Exclusive Hotels & Venues – now Exclusive Collection – is a luxury hospitality group founded in 1981 with six hotels, two spas, a golf club, cookery school and an 12th century pub.
Our brief was to create and identity for the group and its properties that better resonates with the brand proposition – Creating happiness in Amazing Places – and evolves the heraldry of the existing brand. To shake off the pomposity associated with exclusivity we had to inject a sense of modernity that steps away from traditional ‘Country Luxury’ and into ‘Modern Luxury’ with an ‘exclusivity for everyone’ purpose.
What is modern luxury?
Visits were made to all properties with three overnight stays to explore each hotel and get a feel for how they are similar, how they differ and what quirks and personality each one has.
Undertaking a three day design sprint allowed us to develop ideas, styles and an understanding of just how difficult it is to put together a piece of contemporary heraldry.
A proposal was put to all six General Managers and the Group board at Exclusive’s annual strategy retreat – the work was well received but one piece of unanimous feedback stuck with us.
Do we need to have shields and crests?
So we rewrote the design brief – contemporary heraldry had been their requirement from the very beginning – and pushed to move out of the restraints of a shield container and move into something more emblematic.
The identity for Exclusive Collection properties are now centred around emblems that are identifiable to each property.
Each hotel has embraced an animal that is native to the local area, the property itself or is representative of the location – Pennyhill Park takes a Fallow Deer from Richmond Park, South Lodge a South Downs sheep, Lainston House have their house owl, The Manor House takes a lion from its gardens, Royal Berkshire is up the road from Royal Ascot and adopts a race horse, whilst Fanhams Hall has it’s own pair of love birds.
Applications across the group benefit from the brand architecture with the endless repetition of the property name and logo whilst on property being ruthlessly reduced enabling Exclusive Collection look at how the brand is pulled through the hotels in different ways rather than via the logo appearing hundreds of times.