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Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Continues Elevating Signature Mid-Scale Brands with Fresh New Proposition for Ramada Encore by Wyndham

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Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchisor and leading provider of hotel management services, with more than 9,000 hotels and 20 iconic hotel brands, today unveiled an exciting new direction for the Ramada Encore by Wyndham brand globally. Recognising that today’s traveller has more choice than ever before, at the heart of this new identity is a brand promise to be “Refreshingly Different”, which is underpinned by the brand’s core attributes of being fresh, approachable and vibrant. This new identity includes a redesigned and reimagined logo, created by London-based marketing agency Octopus Group, and prototype designs for guest rooms and common spaces designed by hospitality architecture firm Harrison.

Ramada Encore by Wyndham is a portfolio of 54 hotels in 20 countries around the world. The brand was created in the late 1990s as a limited service midscale hotel brand designed for business and leisure travellers who were looking for great value in a simple and smart hotel. At the time of its launch, the brand introduced revolutionary new concepts, including guest rooms with all wood flooring and an open plan, multi-purpose common area that serves as a reception, lobby, casual dining and networking space.

Core to the new creative identity for the brand is a logo re-design, aimed at modernising the visual representation of the brand and appealing to a new generation of traveller. The multi-coloured “E” mark was designed to reflect continual movement through the rotation of the letter, symbolising “to return” – the definition of the word encore. In addition, the brand has received an all new colour palette, which reflects its vibrancy, energy and approachability.

Beyond the visual identity and logo, new prototype designs for public areas and guestrooms are also being introduced. These evoke a spirit of the modern traveller, with well-designed accommodation, fused with completely reimagined multi-functional common areas where guests can eat, drink, work and connect. On arrival they are welcomed via a deconstructed bar, which breaks down the normal relationship between a lobby, reception and restaurant, and allows for the space to be used in different ways throughout the day. Different seating options such as multi-tiered benches and semi-private booths will offer optimal spaces for socialising or quiet reflection, and technology will streamline the arrivals process and allow guests to get on with their stay.

“Whether it’s a business trip or a weekend break, we know that for travellers every minute counts. That’s why we wanted the brand identity for Ramada Encore to reflect its position as a hotel for guests on the go,” said Lisa Checchio, Chief Marketing Officer for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “Ramada Encore is a place where travellers can relax, refresh and connect – both online and offline. Our innovative common spaces and personalised touches demonstrate that we are thinking of what’s next, so they don’t have to.”

Ramada Encore by Wyndham hotels around the world participate in Wyndham Rewards®, the simple-to-use, revolutionary loyalty programme that offers over 59 million members a generous points earning structure along with a flat, free-night redemption rate – the first of its kind for a major hotel rewards programme. For more information, or to join, visit: www.wyndhamrewards.com.

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Design & Branding

Top five tips to attract a younger audience

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1. Flaunt it, don’t sell it

Millennials don’t want or need to be sold to. The youth of today has more options than the marketers of yesteryear have had hot dinners, and for the last twenty years have been bombarded with achingly outdated popups and adverts that have gone hand in hand with almost universal distrust in what is seen as corporate greed.

“Enhances every user’s experience” should be our goal, today’s audience is too savvy for anything else. This is great news, as creativity and data together can get better results than ever by giving our users the best experience they could ever want. If your can is full of great content, it simply won’t and doesn’t need to, rattle as much as those that aren’t.

2. Get the most out of social media

Facebook’s population alone is an almost unbelievable six times (that's 600%) greater than that of the UK and USA combined… if that doesn’t make you pay attention to your brand’s social media strategy, then nothing will. Social media is a superpower, it encapsulates the modern world and we simply must use it as best we can. That means being open, honest and fair. If we can obtain a following here, and if we can maintain that following through our precepts, philosophies, and values we will have a ticket to the most visible stage the world has ever known.

3. Keep it mobile friendly

There is simply no need to explain that today’s younger audiences are getting more and more mobile. This isn’t to say that we are becoming addicts any more than previous generations have been addicted to terrestrial television, wireless radios, or telegrams, it's just that modern technology has shown is the way. Who wouldn’t want to use their handheld device with the wealth of uses it brings. Desktop has to get comfy in the back seat, as mobile is riding up front, so we must put mobile design first. As an industry, we must make user-friendly mobile apps and campaigns. A mobile screen is not, in any way, a limitation, it is a remarkable, handheld, mobile window to anything we want to see.

4. Gamify

Appetite Creative’s Liquid Games is the number one example of how we're now more than able to connect, develop, and grow their audience reach through competition platforms and game theory. From offering incentives and seeking to establish rituals to engage with brands through extrinsic motivation — gamification is the example of how marketers can improve user experience.

By using data and world class design, brands can provide an opportunity to see and be involved in what our consumers want to see and want to do. Let's offer better options, lets not get in the way, and lets get the user on our side by giving something truly innovative, engaging, and effective back.

5. Use great copywriting, design, and call to action

The power of great copy has never been so prominent. In a world of limited space and the heightening wariness of intrusion, copy, great design and magnetic CTAs- all sharing the same pedestal as the number one tools to attract engagements and clicks. We should be striving for subtle, succinct, and stylish copy. We need great logos, great CTAs and great copy to exploit what the data tells us and give users what we know will enhance their experience. It is unforgiving, blatant, and powerful and if we can find the key here, we will open that window that we need to open a world of scope to every demographic we choose to approach.

Embrace the modern world, work with the modern demographic, and deliver what your potential says you can.

Jenny Stanley, founder and managing director of Appetite Creative

All copyrights for this article are reserved to their respective authors.

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Voice: the most neglected yet most important part of your brand

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Your voice is powerful.

The way your brand speaks can bring people together and unite them behind a common ambition or purpose. It can change cultures – the way a brand speaks directly affects the way their people speak. It can turn heads, grab attention and stand out.

But for some reason, it’s still the part of a brand that gets neglected most often. Tone of voice is lumped onto the end of a brand strategy project or given a cursory and impractical page in a brand guidelines document. Often, it’s not even written by a writer. That’s bananas.

Especially given the ways language can directly affect profits. Southwest Airlines rewrote their in-flight safety announcements to be more engaging, and as a result, they now estimate their customers spend an extra $140 million a year.

Still think you can afford to ignore your brand voice?

Your voice isn’t like any other brand asset.

Yes, your audience gets a feel from your look. But it’s your words they really connect with for the first time. What you say and how you say it is the first tangible impression they get of who your brand is and what you stand for.

You never know when that first impression will happen. It could be your advertising, or the cookies statement on your website. So the smart brands think about their language at every touchpoint. They curate the story they tell and the messages they reinforce, through every step of their customer’s journey.

The conversation is changing – and you need to change with it

Back in the day, brands held court with their audiences. They spoke, and audiences listened. It was a monologue.

Social media changed that power dynamic. Suddenly, brands could be faced with thousands of customers individually complaining about a problem or disappointment. And each of those individuals expected a reply to their personal plight. Social media sparked the era of conversation.

Now, technology is changing the landscape again. Voice user interface (VUI) devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home have presented brands with a new challenge. How do you build a brand in a world with no logos, no colour palettes, no typefaces, no graphic assets? Your language is all you have to convey your personality.

Is your voice ready for that?

What does that mean for tone of voice?

Tone of voice is responsible for influencing more than ever before.

How does your brand sound? What accent, what age, what gender? What noises represent your personality – high pitched beeps? Low, bassey rumbles? These decisions need to be grounded in something. Tone of voice is the natural springboard for these decisions – it’s not just words in a letter or on a billboard anymore.

So how do you create a strong verbal identity?

Start with a writer – someone who knows the craft and understands how to best manipulate language. Writers think about audiences in a unique way: they empathise and connect with them. Partner them with designers and strategists. Encourage symbiotic relationships, input on each other’s work, challenge and push each other. Create the brand together.

That’s how you create a strong tone of voice, and how you build a holistic brand, ready for the future.

Bee Pahnke, head of voice, Dragon Rouge

All copyrights for this article are reserved to their respective authors.

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Brand Positioning

When it comes to a website, where does the brain reside? Designer or the developer?

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People are visual by nature, we are influenced by colours and layout, and are captivated by moving imagery. Yet, people are also drawn towards simplicity and familiarity – when it comes to websites, we don't like working hard. Within seconds of landing on a website, a person will form an impression of not only the site itself, but also the branding and company that it represents. It falls to the designer and developer to captivate users and hold their attention. As websites are in increasingly high competition with each other, creating more and more roles within the digital industry – who has the most power: the designer or the developer?

Putting this question to our in-house web developers (WDV) and web designers (WD), it quickly became clear that there is no conclusive answer. Instead, the question helped to separate the two roles.

How would you describe the influence of design/development?

WDV: ''Code is at the root of all functionality, it is far superior to the speed of processing that can be achieved manually and is an endless source of information and knowledge – it can automate manual tasks that would equal days or weeks for a person.''
WD: ''If a website is designed well and works well, the evidence will be clear in web traffic and engagement – ensuring the user enjoys using the site is always of paramount importance.''

Where does creativity feature?
WDV: ''Coding is an ongoing process of problem-solving. Creativity comes in finding the most efficient or user-friendly way to do something that is easy and intuitive for the user.''
WD: ''Creativity features through the use of effective imagery, placement of graphics and relevant calls to action. A design is a collaborative piece in which the overall aesthetic draws a user in.''

What strikes you first on a website?

WDV: ''Its capability. I am always interested in functionality and how websites best streamline my online search – such as built-in soundclips, wishlists.''
WD: ''The design and interactive elements. Users don't absorb digital information in the same way as print media. The positioning of key elements of the website (navigation, logos, graphics), always strikes me first.The most impressive site I have seen is The Bear Grylls site, as it’s like a cinematic experience, with moving elements that draw you in. The work of David Carson is also consistently impressive, he’s a trendsetter for design and everything he does is out of the box.''

What has more influence on a user: design or development?
WDV: '' Design has to be done so the user intuitively understands what to do. Development has to have functionality that synergises with this – so that when a user clicks something, it does what they expect it to do.''
WD:''Design is what the user will naturally be drawn to. It helps solidify users buying into style and brand which creates brand loyalty. But without the support of a strong interface, even the best design cannot deliver a good user experience.''

Is there a natural affinity for design/development?
WDV: ''Development is problem-solving and when you solve a problem it's very rewarding. As long as you're interested in coding and dedicated, you can learn. The number of new things to learn grows exponentially. It's difficult not to start trying to learn every new thing you hear about – but it's best to get a solid understanding of the things you will actually use.''
WD: ''It was the challenge of keeping up-to-date with new trends that drew me to graphic design and continues to fascinate me. Web design is an ongoing learning curve as new ways of doing things come into play.''

How much cross-over is there between design and development?
WDV: ''Design harmony, visual hierarchy, the balance of design elements and functionality play a heavy hand in the production of a quality digital product.''
WD: ''They work hand-in-hand, great design comes from having the knowledge of what can be done in development. One can’t function properly without the other.''

The digital industry is one of the fastest growing, and progressive, sectors in the developed world. As the boundaries of creativity are constantly pushed thanks to developing technology, designers and developers adapt their creativity to consistently raise the bar on what is possible – including now taking steps towards sustainable web development.

So, who is responsible for changing the digital world?

The power lies with you, the user.

Creatures of habit, the biggest challenge is trying to change user behaviour. Web designers and web developers are artists, providing all the functionality we need and in just the right places, to make sure that you don't even have to think. Well-crafted websites make navigating them so easy that it is second-nature, the experience is so straightforward and intuitive that users keep returning, successfully increasing revenue with a seamless design that is well-executed by development.

Alice Learey, digital marketing executive, Hydra Creative

All copyrights for this article are reserved to their respective authors.

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