Differentiating a hotel in one of Italy's most popular holiday destinations

Since opening in 1880, five generations of the Martinelli-Manoni family have cared for Belvedere Bellagio, a hotel that overlooks Lake Como.

Now in the hands of Giulia Manoni, Giulia wanted to update the hotel’s brand identity - both visually and verbally - to ensure it reflected her vision for the house and its offering.

Over the past 12 months we’ve helped Giulia and her team do just that, taking them through a process that will set the hotel up for its future. What follows is a snapshot of our work together.

Finding a point of difference in a crowded (literally) market

Finding a point of difference in a crowded (literally) market

Lake Como is arguably one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations with a range of hotels available to travellers. How then to differentiate Belvedere Bellagio?

In our initial workshops and discussions it became clear that Belvedere Bellagio’s USP was its ability to show guests the real Lake Como. Yes, the area has its glamorous crowds and jet-set side which should be seen. But it also offers a wealth of old-world stories and genuine people that must be experienced.

This ‘idea’ became the cornerstone for our brand work: Belvedere Bellagio is home to the real Lake Como.

Setting a new story and tone

With this idea in place, we started to articulate what the real Lake Como looked like so that guests could get a sense of the spirit and ethos of the place. This involved establishing the brand’s values, pillars, purpose and vision. Once those were set, we then looked at the hotel’s brand language.

From the outset of our work, Giulia wanted to create a more approachable brand that focused on nature and authenticity. We integrated these two strands throughout the brand’s story and proposition, and also brought them to life through the Tone of Voice guidelines that we wrote.
These guidelines ask three simple questions of any future writing from the hotel. Does it:

  1. Sound like one of the family or team wrote this?
  2. Sound like something someone might say in conversation?
  3. Make Belvedere Bellagio sound interesting and enjoyable?
Setting a new story and tone

Becoming horticulturalists to create a new visual identity

Alongside the above, we began refreshing the brand’s appearance and design.

Belvedere Bellagio is an expansive garden paradise that strips away distractions and quietens life’s noise. Through a combination of insight, experience and trendwork, we felt that the brand could play into this far more than it currently was.

To capture this atmosphere within the new design, a variety of plants, leaves and flowers were collected from the house’s gardens before being prepared into a herbarium (a collection of preserved plant specimens). The plants were pressed, dried, and then used as the base for the hotel’s updated visual identity which included a new logo, picture language, typeface, and set of colours.

The brand’s updated logo emphasises the house’s heritage and tradition while remaining modern and fresh, and the brand’s trademark has been updated to mirror one of the garden’s leaves. In short: the power, and promise, of the hotel’s natural setting has infused each element of our design work, including across printed materials (menus) and merchandise (bags).

Becoming horticulturalists to create a new visual identity

Bringing this new brand to life

Belvedere Bellagio’s new visual and verbal identity is best seen across its new website which Positioner also produced.

Images highlight the people at the heart of the hotel’s guest experience, while words highlight the sentiment and stories that Giulia wants guests to feel.

This is particularly true on the website’s ‘explore’ page which goes into detail on the hotel’s offering through personalised accounts of the family’s history and connection to the area.

Looking ahead

Belvedere Bellagio has now reopened for the summer season and we’re excited to extend their new brand throughout the guest experience.

If you’d like to hear more about this project, get in touch today.

Bringing this new brand to life