The Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa – branding a 5 Star Hotel - Punch Creative
October 11, 2012

The Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa – branding a 5 Star Hotel

Q. How do you raise the brand profile of a 5 star hotel?
A. Via a multi-channel design, print, web and digital media campaign designed to create the experience of visiting ‘The Grand’.

…oh, and 8 months planning, countless storyboards, 6 models, 6 crew, a 4 day residential video/photo shoot, some very helpful staff, a supportive General Manager with vision and some very expensive Louis Vuitton bags !

We have worked with the Cedar Court Hotel Group for some time now, building their brand profile and producing design work to market each hotel in a variety of different ways.
[blockquote] In 2010 we were delighted to be asked to help design, brand and launch their prestigious new 5 star hotel – the Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa in the heart of York. As a design agency based in Leeds with a strong regional identity we could not wait to get started… [/blockquote] The Grand was an ambitious project, a 25 million pound development set in the heart of York with the aim of being the ultimate luxury hotel destination in the north of England. During the last 2 years those ambitions have been achieved by Cedar Court, culminating in it’s awarded of 5 star status – the first ever in York. Since then the Grand has gone from strength to strength, recently winning ‘Large Hotel of the Year’ at the White Rose Awards (run by Welcome to Yorkshire) and building international acclaim and reputation.
So, now that the ‘Grand brand’ has been established it was time to go to market. Punch were asked to design a series of marketing materials to reflect it’s arrival as one of the true luxury hotel destinations in the UK.
[blockquote] But, how do you market a luxury 5 star brand? The way we have always worked is to promote Cedar Court based on a specific product, price or promotion. A 5 star brand requires a different approach to this, one that a luxury market will respond to. [/blockquote] We decided to build our project around experience. What does it feel like to be inside the Grand? We want you to imagine what a weekend there might be like. The only way to experience the Grand is by experiencing it for yourself, so our design work set out to take you on a journey inside the Grand.

Storyboards created for our photo/video shoot

To do this we built the story of ‘a day in the life of the Grand’ – creating a story of a perfect day inside the hotel. The idea was just the beginning, working in collaboration with Bonner & Hindley (a great communications agency we collaborate with for Cedar Court) we built the idea into a multi-channel strategy that would incorporate design, print, video, media adverts and all forms of digital/social media.
[blockquote] Everything was planned around an intensive 4 day residential shoot at the Grand – incorporating both photography and video, a 6 man production team, 6 models, a team of very helpful staff, some very expensive Louis Vuitton bags and lots of frayed nerves! [/blockquote]

Behind the scenes images from the photo/video shoot. Clockwise from top left: lighting the bar area, processing images live on the laptop, models in fast cars! & up early for a dawn shoot.

The project was intense, long hours of shooting, designing, editing and retouching were required before we even began putting the brochures together.
The result of our work centres around 3 individual hotel brochures and an exclusive video – produced with, our video company who we knew could execute our creative vision. But more importantly than that, the project has given us a wealth of materials that now form our ‘5 star marketing toolkit’ which allows us to market the Grand to an international audience in a way that is truly fitting for a 5 star hotel.

…and here is a taster of some of the images we produced – with Anton Stark, our brilliant photographer – which now form the backbone of the design, print and social media campaigns.

…and a selection of printed material