How Prophet Creates Winning Hospitality Brands that Stand Out
From perfect Cantonese Char Siu to magical island escapes, we help brands showcase authentic treasures.
Prophet took home seven Transform APAC Awards that recognized our work in brand strategy, design and innovation across a range of industries. It’s always exciting when our work is recognized. It is a testament to our commitment to helping our clients unlock uncommon growth.
In addition to the success stories with China’s leading companies, our award-winning work showcases some of our most exciting projects with leading hospitality brands. Spanning various markets, our clients face fierce competition in the landscape of diverse and ever-changing consumer needs. Engagement Managers Isadora Jones and Cyrill Blaser share their experiences and thoughts on how to create winning strategies for our hospitality clients.
Man Ho: Uncovering A Unique Story that Prevails
Isadora Jones, Engagement Manager
A prominent facet of Asian culture is undoubtedly the food scene. From street food to fancy Michelin restaurants, one can enjoy exquisite local and western food anywhere, at all price points. As the signature Cantonese restaurant in JW Marriott and Marriott hotels, Man Ho is one of those places. Its challenge was apparent – how to differentiate itself as an authentic Cantonese restaurant in order to attract guests and local consumers in Asia? Marriott came to us to create a distinctive brand identity to elevate the Man Ho experience while staying true to its heritage.
What makes Man Ho unique? To understand this, we started by talking to Chef Leo. What resonated with us deeply was Man Ho’s iterative approach and craftsmanship dedicated to each dish. Chef Leo spent years experimenting with every detail to create the absolute best dish (the Char Siu recipe took over 8 years to perfect!), with a great deal of care being placed on finding the best ingredients for each recipe, while remaining true to the original authentic recipes. This inspired us to land on the brand positioning of ‘A Journey Through Time’, inviting diners to experience Cantonese dishes that have been cultivated and refined from one generation to another.
We then developed a beautiful visual system to bring this positioning to life. Our designers created a bird and key logo representing the ancient carrier bird to symbolize the journey that the recipes have been on, highlighting how Man Ho unlocks the secret ingredients that have elevated Cantonese cuisine. We used hand-drawn illustrations to communicate a sense of craftsmanship. We also art-directed a photoshoot in the hotel with their actual chefs to create impactful imagery of authenticity and expertise. The use of contemporary color combinations is what makes the visual identity so special, juxtaposing traditional symbols with black & white photography to create a lively and refreshed look.
The new brand identity has already been rolled out at the Man Ho restaurant in Shenzhen and will continue to be rolled out across Asia in 2020.
Nam Nghi: Telling an Authentic Story that Resonates
Cyrill Blaser, Engagement Manager
Branding a hotel is always exciting. Every property has a unique story to tell and at Prophet we are oftentimes lucky enough to be the people who get to uncover and polish these stories. Nam Nghi, a boutique resort in the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc, had been operating for just over a year when the opportunity of joining Hyatt’s Unbound Collection came up. Having realized that the inconsistent experience across different touchpoints made it challenging for them to compete, Nam Nghi came to us to find their brand story.
We started by identifying what was unique, as we were drawn in by Nam Nghi and the Phu Quoc island. A hidden paradise of lush jungles, turquoise water, white beaches and true hospitality – Phu Quoc Island has become one of Asia’s most talked-about destinations and an international hub for luxury and eco-friendly tourism. We were inspired by a strong sense of preservation of the unspoiled Phu Quoc island as well as the coral reefs around it.
“A hidden paradise of lush jungles, turquoise water, white beaches and true hospitality – Phu Quoc Island has become one of Asia’s most talked-about destinations”
Prophet’s extensive experience in developing luxury hotel brands in Asia has led to an understanding of key trends that are shaping the global travel and hospitality category: hyper-local, eco-consciousness and bespoke experiences. As a result, we positioned the property as a destination for affluent nature-conscious guests who crave for authentic experiences with minimal environmental impact. Centered around this positioning, we then designed an immersive identity that conveys the idea of immersion in nature through the use of patterns and hand-drawn illustrations.
When approaching a brand-building project, hotel or otherwise, it’s important to be attentive and stay true to the anchoring attributes of the brand, in order to tell a truly compelling story that resonates with your audiences. As the Nam Nghi team is rolling out the work across more and more touchpoints, it’s going to be exciting to see the brand and its story truly come to life. So I’m already looking forward to my next visit to Phu Quoc.
Our work with Man Ho and Nam Nghi stood out because they stayed true to the our branding principles. At Prophet, we believe a compelling brand story needs to deliver on three factors: 1) built on a single idea; 2) based on what makes the brand unique; 3) delivered consistently across the full experience. Combining our strategic thinking with our creative minds, we helped the clients to differentiate and grow better.
When brands are faced with increasingly sophisticated consumers and intensified competition, they are compelled to do more. However, it’s important for brand owners to keep in mind these key principles in order to build a coherent and prevailing brand positioning, and therefore deliver the biggest impact when implementing activations and creating experiences.