Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), the world’s largest hospitality design firm, chose Boutique Design New York’s (BDNY’s) BD Black Carpet Live! to announce its new experiential branding division, ABH/HBA A Brand House at HBA. Helmed by former Boutique 18 honoree Mark Eacott, ABH joins forces with owners and operators to develop new brands for individual properties as well as full-scale hotel groups. “Our aim is to ‘build brands from within,’ diving deeper to truly understand the values and priorities of tomorrow’s travelers,” says Eacott. He told Boutique Design that his team analyzes trends, market tendencies and profiles of target guests to create a relevant brand DNA which can then be refined into comprehensive concepts that anticipate and adapt to future preferences. “One example of this strategy; we recently developed a unique product that speaks to key demographic travelers: the three S’s; ‘Solos,’ ‘Socials’ and ‘Silver Nomads,’” says Eacott. He adds that this process benefits developers and operators of new brands as well as those that need to be refreshed.“We help hoteliers experiment with different ideas and gain a clearer understanding of spatial designs before they are finalized,” he says.
Delivered through brand books, design and FF&E guidelines, this in-depth work will be referenced throughout the brand’s lifecycle as a touchstone for future rollouts and inaugural properties, according to Eacott. Once a brand is realized and created, the division can complete the task of telling its story by providing tailored public relations campaigns for the project, he added.
Created for hoteliers by hotel designers, ABH’s soft launch took place in June 2018, with studios in Los Angeles and Singapore working both with HBA and independently of the firm to bridge the U.S. and Asia-based hospitality markets. Eacott brings a global perspective thanks to work experience at Philippe Starck’s studio and Soho House, as well BLINK Hospitality and HBA Singapore. Alexandra Beggs serves as creative director of the new division, while Gustavo Neri will be the visual identity director; Shelly Levin will be communications director and Tiffany Hayden, senior public relations manager for ABH. Some of the companies already on the client roster include: Singapore Airlines; Hilton; Holiday Inn; Shama Hub – Onyx Hospitality Group; Weiselect, Weicasa, Zhongwei – Zongwei Hotel Group; Westin; Marriott; Le Meridien; Hyatt; and Embassy Suites.