The Virgin brand steps sideways into hotels

hotel branding

A brand with extraordinary category extension discipline.

Arguably no brand has stretched into new categories like Richard Branson’s Virgin has. Capturing the personality of Branson’s own brand, Virgin has come to represent a brand that challenges the paradigm of the categories it enters, usually looking to provide a better option for the customer, all delivered with a ‘and a devil-may-care’ attitude. With a disciplined approach and a clear understanding of their brand strategy, Virgin has been able to achieve where many businesses have failed (albeit with a few misses themselves) – success across multiple categories.

Virgin’s entry into the hotel category looks to be following suit. With a launch hotel in Chicago and a second due to open shortly in San Fransisco, Virgin is looking to play the boutique hospitality game their way. Whilst not as disruptive as Airbnb, Virgin is none-the-less changing the traditional hotel value offer using the tools of design and innovation.

The hotel rooms that Virgin calls; ‘chambers’ are highly designed from both an aesthetic and functional perspective. A sliding door cleverly divides the room into a dressing room with Poliform designed wardrobe and bedroom with custom-made ‘hybrid beds’. The tech-savvy rooms come with free, uninhibited wifi and allow you to order room service and adjust room temperature using your phone. Add a restaurant, cafe and rooftop bar and you have a strong consumer offer all wrapped in the Virgin brand personality.

Hotel branding

In Virgin’s unique brand language they promise:

No Nickel & Diming. OR SURPRISE FEES.

• Free Wi-Fi without bandwidth restrictions
• No cancellation fees
• Early check-in or late check-out without penalties
• Free daily social hour for hotel guests

Minibars stocked at street prices.

Healthy and naughty drinks and snacks without paying an arm and a leg; only fair prices. And all stocked in our red mini SMEG.

Don’t call it a room.

Calling them rooms is like calling the Space Shuttle an airplane. Our groundbreaking Chamber design combines the hallway, closet, and bathroom into one luxurious Dressing Room area, while Privacy Doors close to create a personal Lounge, ideal for working, recharging, and playing. Everything you would normally expect in a suite is here, plus a few surprises.

Hotel Branding

A Second peephole

We focused on how a room works, not just how it looks. And ours works twice as hard – creating two lifestyle-focused rooms in one: the Dressing Room and The Lounge – separated by a sliding set of privacy doors, complete with a second peephole.

Hotel brand identity

Beds that do tricks.

Our one-of-a-kind patented Lounge Bed features an ergonomic headboard and erectable footboard that allows for a multitude of, ahem, positions. Work comfy, lounge lavishly, and rest like modern royalty. #BBE.  Best Bed Ever. Of course!

A hotel in your pocket.

Book a room, order room service, control the climate, make dinner reservations, even live chat with your concierge and other guests. All this (and much more) with your personal comfort assistant LUCY™ – our mobile app. Ask for anything, really.

The Commons Club.

A bold new vision for the modern day social club – born from the same entrepreneurial spirit that built Sir Richard Branson’s empire of fun. And unlike the stodgy exclusionary clubs of the past and present, here we toast to exclusivity for all.

This is your hotel; run it as you wish.

Sounds on-brand to me.

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years of experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Pics courtesy Virgin Hotels.

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