The need to stay relevant
Vienna International Hotels was originally founded in 1989 to manage properties on behalf of third party owners. Little was known back then, that the group would grow into Austria’s biggest hotel company, with nearly 40 hotels in 10 countries. In the meanwhile though, the market has evolved and with it, customers have turned towards fresher hotel brands or peer-to-peer accommodation providers and online travel agents have taken over the distribution of rooms.
Vienna International, a company that historically had a strong focus on operational performance rather than brand, has now taken the strategic decision to rebrand itself entirely; ready to face a new wave of competition and remain relevant in the years to come.
The rebranding in numbers
Hotels in 10 countries were concerned by the rebranding
Employees trained about the new Vienna House brand values
Months, from brand audit to relaunch
The transaction amounts of the acquisition of the Vienna House brand and assets by U City in 2017
A creative transformation
To really understand what Vienna International was about, we conducted interviews with employees across the organisation, reviewed hotels from Austria and Germany to the Czech Republic and looked at their digital engagement.
We started by re-organising the categories of hotels, moving from one rather blurry brand to four distinct categories with clear customer benefits. To ensure optimal use of resources, we recommended the creation of an umbrella brand overlooking each of the sub-brands. Internal change was facilitated by using the metaphor of independent kids (hotels) belonging to the same family (umbrella brand), sharing the same values.
Numerous interviews and workshops uncovered the company’s shared values, which were crystallized into the following attributes: a down-to-earth attitude, a sense of exploration, a dedication to refinement and a culture of enjoyment. Various insights gathered during this phase, further convinced us to change the name of the company, positioning it in a more inclusive and welcoming way. The new name “Vienna House”, was chosen to reflect the origins of the company and its approachable personality.
To visually bring the new look and feel to life, we worked with Céline Dillier, a Zurich based graphic designer. We crafted a whole new visual identity, which is simple and highly recognisable at the same time. We then made recommendations on the application of this new visual identity, from signage to merchandising.
“In brief – anytime again! Change needs the foresight of future potential and Creative Supply understood immediately where we need to head as an organisation. They were instrumental in helping us shape the future of our company.”
, Chief Executive Officer
The house opened
Vienna House “opened its doors” in February 2016. The incredible commitment of its’ 2’200 employees to launch the new brand was a success on its own and shows the value of aligning an entire organisation behind one common purpose. In 2017, the Vienna House brand and assets were acquired for approximately €335M by U City, a listed Thai commercial property company.
Creative Supply continues to work with Vienna House to strengthen its brand equity and to ensure its brand consistency on- and offline.