Red Cow Moran Hotel
Following a transformational multimillion-euro makeover that began in 2016, the Red Cow Moran Hotel complex on the outskirts of Dublin became one of Ireland’s most impressive and sophisticated hotels. The famous landmark property more than doubled in size during phase 1 of a 3-stage development project. The initial phase focussed on developing stylish new bedrooms, funky meeting rooms and event spaces and a contemporary mix of new food and drink offerings. These changes were designed to shift perceptions of the hotel from its traditional ‘homely’ roots and cater for a new generation of tastes and requirements.
The quality of the new product was such that it received the Project of the Year Award at the Design Awards in 2017. To capitalise on this achievement, the marketing team realised they needed a new brand positioning and communications strategy that would future-proof the brand through the planned growth and development. The Red Cow Hotel already had a very strong brand equity which had been established over 25 years through the professionalism of owner Tom Moran and his family, but the outdated connotations of the old, traditional Red Cow Hotel meant there was still a significant shift required in public perceptions of the brand.
Our challenge was to re-position Red Cow Moran Hotel as a more upmarket brand while retaining the existing values of Moran Hotels. Conscious that this was only the beginning of the hotel’s planned development, we needed a strategy that could grow and evolve with the business. An in-depth brand research and analysis project identified the gap between the old and the new brand offering and highlighted the need to clearly articulate the new brand, both visually and verbally. We explored a new visual landscape to help define this new brand story. We phased out the overuse of their traditional red colour, replacing it with a more understated blue-grey as the dominant colour with just a flash of red. This was a radical change for the Red Cow Moran Hotel brand and a brave move as they had been using red for many years across all branding materials.
We also introduced the use of playful cow branding across a range of new marketing materials. To avoid a theme park effect with cows at every turn, we proposed a subtle approach - with strict guidelines - in conjunction with playful copy, used in a fun, light-hearted way. We developed a cow pattern which is understated yet distinctive and unique to the Red Cow. Two separate communications campaigns, ‘Stand out from the crowd’ and ‘Have a moo-velous day’ are just the beginning of a full suite of branding elements that reflect the newly upgraded Red Cow Moran Hotel.
The repositioned Red Cow Moran Hotel has been an amazing commercial success. Just 12 months after the new brand relaunch, the hotel reported 55% increase in overall sales and 130% growth in rooms sold. Since the completion of development phases 2 and 3, the growth in rooms sold has increased to 350%. All restaurant, bar, entertainment, conference, meeting, event and wedding products have also experienced strong growth and preliminary qualitative feedback has been very positive.