See What We Did

Open Water & The Yarrow Hotel

Describing the experience of a distinctive hotel in the heart of Kent.

The Background

The Yarrow is a £10 million Hotel in Broadstairs that is run by East Kent College. The college has an excellent reputation for the high quality of their hospitality courses and the capabilities of the students they produce. The Yarrow was set up to offer the high-end service that these students can give to the general public through the hotel, bar, restaurant and salon as well as through their corporate and wedding packages.

The Brief

Conveying East Kent College’s excellent reputation within the hospitality industry was key to the branding. It was very important that the hotel be seen to offer a high-end level service but still be viewed as accessible to everyone; Four Star service at Three Star prices. To support this message of accessibility, the brand had to be family friendly.

In addition to this tone, we were asked to convey elements of the Kent area, the heritage of the building, a sense of discovery and exploration, and having the time and space to relax.

The Solution

After carrying out a branding workshop with all of the major stakeholders at East Kent College we decided to explore several visual options that each focused on different elements of the hotel brand. It was important to the college that potential customers be consulted on these options and to see which elements best resonated with them. This required us to run several focus groups to delve deep into how the brand was viewed. This feedback was analysed and used to develop the brand into what it is today.

The Yarrow building was at one time a convalescence home for children so was designed to be spacious inside with wide corridors and staircases; features that remain today. To evoke this, the brand was designed to give a sense of space and taking the time to relax, an evocation that perfectly fits the surroundings of the hotel. It was also important to convey The Yarrow’s Kentish heritage and the idea that you can go there to discover something about the area that you might not have experienced before. To this end we created a set of icons that evoked the Kent area and could be used playfully, being found in sometimes unexpected places and recreating that feeling of discovery.

A key element of the brand is the language and copy style that is used both inside and outside the hotel. We crafted the language around adverbs that demonstrate the intricate processes that go into the service at The Yarrow. These adverbs are stylised to stand out to potential customers and create a sense of the service they can expect. 

We created a main mark that reflects the architecture of the Yarrow building itself. Coming off of this main mark was a timeline that conveys the process that goes into giving such luxurious service and reminding customers to take time to indulge and enjoy themselves at The Yarrow.

As each area of the hotel has the potential to be marketed separately, we developed a colour for each that was unique to it, while still working within the palette of the overall brand. We created a set of icons that could appeal to both adults and children and conveyed elements that would be easily associated with the area of the hotel that they had to work in.

We developed a set of guidelines that allow the new Yarrow brand to work effectively across online and offline channels and give future visitors to the hotel a real sense of the experience they will receive.

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Client

  • EAST KENT COLLEGE

What we Did

Brand Strategy
Brand Concept Testing
Brand Language Testing
Brand Identity Testing
Customer Research
Brand Workshops
Brand Identity Design
Brand Guidelines

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THE SCOPE OF OUR PROJECT REQUIRED CAREFUL NAVIGATION TO SATISFY A NUMBER OF STAKEHOLDERS, WHILE NEEDING A RESULT THAT HAD TO APPEAL TO A BROAD VARIETY OF POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS. OPEN WATER DEVELOPED A STRATEGY THAT GAVE US TREMENDOUS INSIGHT INTO OUR CLIENT BASE AND ALLOWED US TO MAKE DECISIONS WITH CONFIDENCE. GETTING THE VISUAL IDENTITY OPTIONS IN FRONT OF POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS IN FOCUS GROUPS ALLOWED US TO FINE-TUNE OUR BRAND INTO A HIGHLY CREATIVE IDENTITY THAT ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE WE AIM TO GIVE AT THE YARROW.
SHANE GODWIN, DIRECTOR OF COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS

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