Kimpton Hotel Lobby Interior: A Brand New Vision

Kimpton Brand Revolution

Kimpton pioneered the boutique hospitality market decades ago with its uniquely personal, design-led approach. A multi-year FINE-Kimpton collaboration helped them re-pioneer, comprehensively shaping a new brand vision, experience, systems, and touchpoints to appeal to a new generation of consumer tastes, staying ahead of copycats and upscale competition while paving the way for global expansion.

Kimpton By the Book

The culmination of years of thinking, collaborating, designing, training, and architecting is documented in the comprehensive Kimpton Global Playbook. Far beyond a visual styleguide, the book provides a blueprint for the Kimpton way, from rolling out new distinctly-branded properties, to the operational elements that shape experience and guide communication. The book versions to ensure that whenever expansion or evolution calls, you have a ready guide.

Guest Journeys Meet Brand Dashboards

At the heart of Kimpton is an experience that is somehow familiar everywhere, yet never the same twice. Their "many brands of one" approach calls for a system where a master brand provides continuity without cramping local spirit and style. Mapping a signature guest journey, then creating "dashboards" so each property can create its own detours, is what keeps Kimpton ridiculously personal, never boring. This system shapes identity, experience, and operations wherever guests go, and helps invent dozens of new brands along the way.

“This is a game-changer for our brand.”

— Mike Depatie, CEO

Brand In Operation

The definition and structure around Kimpton's special brand moves rolls out into the organization through tools that help train, implement, sell, and service. An engaging curriculum of content and materials indoctrinates General Managers into the methodology for making their property brand come alive. Meantime, a digital "sidekick" and sales cycle strategy helps salespeople guide meetings and event planners through a seamless journey of their own.

A Brand Employees Buy Into

Every guest journey is guided by an employee on their own path. Delivering on a heartfelt, "stay human" brand of hospitality requires constantly attracting, retaining, and growing awesome people. An employer brand strategy helps recruit and motivate using credo-caliber messaging, signage, training cheat sheets, interview guides and digital tools to help build a perennial "best place to work" organization.

Visual Evolution and Elevation

Kimpton's identity and brand expression nod to a familiar personality, but elevate into a more sophisticated and upscale sensibility. New standards play out across signature operational and business usage, then into guidelines for photography of Kimpton people, places, and experiences. Just as in design of physical space, visual elements form a defining Kimpton look and expression of the Kimpton brand that spurs perceived value and real experience.

An Enlightened Loyalty Program

Many brands build loyalty programs to buy loyalty; Kimpton's is built to earn it. As the new name suggests, Karma promises good things come to those who stay. A new technology platform incents guests to seek Kimpton experiences, even the free ones, and make it personal, while rewarding them with the immersive experience of the program itself. Symbolic tiers, graphics, and digital interfaces keep great guests ever-seeking Kimpton's Inner Circle.

A Transformative Digital Destination

The new Kimpton digital environment required a ground-up design and build, with information architecture to mirror brand architecture and support experience. A massive undertaking, the result is backed by custom technology that not only integrates browsing and booking across all properties and all devices, but allows for each property to have their own space within the site, and on their own. It adds up to a measured, profound impact on bookings, conversion, brand perception, and equity. Put simply, it paid for itself immediately after launch.

“The website paid for itself in incremental bookings within 3 months after launch.”

— Mike DeFrino, COO