Four Seasons has long been a staple in luxury hospitality. But when the company was expanding, both internationally and into more diverse architectural settings, it struggled to convey its brand across a more extensive network. As this hotel owner-operator transitioned into a hotel management company, the challenge was to determine the proper role of the Four Seasons corporate brand in the Four Seasons hotel experience.
After an extensive assessment of the hotel experience, we found that guests appreciate Four Seasons not only for its superlative caliber of service, but also for its subtle—even humble—voice.
Taking inspiration from their elegant logo, we created a strategic decision tree to determine how overt or subdued the corporate brand of the Four Seasons should be for each guest throughout their hotel experience. While more direct interactions require overt branding to establish strong and lasting impressions, disposable items can receive a subtler branding imprint. This decision framework ensures that guests experience the proper extent and manifestation of the Four Seasons brand throughout their encounter.
Keeping in line with the idea of quiet sophistication, we developed a color palette with a range of 15 subtle colors based on the iridescence of a pearl. To this, we then added a pattern of leaves, paying homage to the tree logo—creating a system that gave the brand the flexibility to express itself in hundreds of variations.
As the company continues to expand, Four Seasons uses the decision tree Siegel+Gale developed as a strategic branding tool to keep all managers and property owners working in harmony. Stakeholders are now able to eliminate uncertainty in hotel branding decisions, derive more value from their marketing investments and maintain their focus on building relationships through impeccable service.