Branding in the Hotel Industry (Part 2)



In the first post of this series, we discussed the significance of branding within the hotel industry and explored the initial two phases of the branding process, accompanied by diverse examples tailored to the hotel sector. Moving on to the second part of this post series, we will delve into the domains of verbal, visual, sonic, and olfactory identity. We will elucidate how Shahrtash Studio can assist you in crafting the essential components of your brand.


Verbal Identity:

Verbal identity outlines the guidelines for verbal communication within your business. What tone should be adopted when interacting with hotel customers and stakeholders? How should various forms of correspondence be handled? What language and tone are suitable for use on social media platforms? This stage encompasses every facet of verbal interaction your business might require.

Words constitute our entire realm, and regardless of our personal preferences, they wield direct influence over the encounters we share with others. In hotel management, the accuracy and integrity of guest experiences hinge on the interactions they encounter throughout their stay, ranging from interactions with internal managers, reservation staff, and hotel concierges, to housekeeping personnel, restaurant servers, and hotel attendants. Any slip-up in this realm could prove detrimental to the guest’s experience. Let’s consider an example.



Imagine yourself as the proprietor of Tokyo’s largest hotel, situated in a nation steeped in intricate cultural nuances where the misuse of titles and respectful language can spell disaster. In such a context, even if your hotel impeccably adheres to hospitality norms and executes everything to the highest standards, a single moment where your receptionist, in a well-intentioned jest, addresses a newly arrived guest in an overly casual manner and employs familiar terms could entail significant risks. The potential consequences are evident. Did your staff gauge this risk? Probably not. Verbal identity steps in to offer clarity

 to you and your team regarding permissible language, thereby establishing your brand’s tone and voice.

Verbal identity extends beyond the scenarios described. In bustling urban environments, guests might prioritize tangible attributes such as room aesthetics, culinary offerings, and cleanliness, favoring concrete qualities over abstract ones. Yet, how does this dynamic change in tourist-centric, particularly historical locales? In such settings, a hotel’s narrative assumes paramount importance. Skillful storytelling has the potential to etch your brand’s story and the guest’s stay experience into their memories for years to come. Storytelling stands as a crucial facet of verbal identity, governing how you employ narratives to strengthen your brand.

Moreover, verbal identity also plays a pivotal role in the textual content associated with your hotel. What impression does your website’s text leave on prospective customers? What tone does the guest registration form convey? Should the guests feel like they’ve stepped into a second home, or should the formality exude opulence to match heightened expectations? Consider the post-stay survey form – does it engender a sense of anticipation for the guest’s return or insinuate a grave oversight if they don’t choose your establishment again?



Visual Identity:

What greets your audience, customers, or guests before they engage with your written content? Whatever the answer, it falls under the umbrella of visual identity. This facet empowers you to shape the perception your audience forms in their minds. From your logo to the structure of your social media posts, from the design of your website to the broader visual framework of your brand – all these components constitute the realm of visual identity.

The logo typically serves as the audience’s initial point of contact. This implies that even before a visitor parks their car and enters your hotel, they encounter your signage and logo. This moment holds immense potential in converting a casual passerby into a prospective guest. Yet, what attributes should your logo encompass? Which color backgrounds best complement your logo’s visibility? What color palette resonates with your brand? We will provide tailored responses, aligning them with your target demographic and brand’s requisites, elucidating how each element should be employed.



We advocate for the branding process to precede interior design and architecture. This approach stems from the recognition that architectural features and color schemes wield substantial influence over guest experiences, particularly in extended stays. With its meticulous delineation of visual identity particulars, the brand book empowers project architects to pretest diverse ideas, integrating them seamlessly with other project components if they harmonize. This approach facilitates the incorporation of visual identity elements within the project, fostering cohesion across diverse brand facets.

Consider the example of employing relaxing colors versus luxurious tones. The choice of hues holds significance not only in the hotel’s interior design but also in the restaurant and café menus, as well as the documents and forms guests encounter during their stay. This choice demands deliberate consideration, grounded in logic and rationale, rather than the personal predilection of your hotel’s designer.

A well-executed branding process ensures coherence across all brand facets. This prevents scenarios where one aspect of visual identity evokes luxury, while another element of verbal identity conveys safety and tranquility. Such discrepancies can befuddle guests, tarnishing their stay experience and presenting a significant challenge to establishing your brand as their preferred choice.



Visual identity encompasses everything that engages your customers visually. From business cards of senior hotel executives to the user interface (UI) of your website, from environmental graphics to tableware in the hotel’s dining establishments, from graphics used across social media platforms to room keys – they all constitute the fabric of visual identity.


Sonic Identity:

Consider the auditory backdrop that accompanies you throughout the day. Conversations, traffic noise, commotion – these constitute a fraction of the sounds that punctuate daily life. Frequently, the deluge of sounds becomes an irritant, prompting a yearning for respite in a quieter locale. Herein lies the potency of your hotel brand’s sonic identity.

Carefully chosen auditory elements provide your guests a haven within your establishment – what better aspiration for a hotel? The auditory domain encompasses everything guests hear during their stay and even before making a reservation. For instance, the waiting music a guest encounters when booking a room allows you to set the stage for their impending experience.



Rather than adopting the generic elevator music found in numerous hotels and buildings, your hotel elevator could feature a distinct melody, reinforcing the guest’s stay experience and preserving its cohesiveness.

Throughout the day, hotel guests frequent the lobby and their rooms, presenting ample occasions to evoke desired emotions through specially designed music. At Shahrtash Studio, one of our strategies involves crafting music that precisely captures the sentiment your brand wishes to convey. Attuned lobby music, aligned with the hotel’s design and color scheme, can entice guests to linger, potentially resulting in increased patronage at the hotel’s café.


Olfactory Identity:

Few senses evoke memories as rapidly as smell. When chosen thoughtfully, scents can exert a profound impact with minimal conscious awareness. This dimension of branding, a specialty at Shahrtash Studio, hinges on olfactory identity.

What should the lobby of your hotel smell like? What aromas should permeate the guest rooms to evoke a sense of cleanliness? What fragrance should hotel amenities emit, conveying the guest’s importance? The responses reside within the realm of olfactory identity. We meticulously select scents that harmonize seamlessly with other aspects of your brand strategy.



Conclusion of Part Two:

This article has undertaken a comprehensive examination of distinct elements within the brand strategy. Each facet’s relevance to the hotel industry has been illuminated. In the final part of this trilogy, we will scrutinize how to ensure the accurate execution of brand strategy, ensuring seamless progression of these processes.

To learn more about Shahrtash Studio and how our studio does things, we suggest you read Our Magic.