Taking a different kind of idea and making it redefine a category.

Brand Creation • Style Guide • Brand Programming • Marketing Collateral • OS&E • In-Room Materials • Trade Show MaterialS • Photography • BRAND VIDEOS • Developer Materials • B2B Marketing

The world of select-service hotels used to be cluttered by a bland collection of cookie-cutter brands where guests stayed out of necessity rather than by choice.

Then we created Aloft Hotels.

Lining up the target audience

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to develop a brand from scratch. So when Starwood gave us the chance, we dug right in. We started by defining our target not by traditional market categories (business, family, etc.) but by psychographics: tech-addicted, playful, information-hungry, socially connected, free-spirited, price-aware, design-conscious, and adventurous. And we created Aloft Hotels to mirror those behaviors.

Laying the groundwork with the brand bible

With a target guest clearly in sight, we set to work creating a brand bible that defined the brand identity and provided a framework to guide all partners involved (developers, in-hotel staff, etc.). We positioned the brand to our target guest, gave it an energetic personality, imbued it with a love of music, tech and design and created iconography that reflected its electric personality.

From sketch to on-location reality

Partnering with Starwood Worldwide, we guided everything from the architecture and interior design to staff uniforms and entertainment programs. From the beginning we wanted to strip away extraneous service offerings that drive prices up. Instead, we focused heavily on creating a free-flowing lobby space where guests could hang out and play pool and locals could come in to catch a band play. In doing so, we effectively launched a new innovative category of select service hotels.

Keeping it fresh season after season

Much of Aloft’s appeal is due to the surprises it has in store. And that is very much by design. We created the seasonal refresh program wherein the lobby décor is changed seasonally with original artwork we produced in-house. Pillows, posters, lobby desk wrappers, etc. all got a new look, along with a themed signature cocktail to celebrate the occasion.

Applying the vision consistently across communication channels

Consistent messaging is key when launching a new brand. We developed everything from the in-hotel collateral and signage to the social media and web presence with a consistent look and feel that intrigued our target guest.

Building a fanbase with Project: Aloftstar

Along with design, music has always been a defining passion for Aloft. Project: Aloft Star is a global battle of the bands that takes place entirely on social media. We promoted the contest every year, creating traditional and interactive ads, on-property signage and more.

Lights, camera, Aloft!

Over the years, we produced a heap of videos for Aloft. From the original concept reel (created to sell the concept to developers before there was a single property built), to brand videos and sizzles, to viral videos, we kept the cameras rolling. All were done in house.

From a dream to a hundred locations

To say that Aloft was a success would be a major understatement. Not only did it capture the imagination of guests, but it inspired a whole industry. It grew from one hotel to 100 worldwide properties in record time and forced the competition to pivot or risk being left behind.

Brand Creation
Style Guide
Brand Programming
Marketing Collateral
In-Room Materials
Trade Show MaterialS
Developer Materials
B2B Marketing

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