Branding Checklist: 3 Things Strong Brands Do Well

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 in Branding, On the Road | One Comment

photo credit (above and featured image): The Curtis Hotel

A recent trip to Denver let me enjoy a stay in boutique hotel The Curtis. The hotel industry is rife with competition, and The Curtis (a DoubleTree hotel) knows that a strong brand differentiates itself from its competitors.

From startup to nonprofit, large or small, your brand can learn a thing or two from what The Curtis is doing right.

3 Things Strong Brands Do Well

1. Create a strong, professional logo — and use it.
The hotel’s bright and just-bubbly-enough personality shines through the bright orange logo, which is tempered with a modern typeface in a dark brown. The hotel’s interior identity mirrors its logo, with bold contemporary features in a retro color palette and styling that uses geographic shapes and inspirations from pop culture.

2. Develop the brand’s personality.
The Curtis’ brand promise is that guests will “Stay Happy,” and their brand personality makes me think it’s impossible to feel anything but good while staying there.

The Curtis uses thoughtful, unique design to set itself apart from the pack. With 250 hotels to choose from in Denver, I selected The Curtis precisely because it stood out against other hotels that looked generic and dull.

3. Be thorough — and consistent.
Each of the 13 guestroom floors at The Curtis has finishing touches from a different whimsical theme (“One Hit Wonders,” “Chick Flick,” and “TV Mania” are just a few). While each floor’s theme is different, hotel’s messaging (“Stay Happy”) and delivery (logo, styling choices, and color palette) remain consistent throughout. This makes The Curtis look trustworthy and reliable.

Here are a few branding touches we loved:

A huge welcome mat greets guests just outside the main entrance.


The sliding glass doors feature the logo prominently and give a welcoming view of what awaits guests.


An anything-but-boring hotel key card (left) and a folded map (right) designed to look like the envelopes that hold hotel key cards.


When unfolded, “key card envelope” unfolds into a map of downtown that notes venues and attractions close to The Curtis.


The back side of the map offers useful information about the hotel, such as room service hours and the location of the gym.

In short, The Curtis is an excellent example of how to mean business without being boring and how to set yourself apart from the pack.

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So, tell us:

How are you setting your organization apart from your competition? What are you doing to strengthen your organization’s brand?

1 Comment

  1. Adelaide
    December 31, 2012

    Great post, really enjoyed it!
    — Adelaide


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