“The luxury and hospitality sectors are primed for transformation as consumers increasingly expect an aura of luxury to transfer the world with them. In this future of Liberation Luxury, brands must provide untethered access to experiences and services that allow luxurians to truly break free from the ties of traditional luxury living.”
“Driven by greater connectivity and access, global luxurians’ values have evolved, resulting in new expectations centred on flexible living, freedom and identity.”
The HoCoSo student teams’ brief was to target the Gen-Z traveller with a strong focus on diversity, personalisation, sociability, seamless technology and sustainability. The concept would be built around the idea that guests shouldn’t have to settle into their room: it should take shape around them. Flexible enough to mould to unique preferences, thoughtful enough to exceed expectations.
We identified four gender-neutral customer profiles that the room would need to respond to: Noor for Leisure, Makena for Business, Jin for Wellness and Charlie for Long Stay. The diversity of the customer base and their individual preferences established the key driver for both the architectural design and brand message. While ReardonSmith worked on the challenge of creating a flexible space to meet their needs, we developed the brand to communicate it.
Rather than a stark vision of the future, what began to emerge was an intimate personal space that knows you so well it feels like a home from home, with your preferences seamlessly integrated into a comfortable Scandinavia meets Japanese aesthetic.
The name needed to have a warm personal tone and communicate the flexible nature of the space. Part of our initial research led us to explore traditional Japanese rooms; characterised by partitioned walls they are designed to be multi-functional, accommodating entertaining, eating, sleeping and working. From this research the Japanese word for room, ‘Heya’, instantly stood out. It didn’t matter to us whether people understood the literal meaning of the word as it had the right casual tone for the brand, and evokes a warm and friendly greeting. We also felt that the word ‘Hotel’ was too limiting – ‘Urban Stay’ offered a more open and flexible message.
The brand identity creates a bridge between technology, utility, space, personalisation and luxury lifestyle, so we wanted the logo to have a strong digital focus that would work both as a simple app icon and as a luxury hotel brand identity. We began with an isometric cube icon, built using the letters from the brand name ‘Heya’, it creates the feeling of Japanese screens, or Shōji. Supported by a bespoke font which gives further reference to this flexible 3 dimensional space. Finally the soft gradient colours communicate personalisation, and are used to identify the four customer profiles as well as the lighting in their rooms.
Having the customer speak in the first person further reinforces the personalisation. This extended into the tagline: My Choice, My Journey, My Experience, My Room, My Heya, and even the web address myheya.com. A website which along with an Instagram account, @my_heya, helped communicate the brand concept with the Sleep and Eat attendees.
The Heya concept is available for license, please get in touch if you’d like to know more.
An isometric cube icon, built using the letters from the brand name ‘Heya’, creates the feeling of Japanese screens, or Shōji.
The soft gradient colours communicate personalisation, and are used to identify the four customer profiles as well as the lighting in their rooms.