LUXE City Guides Branding

Brand Strategy and Guidelines for Luxe City Guides

LUXE is a travel and media brand with a strong fan base and great brand recognition, particularly in its home region in Asia. The iconic concertina folds of the pocket guide are easily spotted in any savvy traveller’s bag and trust in the brand’s recommendations is very high. With all this in mind, it was an exciting and challenging task to clarify the Brand Definition and help LUXE position its future offerings for content-hungry and tech-friendly readers.

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The challenge

LUXE's brand identity is carried through so strongly in its primary product, the print pocket guides, that any updates needed to be done in a subtle and strategic way to maintain the core of the brand. LUXE was founded before apps and digital products were the dominant means of travel planning. We needed to position the brand in order to expand in new markets and meet future needs, while preserving the most important elements of its reputation and brand awareness.

Our Approach

Working closely with LUXE, we developed an approach in which the core product was not altered, but the groundwork for brand growth was carefully mapped and a strong foundation established. The first step was to plainly spell out the brands's DNA, mission, vision and other internal elements. Through workshops, interviews and market research, we determined a strategy for growth into a Chinese language market and clearly defined a new Chinese readership. We also worked with the LUXE business development and digital team to plan for new products to be released in the near future.

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"Working with Marc & Chantal was a highly engaging process, very professionally conducted, and great fun. As new owners of an iconic brand, we highly valued their intimate knowledge of the company; a fascinating Chinese perspective; and approaching both words and visuals with a keen aesthetic. There is a wonderful feeling of being in safe hands with Marc & Chantal, and we have really enjoyed their subtle, but well-considered, contemporisation of the LUXE brand elements.”
- Simon Westcott, CEO of LUXE City Guides

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As we do with every branding project, we started with a comprehensive brand definition, brand architecture and customer profiles. By working with key stakeholders, we were able to quickly define and visualise the core elements of LUXE, from Brand DNA to Tagline. We helped to map the business opportunities in the travel market for existing and new services for the company. We created these tools while always keeping customers in mind, whether they be fans of the brand or new customers in emerging markets that we researched.

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The Brand Definition phase paved the way for the subtle redesign of the logo. Using the existing logo as our starting point, we stretched, slimmed and tweaked all aspects of the typography to bring it up-to-date. The new logotype is an under the radar, yet important, indication of new energy and direction for the brand. The logo change was coupled with a corporate style guide for presentations.

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We also created a slideshow template for all sales and company presentations for LUXE. The template keeps the brand visually aligned, while giving flexibility for new uses as necessary.

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The Brand Strategy phase included our recommendations for updates to the www.luxecityguides.com website. Using the visual recommendations and a refresh of the site functionality by LUXE's digital designers, the new site design has greatly improved usability, appearance and sets the stage for even more additions in the future.

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We built on the branding work and our vision for the future of LUXE City Guides by collaborating with them for a pair of custom guides to Hong Kong and Beijing. A custom itinerary was created for our office neighbourhoods in each city, illustrated with our drawn maps and wrapped in original cover artwork that we designed for Chinese New Year 2015.