Brand Definition, Naming and Corporate Identity
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. Having been acquired over time as trophy assets, the portfolio hotels did not demonstrate the philosophical coherence of a single visionary creator nor were they linked by any obvious physical similarities. Furthermore, there existed considerable equity existing in each of the property names and the BIA were determined to retain the “Dorchester” name in any restyling of the Group. 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 for the Group 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. The creative energy released by the marriage of these two apparently conflicting values produced a simple yet powerful call to arms for the management team and employees alike.
‘Collection’ was coined as a softer moniker than ‘Group’, one that carried brand-appropriate connotations of art, fashion and good taste. On this basis, we collaborated with Pentagram Design to develop a subtle and elegant brand identity for the new brand.
Today, under the careful curation of CEO Chris Cowdray, Dorchester Collection has added four more luxury five star hotels to its portfolio, each one a worthy introduction to a rare collection of icons.