grand_hotel_union
Photo credit: Union Hotels

Talk with MartinA Marušič, Director of Sales and Marketing of Union Hotels

Martina Marušič

Editorial board of the magazine talked with the Director of Sales and Marketing of Union Hotels, Mrs. Martina Marušič, who told us about the new brand, which Union Hotels received last year. She presented the reasons for the change, its key features, how their work was done and what have been the first responses to the newly created image.

Q: In 2014 a new graphic design was created – logos of the Hotels and a new main brand name Union Hotels. What was the inspiration for the rebranding of Union Hotels and what has covered full renovation process?
The renovation of image was our multi-year desire. By joining Lev Hotel and Central Hotel and five other smaller restaurants, we decided to introduce a new main brand. In the process of renovation we covered all of our facilities and also updated boards on facades, web and printed materials, menus, and the smallest details, such as the padlock on the doors, bags of sugar and other – nothing was left to coincidence.

Q: Under the new brand the most famous and award-winning Slovenian design studio Gigodesign signed a contract. Can you describe the process of cooperation with the agency?
We were constantly in close cooperation with Gigodesign, which was crucial in order to create a new image with design that reflects our style. The team is really good and experienced in the field of graphic communication and they showed a high degree of responsibility to the project.

Q: What is the essence that radiates the new graphic design and to what did you devote the most attention?
The renovation of existing Brand such as Ljubljana Union hotels is gradual, because the existing brand is already known to the public. Most attention was devoted to the preservation of already known image with such refreshment that it allows a better communication with our guests. A new image is now based on the existing characters, while also communicates the style and character of each hotel.

Q: What are your experiences after completing the project and how satisfied are you with the results of the renovation?
We are very satisfied with the results, because the change was unobtrusive for guests and almost invisible, and we are very satisfied with the end results. A welcome change was also recognized by the employees, because the image improves our performance and management with the image.

IF IT IS GOOD, THE GUEST DOES NOT NOTICE IT

Do you remember the logo of the best hotel where you stayed? Probably not. And rightly so. This does not mean that the graphic design of the hotel is irrelevant.

Quite the contrary. The image of the guest is accompaniedby much longer than the duration of the visit itself. The image regards you when you first found the hotel online or in the brochure and in the form of an invoice, souvenirs, or even memory “stored” hotel soap with him to return home. Although discreet, is a key part of the overall guest experience with a hotel, so it no matter how small element should not be left to chance.

This is especially true for hotels with such a long tradition, such as the Grand Hotel Union, which next year will celebrate its venerable 110 years. As well as for newer, but to the guests are already well known hotels. In addition to the Grand Hotel Union are updated image will also get new associates at Lev and Central and five restaurants.

On the one hand, such a merger and renovation requires the development of recognizable images of individual brands and hotels that appeal to different target groups and their effective connection into the group of the umbrella brand, and on the other hand the design of a system of rules that enables the design and construction of a variety of communication elements. And these are really many, Marušič lists from the biggest and the most notable, such as signs on the facade, the whole range of printed and digital promotional materials, menus … all the way to the smallest ones, such as door hangers and coffee sachets of sugar.

“The design of a new image in the public eye already existing, well-established brands such as Ljubljana Union Hotels, is usually an evolution, not a revolution,” explains Matevž Medja from design agency Gigodesign, principal investigator of the graphic renovation. The new image is therefore based on existing characters, while it also communicates style and character of individual hotels.

[pullquote]“Successful implementation of the image, both among the guests as well as among the employees is a challenging task that designers are always practicing in close collaboration with the project team on the side of the client,” said Medja.[/pullquote]

“In the case of the most prestigious one of the group, the Grand Hotel Union, these are surely an elite location and a distinctive architecture in the style of the Vienna Secession, which each guest must feel from each, even the smallest element. With a modern interpretation of the key elements of tradition we are continuing to strengthen the repu- tation of the hotel, its market position and prestige benefits that guests appreciate and cannot be purchased or acquired overnight.”

It is also impossible to change overnight the face of a hotel, let alone of a group; refreshment of the image of such a complex system usually takes a few years. It is of course important that the transition is unobtrusive for the guests, even invisible, and all the employees of the hotel in it identify a welcome change.

“The new look facilitates work for our employees and management of the image, and to guests, in addition to an excellent experience also offers some unexpected attention,” says Marušič. “Stay with us is now enhanced with mischievous notes on the packaging of cosmetics in hotel rooms and in the future we are preparing some more, new pleasant surprises.”

Hey! I am first heading line feel free to change me

“The design of a new image in the public eye already existing, well-established brands such as Ljubljana Union Hotels, is usually an evolution, not a revolution.”