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Mr B & Friends and the perfect Host

Published on Monday, 14th November 2016, contributed by Mr B & Friends

Brand, creative and digital agency Mr B & Friends has completed a brand transformation programme for student accommodation provider Victoria Hall Management Ltd. Rebranded as Host, the Bath based group has worked with the organisation to develop a new brand positioning, name, identity, trademark, brand guidelines and transactional website which features student accommodation across the UK. The 18-month contract was won without a creative pitch against three other brand consultancies.

The brand transformation ties in with Victoria Hall’s 20th anniversary and demonstrates their commitment to a market that is rapidly scaling with investors seeing positive revenues and long-term capital growth in a market that is structurally undersupplied. The new brand positioning is centred around ease and hassle free customer experience while the new name Host – which perfectly describes the brand purpose - is derived from a functional idea: homes for students. This, along with the new logo has been registered as a trademark.

Agency CEO Simon Barbato comments: “The purpose built student accommodation market is burgeoning in the UK and to remain relevant, Victoria Hall Management Ltd needed to transform. Other providers are using brand as a competitive advantage and therefore making this brand distinctive was a challenge. Our strategic solution and name was the perfect platform for the company to relaunch, refresh and renew their proposition. We are delighted to be able to help Victoria Hall Management Ltd achieve a stunning new brand.”

The visual identity system, guidelines and website was led by Senior Designer Tom Shenton: “We created an iconic branding system using the H ‘pause’ device with playful imagery and key messages. Tone of voice and language play a huge part in creating cut-through to an often hard to engage audience consisting of domestic and international students. We’re really delighted with the client’s open-mindedness to where next thinking.”

Alongside the new brand identity, Mr B & Friends designed and developed the new Host website. UX and simple UI features making search and booking easy and hassle free, as well as landing key brand images and messages. Louise Cant, Marketing, Sales & Comms Manager of Host says: “We’re thrilled to see the results of the last 18 months of hard work and collaboration with Mr B & Friends. We needed a brand partner that truly understood our business, had a passion for our vision as a business and of course could develop a new brand that excites the market. The new brand and website is really cutting edge and puts us at the forefront of the student accommodation market.”