EN Hotel is a hospitality group with hotels spread across the heart of some of Japan’s most emblematic cities. They approached Erretres to oversee their new global vision, from the development of a new brand to the implementation of its philosophy across the entire user experience.
This project sought to transform the brand from being perceived as a practical hotel service into a complete hospitality offering, elevating the brand to form a central part of a guest’s travel experience. This evolution sought to improve guest satisfaction, generate loyalty amongst visitors, and aid in the growth and expansion of the group.
In order to define the challenge and exact a series of insights and key goals for the project, Erretres travelled to Japan to conduct a series of workshops. These were held with key stakeholders from EN Hotel alongside project partners, and conducted with the goal of aligning the focus, direction, and global vision. The visits also served a research purpose, allowing for a deeper understanding of the competitive landscape and for an analysis of current service offered by EN Hotel.
Based on the insights extracted from the initial phase of research, we developed a concept which would serve to inform the development of not only the visual identity, but also the philosophy used to make decisions going forward.
The concept places focus on the contrast present between the two core facets of the group’s offering: the energy of exploration and discovery during the day, and the calm and relaxed atmosphere offered by the hotel by night. These two important elements of the brand combine within the EN Hotel space to instill within guests a sense of EN (縁), an emotional bond with the destination.
Combining the contrast with the idea of Enso, a circle drawn by hand in a single stroke, we developed a symbol as the minimum expression of the concept. This minimalism is then reflected throughout the brand’s other elements, with a typeface taking hints from Scandinavian architecture and a clean and simple graphic system taking cues from editorial design. The colour system takes a high contrast warm gray and white as its base, incorporating a cream and pink secondary colours to add moments of warmth to the visual identity when needed.
SIGNAGE & INTERIOR DESIGN
The most important touchpoint of the brand are the hotels themselves, so we worked to refine the look and feel of the interiors, as well as on the development of architectural features where applicable. With an array of different services on offer, the development of the interior and exterior signage was also an important consideration, so we developed a custom system of iconography and wayfinding for the brand which coexists with commissioned works by local artists.
The main points of contact with the brand would be physical during a client’s stay at the hotel, but for the development of the brand, the experience that the user would have before and after arriving at the hotel was also taken into account. For this reason, the applications developed fulfill a clear informative function, but are also designed to generate a memory of the moments lived.
In order to successfully launch the brand’s new positioning, we developed an extensive series of applications for various touchpoints, from corporate events to various literature relevant to the user experience within the different hotel spaces. This ensured a consistent brand footprint to ensure a coherent experience across different contexts.
In order to effectively communicate EN Hotel’s new positioning as an integral hospitality experience, we also worked to design and launch the brand’s online presence, from its corporate site to that of each individual hotel.
Their website serves to showcase both the hotel’s offerings and those of its respective city, all whilst guiding a user to make a booking. The design was custom, balancing brand impact with functionality. It was important to create a premium user experience that users from different countries could understand and assist the customer at every step of the process.