Building a Premium Spa Boutique Brand
Case Study - IrinaZen Spa Boutique:
Brands are portraying the personality of products or services they are delivering. Companies put a lot of effort in creating the brand that is delivering their desired message.
So, if we try to imagine two different brands from the same sector, we will definitely be able to see a clear difference with it’s distinctive offerings. Let’s imagine, for instance: Ryanair Airlines and Emirates Airlines… What would be the first key characteristics coming up to your mind? Perhaps, these would look like:
- Ryanir: low-cost, budget, affordable, family, advertising, a bit annoying…
- Emirates: premium, calm, upper-class, secure….
When I am talking to a client about their business, branding, website… I try to understand what is the personality staying behind that brand. In most cases, when a person is just starting out, he or she is not having a clear vision about their brand. Or, they simply try to mix all of the possible characteristics by wrongly assuming that these would catch a bigger size of audience. And this is the biggest mistake that drives away the audience that is not able to pick up the clear unique selling proposition.
Can you imagine, Emirates being not just “premium”, “upper-class” but also “low-cost”, “budget” etc. I think you got my point. Every product should be for a specific target group. You can not be everything for everyone 🙂
So creating a brand is like creating a person with it’s key characteristics and personal vibration that will attract same people with a similar vibration. The tools for portraying a brand in terms of design would consist of: colors, typography, lines, patterns, logo, slogan etc. I would like to bring you the example of a massage and beauty therapist, with whom I’ve closely worked and have created the desired brand personality.
Irina has been working for several years in a spa and was ready to move forward and open up her own Spa Boutique.
Discovering the Brand Personality:
Irina was very clear about her color preference which was lavender/purple. Firstly she would not think about the target group of her brand. She was also unclear about any other preferences or brand visions.
Here is where marketers and designers should really help their client and make them understand the branding importance. Because, their business success is directly related to their branding. It’s one of the most important components of their success (others being the quality of product/service; the customer service …)
So, my goal is to ask and carefully listen.
When Irina was asked about the uniqueness of her services, she told me that she is incorporating a lot of exquisite and trendy components to her massage techniques. She was using phytotherapy products that would mean to me: organic/natural ingredients. During our market research, I have noticed that her pricing is much higher than of any other therapist in her region. She told me that she was used to this pricing that was set according to her previous spa working experience. So she suddenly had doubts and wanted to shift down her pricing.
But the question was not about pricing but about positioning correctly her brand! I found out that the her previous spa was having higher prices than the average price market and she used to work with medium/upper-medium class audience.
So my question to her was: Do you see yourself as a premium brand? She replied that she does and she would like to portray that.
If Irina shifted down her prices, she would be similar to her competition within her area and would not able to capture a different group of people. It’s not about “pricing”, it’s about the right message that is bringing the audience with the same vibration. Especially, in the Spa world, people are coming for experience and they return if the experience was amazing…
So, most of the time, business owners may not have any clue about the right branding and its importance… And actually they shouldn’t, as they are busy building expertise within their working field. That’s why we are here: marketers and designers who should be able to clearly identify your brand’s personality, positioning, target group and unique selling point.
So my goal is to ask and carefully listen!
Sketching the Brand:
Personality: Premium, Exclusive, Very Personal, Giving time to Customers, Calm, Sharing Peace of Mind, Giving Rejuvenation & Tranquility, Trusted (experience, diplomas, member of various accredited associations)
Pricing: Higher than the average
Positioning: Very personal, Very cozy – A small Spa Boutique with the founder being the therapist, so customers know who will take care of them. Irina herself is representing her own brand.
Services: Premium, Unique, Trendy (incorportaning new techniques), Giving extra time (her services last longer than the average)
Atmosphere: Zen, Calm, Cozy, Wood/Nature (Irina’s spa room was having a lot of wood components, candels, buddha pictures…)
Creating the Brand:
After identifying the brand’s personality, we are able to create and portray this personality via brand visuals like: Logo, Website, Marketing materials (business cards/gift cards) etc.
In order to create the premium look, we’ve used the thin elegant typography, with the Spa Boutique name on it, that brings more exclusivity to the brand. We are not really used to hearing Spa Boutique… we are likely to hear “spa”. While “Spa Boutique” is showing that uniqueness of a small/cozy place. The flowerish crown, has got also very thin details that is mixing well with the logo name and is giving a sense of growth, rejuvenation (blooming).
The Website is like the home of the brand so it should also portray the brand’s personality.
- We used purple/blue colors to separate various call to actions or emphasize different sections.
- As Irina is part of the brand, we have used her pictures (btw, not even professional) to add more trust and personal touch to the brand. People love talking to people… So when they enter her website, they are already feeling the personal connection because she is part of it.
- We incorporated wood, dark/cozy details to make the nice contrast and let the website be even more appealing
- All in all, our objective was to integrate the sense of professionalism, expertise, zen moment and premium services.
Further marketing materials are also enhancing the brand’s personality, as for example her gift cards were made with a special gold foil shine and a soft touch paper – details which are also leading to the “premium sense factor”
When you choose a perfume, you have definitely got a clear emotional association with it. In the same way, your potential client is deciding what service to go for. Don't underestimate the power of branding. I am here to help you in case you are planning to ignite a new project.
“Creating a brand is like creating a person with it’s key characteristics and personal vibration that will attract same people with a similar vibration.“
“The tools for portraying a brand in terms of design would consist of: colors, typography, lines, patterns, logo, slogan etc.”
It’s not about “pricing” , it’s about the right message that is bringing the audience with the same vibration.
“That’s why we are here: marketers and designers who should be able to clearly identify your brand’s personality, positioning, target group and unique selling point.”