How to: Branding in hospitality

Written by Roos Steenbruggen. Published on

During the last few months, Roos Steenbruggen and her team were really busy creating a completely new branding for Icing on the Cake. On the first of November 2018, their new website, commercial and brandbook launched. In this article, she will guide you through the process of setting up a completely new corporate identity.

The importance of branding

As everybody can imagine, branding is extremely important for a fresh concept. Thinking about wants, needs, wishes and desires of potential clients and customers forms the foundation of shaping your product and brand. Additionally, you think about the appearance of a brand, how to position it in the market and who and which companies you want to attract. Translating those factors into a suitable identity and house style is a challenge but within this article you will read my tips to establish your branding in five concrete steps!

How to brand in 5 steps!

Step 1. Brainstorm


When brainstorming, make sure to think about the most essential elements of your brand. What are your core values that describe the identity of your brand and what do you want to be known for? The beginning of the process will be very all-over-the-place, allow yourself that stage. Use Pinterest, social media and magazines to get inspired. After a while you will notice that your process and brand become more structured and tailored to your identity and goals.

To give you an example: Our established core values where: experience, hospitality to the max, fun, refreshing, creative, edgy, sparkling and culinary.

Step 2. Moodboards

branding-icing-on-the-cake-camea-squaredpink-blogspitalityWe created lots of moodboards with our team full of pictures, words, colours and shapes. Anything that inspired us and matched our brand was collected. After that we got in touch with a graphical designer. She transformed our moodboard and established core values into a house style that fits our brand perfectly. Moreover, she created post cards, our Brandbook and a design for our Icing bus. This in order to create brand awareness on the road.

Step 3. Website

Unfortunately, it is expensive to gather the right professionals around you and create a new house style together with a graphic designer. However, we don’t want to do half work but started this process to create a completely new branding. This meant to us that we also needed to create a new website that fitted the rest of our designs. The way to profile yourself nowadays is through your online channels. We chose to do this with own images and visuals, which were created by a movie maker and photographer. We decided to create a really cool visual impression through a commercial as well.

Conclusion when creating a new house style: create a budget and consider there are lots of unforeseen expenses. Besides that: take care of all the details and stay close to your drafted moodboard and ideas.

Step 4. Coherence of the complete branding

Make sure every piece of your branding is in line with your brand. Your socials, your office, your website, your marketing campaigns… All expressions that you do should include the same colours, shapes and style. By doing so you create a company footprint that people will recognise over time, and recognition leads to acknowledgement. We personally choose to get some help by website- and graphic designers to ensure this consistency.

Step 5. Target group

Of course, within all the steps, your target group should be your main focus. Within this step you elaborate those steps into a way to actual approach your target market. You have to think in what way you can connect and get in touch with them. We chose to create our “Icing Talk”, which is a refreshing newsletter where we share our monthly updates, inspirational articles, hospitality hotspots and FUN events. Exactly those things that also match our core values ;).

GOOD LUCK with creating your corporate identity!


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