Branding made beautiful: LUX* hotels

In many hotels you would struggle to know which brand you were staying in if all the signage was removed. An exception to this rule is LUX* Resorts, who have made brilliant use of brand properties to create a truly distinctive guest experience. And this seems to be paying off in satisfaction scores, with an amazing 83% of Trip Advisor ratings being 5* for the flagship Belle Mare resort in Mauritius. There are other resorts in the Seychelles, the Maldives and Dubai.

Here are some of the things Lux have done beautifully.

1. Start with a big brand idea

The brand idea for LUX* is "Lighter, brighter", which is what the "*" refers to in the logo. This is a simple idea, but one that is brought to life in the whole customer experience, and in the brand's communication. And it is distinctive compared to many more traditional tropical luxury resorts that tend to cue sophistication by using darker brown colours in their fabrics, graphics and furniture.

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2. Leadership from a "Brand CEO"

Talking to the team at LUX* they spoke very highly of CEO, Paul Jones, a hotel industry veteran who was formerly President of One & Only. He seems like what we call a "Brand CEO", who not only works on the business side, but also brings to life the brand vision through his own behaviours. Check out Paul's handwritten note below, via Style Cartel, which brings to life his vision in a very LUX* way. The page is headed "A NOTE FROM THE PRODUCER" and starts by talking about "Staging unique performances in beautiful island settings": miles away from your normal CEO bland business-speak.

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3. Distinctive service features

What is really cool about LUX* is the number of brand properties they use to create a distinctive customer experience. These are what we call "defining gestures": ways of creating brand distinctiveness at key moments of truth. Here are just a few of these:

– Café LUX*: at the heart of each LUX* hotel is a Café Lux where baristas prepare great, freshly roasted coffee. Not only do the drinks taste better than average hotel coffee, the café looks great and the smell of freshly ground coffee wafts through the reception area

– ICI: each LUX* has its own ice cream bar, serving lovely little sorbet lollies in the morning, and more indulgent ice cream in the afternoon

– Screen on the beach: three of four times a week there are movies on the beach, complete with popcorn and ice cream

– Phone home: enter the classic red phone box and you can ring friends and family for free

– Sounds of LUX*: no piped "elevator muzak" here. The music selection has been carefully curated to be cool and contemporary

– Beach Rouge: a stylish beach bar and restaurant that wouldn't look out of place in St Tropez

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4. Distinctive brand identity

If the distinctive service features deliver the product "sausage", the whole visual look and feel adds lots of emotional "sizzle". The LUX* Belle Mare Plage is the flagship resort, having had a major makeover by design doyen Kelly Hoppen. Her style is very much in tune with the Lighter, brighter vision of LUX* , and she has brought this brand world to life beautifully. This is in the general areas of the resort, and also in the rooms and suites themselves, which are bright and fresh.

More on the interior design of LUX* here in a blog post by Mrs Taylor, who is an interior design coach.

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In conclusion, LUX* is a lovely example of creating a brand idea and then bringing it to life to create truly distinctive customer experience. It's a rare example of a service brand where you could quickly spot the brand, even if all the signage was removed.

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