Brighter’ approach to luxury hospitality, 
it was shot on location in Mauritius during July 2014.

Four striking executions avoid both literal resort imagery and wordy propaganda. 
Instead, the images were captured using a contemporary form of photographic impressionism, which produces an intriguing, art-like quality. The creative direction showcases the essence of LUX* by using photographic imagery not to show location or product but rather to paint mood, feeling and emotion; creating a truly distinctive 
image identity for this young brand.

The four stories, which were shot over three days at two of the LUX* resorts in Mauritius and on location around the island, are composed of multiple layers of source imagery that were crafted into seamless montages during post-production. Award-winning photographer Mark Read was encouraged to explore the relationship between mood and light, the cornerstone 
of all photography, and demonstrate how it can evoke feelings of peace, energy and contentment. However, it was in the darkroom that much of the magic happened, where we partnered with pioneering studio, Darkroom Digital, to combine up to 70 layers of imagery to create the final campaign.

The experimental photographic approach allowed Luxury Branding’s Design Director, Brian Bainbridge, to achieve a multi-dimensional narrative within each vignette, starting with the characters and then layering up the surrounding elements to reveal the full story.

Rush, the most adrenaline-packed vignette in the four-part series, saw the crew hurtling down the face of a breaking wave whilst shooting Russia’s champion kite surfer for its background layers. The three other pieces are entitled simply Moment, Serenity and Dance.

The campaign was released across global media supported by a budget of $1 million.

Following the hugely successful launch of our ‘Island Light’ concept, LUX* Resorts & Hotels expanded its footprint into new territories with the announcement of two properties – both considerable departures for the brand.

The first was LUX* Lijiang, a mountain set boutique property located in a UNESCO world heritage site at the gateway to the Yunnan province of China. The second, LUX* Al Zorah – a glamorous beach resort strategically located along the coastline of Ajman less than one hour from Dubai.

As with LUX*, no brand remains static and with the original concept and its brand originally conceived for LUX* Island Resorts, there was now a requirement to both accommodate new types of product, whilst delivering a strategy that would continue to premiumise its positioning.

LUX* 2.0 was conceived to facilitate the group’s expansion into these new markets whilst still adhering to the brands creative principles. As such, the ‘Island Light’ concept was developed to embrace future locations in the city, on the beach, and in nature.

At the same time, it also afforded an opportunity to revisit the existing resorts and develop new guest experiences and touch points – further elevating and differentiating them from a set of competitors who, with imitation being the highest form of flattery; had now begun to emulate.

LUX* = Light

What a beautifully simple phrase.

And what incredible possibilities it opens up for visual executions.

As the title of our film, what follows is a breathtaking, exhilarating and entertaining exploration of light, in all its forms, shapes and meanings.

Shot in London for LUX* Resorts & Hotels, this version is the full Directors Cut.

Eschewing the cliché of a conventional brand film, we commissioned composer and renowned music director Steve Sidwell to create an audiovisual representation of the ‘Island Light’ concept at the heart of the LUX* Resorts brand.

The result is the ‘Island Light Overture’. Remarkably, every sound in Sidwell’s vocal tour de force is produced by the six singers you see on screen. The accompanying film was shot by El Skid.

In conceptualising the LUX* brand, we decided that luxury was overrated. It was time for something fresh. All too often, day-to-day life can be a little predictable, so it stands to reason that when we take a holiday we wish to escape the routine and make the most of it.

The original 50 ‘Reasons To Go LUX*’ were an eclectic collection of experiences, surprises and pop-up treats designed to help each and every guest celebrate the authentic energy of island life, to embrace spontaneity and to enjoy each moment – because it matters.

Following a year of planning and rehearsals, the 50 Reasons To Go launched across the group and quickly captured the imagination of both the media and guests.

In 2014, we returned to the concept and via a series of workshops with senior management teams, we finessed the existing Reasons To Go, whilst devising and planning the introduction of new ones for roll out in 2015-16.

Whilst undoubtedly assisting the brand to differentiate itself from its competitors, it was the actual guest experience that benefitted most from the exercise – a cursory glance at guests surveys and online reviews showed that they resonated with people of all ages and backgrounds.

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