Successful hospitality projects require a synergy between the interior architect and the branding agency. How do you think the perfect balance is achieved?
I think there are a few points worth introducing when addressing this question, firstly I suggest successful hospitality projects can be contributed to, in some cases to the design elements; and in others, the value of the product and service. I suggest the great brands are balanced between the intrinsic properties of design, service, product, commerce.
There are a handful I have been involved with where the design is somewhat greater than the product and service model qualities. These are interesting when considering the idea of a perfect balance, as in these cases, no more highlight the power of design – ‘the absolute gift wrapping’; or quite possibly ‘the absolute magic’.
Then there are cases where the ‘absolute brand’ is formed through the intrinsic qualities of hospitality. These I prefer. I mean these ‘brands’ are where the design qualities interweave within the business model; where the magic of hospitality is at the heart of the ‘brand’.
“The pursuit of a ‘perfect balance’ lies in the people as it does the process.”
The sensory experience within a venue must be the ultimate goal. What role should the branding play within the customers journey?
Branding related elements vary from project to project. I do however suggest branding has become more inclusive today than a decade ago and there are various reasons for this.
Today, the role of branding is more interlinked with a communication model for the business, and this is where I suggest clients should maintain an ongoing relationship and budget for the person or people overseeing their brand. The act of ‘branding’ is an ongoing process, where the interior is not so much. The interior may involve minor curation over time where the brand is the adaptive and informative model helping the business connect with both external and internal audiences.
The branding should in my opinion be involved within the initial stages of informing the core vision. This helps inform all elements are holistic and balanced. The role of branding is an intellectual endeavour as much a creative one. When branding is applied to its full potential it helps empower the business, therefore it often distills further commercial opportunities for the business.
I suggest client’s should explore the relationship with the ‘branding’ and ‘creative’ appointments as nourishing ‘idea’ generation and see their roles as a business power not merely as ‘creatives’. Therefore the role of ‘branding’ is an integral equation for identifying the customers journey.
This is important for both the distillation of the design and its ongoing evolution. This is especially relevant today.