I had the pleasure of spending 3 total nights at two different Hampton Inns during a series of trips this summer. I’m fond of the facilities because they work well for my family but what I found so appealing on my most recent visits had nothing to do with my family.
I’ve blogged earlier about style guides. Somebody at Hampton Inn has put together a heck of a style guide. Starting with the graphics on the sliding entry doors, I was greeted by a series of signs that were not only visually appealing but informative. The pattern repeated on every surface right down to the keycard. It was awesome!
They’ve taken signage to the extreme, even labeling some things that you probably don’t need need to label (like utensils on the breakfast bar) but at the same time they’ve made it fun. The very simple words they use to describe everything from the front door to the restroom to my room key were accompanied by a half-tone photograph — of people, places, etc. When I was in Covington, LA, the key said “Louisiana,” and when I was stayed in Pensacola, FL, the key stated “Florida.”
Sure this all seems really obvious and so perhaps you are asking, why get excited? Because they’ve done such an awesome job of branding! The signage was interesting — and so simple. This wasn’t an expensive investment on their part, just one that required careful planning. And when I walked into the next property, I knew that I was at Hampton Inn again. Not because of the sign outside but because of the very cool signs inside.
Regrettably this great branding did not carry over to their web site and I didn’t take pictures during my visit so you will have to actually go to a Hampton Inn and view the graphics yourself. Once you’ve done that, I encourage you to think about how you could apply something so simple to your business.