Thavorn Beach Village Resort
The significance forgotten
Hotel business is a highly competitive and consistently growing market, especially in Phuket province, a globally desired destination of Thailand. Phuket is indeed one of the cities that drive the nation’s economy, with new vacation lodgings joining the tourist-vibrant scene every year. Existing hoteliers, therefore, must continue evolving in order for their businesses to survive. One of their adaptive strategies is to improve their brand images to remain attractive to the current demand. This is also the case of Thavorn Beach Village Resort, the first five-star, full-service resort in Phuket, which has featured in the vacation scene of this island city for over 25 years.
Thavorn Beach Village Resort is well-regarded and remembered for initiating the aspiration for Phuket to be a touristic city. Throughout its influential time, the resort provided hospitality for the country’s guests and prominent people. Despite its high standing, the resort had imperceptibly been thought of as old and obsolete, with little of its historic value retold to the young generation. Being less known and relevant to today’s market, Thavorn Beach Village Resort suffered a low occupancy of Thai travelers. Simplisis was then brought in to achieve brand rejuvenation, aiming to contemporize its image and regain its reputation and enticement among Thai travel aesthetes.
Metamorphosing the value and the uniqueness
Assessing this retreat complex and interviewing the owner, the 4th generation heir of Thavornwongwongse family, one of Phuket’s founding clans, Simplisis saw three main attributes to the value of this resort. Essentially, Thavorn, the hotel group that owns Thavorn Beach Village Resort, is the first hotel group in Phuket that offers full-service heritage hospitality. Secondly and equally important is the resort’s evergreen nature environing the entire resort ecosystem. In truth, the complex is perfectly hinged on beautifully stretched private sand beach, leaning against a tree-filled mountain and clustered with botanical gardens and lagoons. The third attribute is the exquisite local Thai craftsmanship in sculptures and stuccoes inspired by Thai literature, which decorate every corner of the holiday structures. These three attributes to value were incorporated in our approach in designing the new identity for Thavorn Beach Village Resort brand. This new identity would communicate the resort’s value in a cutting-edge resonance, whilst safeguarding the look and feel of the brand legacy.
The challenge of this assignment was on how we could alter the attitude of Thai people toward the brand; how to make them feel that Thainess could be as faddish and charming as those modernist lodgings sprawling the town. We started with reconsidering the name of the resort “Thavorn” which conveyed a sense of antiquity and outdatedness to many Thais’ perception. We made the most careful upgrading that could cause the least possible change to the brand’s name. In the end, we believe “The Thavorn” is the name that could maintain the original brand awareness, at the same time, connotes the great sense of international, cultured and modern personality of the place. The new logo was fabricated to correspond to the three value attributes. The logomark is an outline of a tropical leaf curled to a form of Thai number one, making known the resort’s status as the first in Phuket and the patron of nature. The logotype is a modification of ancient Thai scripture, specially invented for “The Thavorn” and pronouncing the unique Thai craftsmanship.
Achievement beyond expected
After launching the new corporate identity and the changes in service touchpoints, The Thavorn Beach Village Resort has received more positive responses from its Thai targets, with evidently growing number of Thai vacationers. The brand rejuvenation did not only improve the awareness among the Thai customer segment, it has also helped attracting larger number of foreign guests, resulting in the highest occupancy rate at the resort since its opening day. The Thavorn Beach Village Resort has since then gathered several awards nationally and internationally. Simplisis is proud to be at the starting point of the brand’s resurrection, elevating creatively its status in the competitive tourism environment while still continuing the original value and the quintessentially Thai integrity.
After we launched the rebranding project, we’ve received many positive results that went beyond our expectations. Even if our prime properties, such as a great location, surplus facilities, and wonderful sculptures give us advantages, it’s not enough to keep maintaining hospitality business in an aggressive market in Phuket. Each month, new hotels and resorts are built and within the next few years, there will be more than 1,000 new rooms available for guests. As we see, this is causing unequal demand and supply because the flights to Phuket are declining, and recently, there are fresh tourist destinations that appear with more identity, and tourists could spend less money traveling there. With this global economic problem that we all are facing, it is difficult to be in an outstanding position of this market, or should I say, I thought it was impossible to reach that point.
This rebranding project is the identity transformation of our brand, as it helped us change our business image and brought out the full-effectiveness of our product to appear classy and elegant. This is very important, especially during the digital age that everything is sold via the internet. The customers or guests discover our brand by what we communicated toward them. The rebranding brought very positive results for us as the growth of our business was closed to 100 million Baht within 3 years after rebranding. Our business growth improves annually, and in 2017 our sales number and profit were at their highest. For over 60 years our business occupancy rate has been over 91%. And this also made us different from the other places in Phuket, because most of the hotels and resorts here are facing the decreasing sales number and occupancy rates. However, the rebranding is not the only factor to the achievement, it requires a proper PR, strategic operations, and excellent management. I personally believe that a good branding is the first step of the success, just like buttoning your shirt while preparing for work; if you mistake a single button, your entire outfit will look improper. I believe the Simplisis Design Studio helped ensure the first button continued a series of no errors, and it led my business to the greatest position it still holds today.
Corporate Executive Director at Thavorn Hotels and Resorts Phuket