Behind the E

It takes all kinds of personalities to make a creative agency like ours click.
In our “Meet the E Team” series, we select a teammate to profile, giving you a peek at the people of Ethos.

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“Bailey”

Position: Administrative Assistant

Favorite Food: Hamburgers

Hobbies: Travel and being outdoors, spending time with family & friends

Age: 20

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What did you want to be when you grew up?

A Nurse, but I’m currently studying finance/accounting at UNCG.

Little known fact?

I enjoy shooting and racing.

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Most embarrassing moment?

Falling down in front of the whole school in 6th grade at an assembly… so embarrassing.

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Thing I like to brag about?

I’m the smartest in the family…I was salutatorian in high school.

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Favorite High School memory?

Friday Night Lights

How Design Branding Better Positions Your Hotel

Influence how guests FEEL about your hotel.

Let’s think about branding for a minute. What is it exactly? In the simplest terms, it is how people feel about your product or company. While a lot of that is out of your control, there are ways you can influence the emotional connection guests and potential guests have when they think about your hotels. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a consistent visual design plan to represent your company. Here’s how in three easy steps.

Step one—Develop and follow brand guidelines

Think about your company or brand’s mission. What are your core values? What is your vision for your future? How are you different from other hotels? The answers to these questions will serve as the basis for your development of brand guidelines.  

Brand guidelines are important for a lot of reasons. To start, they are the starting point for how the rest of the world will see and understand your company. Think of them as the ultimate resource for what your brand looks, feels and sounds like. A consistent brand look and voice creates trust between you and your customer. You stick to your brand’s design, and they know what to expect, which allows them to feel connected to your brand. 

At its very basic, your brand guidelines should include rules for the look and design of your logo lockups, logo safe space and usage, your color palette and your brand’s typography. They also should encompass your hotel’s mission, vision, target audience, brand personality and core values, so feel free to spend some time thinking deeply about those areas before you make any hard and fast decisions. 

Step two—Let your guidelines guide you

Once you have established ground rules for your hotels’ key components (mission, vision, target audience, brand personality and core values) via your brand guidelines, then it is time to use them. Every item you create, every piece of content you post, every image you promote needs to adhere to the look, feel and tone of your guidelines. Probably one of the most iconic brands today is Apple. They have achieved near perfection with the look and feel of not only their products, but also their advertising and stores. If you were teleported into an Apple store, you would know immediately where you were without seeing a single logo thanks to the bright white displays and open work spaces. 

Achieving that kind of visual recognition for your hotel brand is the goal. Even if you are differentiating properties for the location, there needs to be some cohesive thread that holds them all together and allows guests to associate your brand with their travel needs. 

Step three—Put guests first

If you did a thorough job of thinking through your brand guidelines, you should have spent some time considering your target audience. Determining your ideal guest type, i.e. who you want to attract, will have a lot to do with what branding design you pursue. Research and study up on what this demographic wants in a hotel. Are they traveling for business? Are young children traveling with them? Do they want unique amenities or is value their biggest concern? The more you drill down and learn about what drives them, the more authentically you can craft a design message that will speak to them.

Guests can quickly sniff out when something is not honest or real. You will do your brand a great disservice if you promise things you can’t deliver or try and pull one over on your guests. Honesty, truly, is the best policy when you are representing your hotel brand. Best of all, if your customers are happy and feel connected to your brand, they will often share that appreciation with their friends and families, becoming a word of mouth brand ambassador that promotes your brand without you lifting a finger.

 

 

Love That Loyalty

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The right marketing tactics help hotels drive satisfaction
and build brand loyalty.

$32,800 per second. That’s the amount the U.S. Travel Association estimates U.S. travelers spent on residential and international travel in 2017. Add up all those seconds and the total spent for the entire year was $1,036 billion. If you are in the hospitality industry, you definitely want as big a piece of that pie as you can handle. One way to do that is by providing the best service to keep your consumers satisfied, coming back for more and recommending you to others.

Accentuate the personal

Personalization really matters to people. So much so, in fact, McKinsey found that technologies that personalize experiences for consumers lift your revenues by 5 to 15 percent and increase the efficiency of what you spend on marketing by anywhere from 10 to 30 percent. You have the data, from online bookings, customer service and on-site reservation data, that will allow you to capitalize on people’s love of personalization, but are you taking advantage of it? If not, you could be leaving money (and loyalty) on the table for another hotel to grab on to. 

Even something as simple as a warm welcome at check-in or small in-room gifts will give your guests a warm and fuzzy feeling. And before you know it, you’ve created a customer for life.

Engage the data

Once upon a time, customer relations were about adhering to a set list of items to keep guests satisfied. With the advent of big data, gathering all the touchpoints that impact customers is too big a job for any one individual. Utilize today’s technology to help you find patterns to customer engagement. For instance, if you know that a guest typically has a drink with their dinner, consider texting them a coupon for a beverage so they will dine at your property’s restaurant that evening. Or, if your predictive customer data sees an opportunity to upsell, seize it. Say a family on vacation is checking out on a Friday, find out if you can sway them to stay the weekend with a discount offer. 

All the big data that technology has made available to us today can be used to create more and better incentives that your loyal guests will actual want to use. Look at your regular guests to see what they do and use that to guide your efforts to keep them coming back. 

Tap into social

It is easy for businesses, including hospitality, to fall into the trap of thinking social media is only about marketing. While it is definitely an effective tool for promoting your property or brand to the public, it can also be helpful in helping you better understand your guests and turn them into repeat customers. How? When consumers use social media, they are regularly giving you a peak into their own personal likes and dislikes. This intimate information not only provides you with insight into what is trending, but also what consumers’ preferences are. This is valuable data that you can use to better serve guests and make their experience more personal. And yes, now we’ve come full circle. 

Keeping customers costs you less, believe it or not, then trying to capture new ones, according to Harvard Business Review. They found that it can be five to 25 times costlier to woo a new customer (depending on the business/brand) than it can be to hold on to someone who already uses your services or product. Loyalty is important, obviously, and keeping your guests happy and coming back for more should be super high on your priority list.

 

Enliven Your Brand

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Give your look a boost in 2019 with the latest trends in animation and logos.

We’ve waxed poetic about brands on, well, several occasions. From brand archetypes to working on your own personal brand to even the specifics of how branding can build traffic for destination marketing organizations. Those are just a few examples of our previous branding thoughts, but for 2019 let’s take a dive into how anticipated trends in logos, animation and illustrations can set your brand apart from the crowd.

More about logos

A logo isn’t something a company should change without a lot of thought. But, if it is time to freshen your logo look, consider what’s trending in logo design for 2019. To start with, the web has made semi-flat logos popular because they look like they are coming off the page slightly. This is done through the use of shadows and gradient colors, and the overall effect implies that your company is up-to-date and on trend.

Speaking of gradients, that’s another way to freshen the look of your logo in 2019. Using gradients can create a bold look, one that embraces the ongoing overall design trend of bright colors. Finally, another hot logo update in the next year will be the return of the 80s. Again, this trend takes advantage of bold colors, but it also incorporates strong patterns and an embrace of an over-the-top aesthetic.

More about animation

Another expected trend in 2019 is taking those logos to the next level via animation. The movement not only brings a logo to life, it also gives it that little extra “umph” to make it stick in someone’s memory. There’s a lot of subtlety at work here when your brand embraces the use of an animated logo—it hints that your business has embraced the future and technology.

More about illustrations

Finally, in 2019 expect to see an increase in the use of illustrations by brands to promote themselves. Whether it is an illustration inspired by anime or one that gives a nod to futuristic design, the right one can really elevate your content and message. A well-crafted illustration can communicate a lot, conveying a certain style, feel or even message in a way that sadly words sometimes can’t. When you commission a bespoke illustration, you are getting a look that will be linked to your brand and your brand only, not to mention the fact that an illustration is bound to be eye-catching.

On-trend logos, animations and illustrations can liven your branding efforts in 2019. Overall, understanding your audience is key to properly tailor these elements to catch their interest.