Dorchester Collection

Brand Development

Defining and implementing a unifying brand concept to englobe trophy hotel assets owned by the Brunei Investment Agency and located in the world’s major
gateway cities.

Case Study

How do you create a single vision for a brand with no philosophical or physical coherence?

In 2005, The Dorchester Group, a management mechanism for five hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), recognised a cross-marketing opportunity by developing a soft-branded hotel management company.

The new enterprise would leverage the goodwill of each of the Group’s five iconic hotels and generate growth by attracting new hotel management contracts once a credible management capability was established. Luxury Branding was approached to mastermind the realisation of this business ambition.

Our constraints were twofold. The portfolio hotels did not demonstrate the philosophical coherence of a single visionary creator, nor were they linked by any physical similarities. Furthermore, there existed considerable equity existing in each of the property names, and the BIA was determined to retain the “Dorchester” name. We, therefore, needed to produce a meaningful form of endorsement brand, which unified and lent greater visibility to the existing properties without compromising their individuality and the integrity of their independent identities.

Following extensive research amongst existing hotel guests, we defined a set of shared attributes and values as well as a platform brand idea based on an apparent paradox: ‘prestige’ + ‘homely’. Prestigious places are rarely homely, just as homely places are rarely prestigious.

‘Collection’ was coined as a softer moniker than ‘Group’, one that carried brand-appropriate connotations of art, fashion and good taste.

We collaborated with Pentagram Design to develop a subtle and elegant brand identity.

Today, Dorchester Collection has added four more five-star hotels to its portfolio, each one a worthy introduction to a rare collection of icons.

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Luxury Branding is a strategic advisor specialising in generating sustainable brand value. Its principal experience is in the ultra-competitive premium segments of the tourism, travel, hospitality and residential real estate sectors.

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Piers Schmidt and Ian R Douglas of Phoenix Global are the co-founders of Kingham Leigh. This dynamic new partnership has been created to design, develop and operate innovative hospitality projects in Europe and beyond.

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