Millennium Hotels and Resorts were poised to break into the crowded boutique hospitality market with a stylish, urban lifestyle brand targeted at Generations X and Y, and a vision to bring a vibrant, modern aesthetic and innovative, inclusive attitude to the category. The brief was to look jointly at the brand proposition and creative expression in tandem with the hotel concept design. The brand strategy team articulated a bold and differentiated positioning around a brand essence of ‘Freedom to be yourself’, positioning M Social as a stage for creativity, self-expression and connection – with like-minded people and the surrounding city.

The brand

Today’s global explorers, with their desire for travel, adventure and exploration, are the It-market to target. The importance of this demographic has led to a meteoric rise in ‘lifestyle’ hotels, characterised by a more bespoke experience-led approach – creating something to truly write (or post) home about. Increasingly, however, there is very little that differentiates between these lifestyle hotel brands; though they may be distinguishable from their legacy siblings, they are becoming in many ways almost identical to one another.

So, the question was: how do we stand out in a crowd who all claim to cater to this adventurous mindset?

The answer: by having a clearly defined and articulated brand purpose and narrative that resonates with this audience.

More than a logo

A new brand mark was created to showcase the way in which M Social acts as a meeting point, with the serif shaved and the kerning fused as a visual reference to the social nature of the brand. Alongside this, a multi-layered visual brand identity was developed and rolled out across master collateral and a range of marketing and advertising assets, including a new website, booking app, digital display campaign, out of home posters and an evocative brand film that plays on all in-room TVs. Creating a brand that champions the freedom to be yourself, encouraging people to come together and share ideas. Brought to life by bold, multilayered visual elements, our brand stands for creativity, sociability and experimentation.

People and patterns

The human element of the M Social brand is incredibly important. A variety of photographic styles and images were chosen focusing on bringing a vibrant, uplifting, positive and fun energy to the brand narrative. On top of this, patterns became an essential graphic element for the brand, injecting depth and energy into communications.

Creating an experience

To achieve a fully consistent narrative, a set of Service Guiding Principles and Initiatives were developed, in line with the new positioning, to ensure the brand delivers a stand-out experience at every touch-point.