After I was approached by Emma - the owner of Hidden Hideaways, we sat down and discussed her current situation, concerns and aspirations for the future of the business. It was fantastic to get such a candid insight to an industry I have always been fascinated by.
The Holiday Rentals market is a very competitive one, due the the popularity of Cornwall and the limited number of desirable properties available.
Over the years smaller companies such as Aspect and Boutique Retreats have all been acquired by Classic Cottages, which has only made it harder for smaller independent companies to compete due to the sheer volume of properties they can offer.
Hidden Hideaways is unable to offer the sheer number of properties to choose from that Classic Cottages can. Nor does it have the number of more unusual and desirable places on it’s books, so this was a consideration when coming up with an effective strategy.
With this in mind I decided to focus on selling the experience that people can have whilst staying with you, not the specific benefits of any one property.
This strategy not only allows for flexibility regarding new property acquisition, but more importantly is more emotive and talks to people in a way that none of the other rivals in the marketplace do.
By selling the unique experiences, stories and memories that can be had whilst staying with you, we are connecting to people in a much more compelling way. These people are longing for this, to get away from their jobs in the cities and to reconnect with nature and their families away from ‘screens’.
With the logo I wanted to communicate all of the benefits of staying in rural West Penwith - Sea, Sand, Cliffs, Countryside with something that felt more unique and personal. Something that would speak to the individual and felt hand crafted, not clean and corporate like the other rivals in the marketplace.
With this in mind I focussed on hand lettering and the art ofcalligraphy.
By using a more personal hand lettered logo, not only was it instantly cool, appealing to the Hipster Instagram Generation with a fondness for the outdoors, but it immediately stood out from everything else.
It managed to be expressive, individual and was full of rich textures and naturally organic shapes. It wasn’t clean or polished and that was a good thing.
These were the characteristics I wanted to capture in order to attract and resonate with the target audience.
Next I had to decide on how to house the logo. I wanted to stay away from circles as that was already being used by rival companies, but wanted to create something more emotive and memorable to compliment the hand lettered logo.
Then I remembered something that my cousin used to do on our family holidays to Sidmouth and the Isle of White. She would spend her final morning before we left searching for a beautiful pebble to take home to remind her of the holiday. We want people to have experiences that they will take home with them and remember forever. So I decided to embrace this and use a pebble shape to house the logo.
I went and sourced some pebbles to use and then spent time tracing them. I love the uneven edges and added textures, but the story behind this makes the connection more significant.Each property is given it’s own pebble shape to give them their own identity, but tie them to the parent logo.
Another way of expanding the range of the branding is to use icons and symbols to represent what to do and see while people are saying in Cornwall. These can be used for distinctive and stylish Hidden Guides to Beaches, Walks, Eating Out and can be applied to anything as they Hidden brand grows and evolves over time.
When it came to choosing which typefaces to use I wanted to choose ones that would provide contrast to help when it came to visual hierarchy, but also compliment each other.
They also hand to feel ‘human’ and evocative through their texture and structure.
Arriving at my final choice of colours took much research and consideration. They had to feel refined and timeless, to be evocative of nature and reminiscent of the most prominent features of West Penwith. Rugged cliffs, granite and golden sand, alongside deep marines, azure skies and seagull grey.
For the photography, the main priority was for it to be emotive and expressive. To focus on the small details that make a holiday great and use textures and light leaks to bring out the atmosphere in the photos.
To capture unique ‘Hidden’ moments, firsts, bonding experiences. Tell the story behind the moment and why it is significant. We want to make people keen to come and stay with you so they can have similar experiences.