With a brand refresh and a new creative team, a masterplanned community in Port Aransas tells their unique story
Cinnamon Shore – a 300-home beachfront vacation rental community in Port Aransas – has grown steadily over the past 11 years. With a $1.3 billion dollar expansion on the horizon, and further developments to the core community, Cinnamon Shore needed to ground themselves with a unified brand, voice, and customer service experience.
Over the years, the mission of the brand evolved. No longer was Cinnamon Shore a place that would be, for it had now become a thriving community defined by family. Through this evolution, the message and visual identity had become fragmented across its retail, online, and environmental signage. Different versions of the logo would appear in print marketing collateral, digital marketing, merchandise, and building signage.
The voice of the brand, over time, had grown incongruent and complicated beyond the core personality of the community. Examining the messaging across email, informational check-in materials, and the website revealed further opportunities to connect more personably and consistently to the customer.
Unify the brand through a delightful customer experience
Our initial analysis of Cinnamon Shore revealed a lot of potential to unify the brand experience. Understanding the immediate needs of the client and the opportunity to impact the upcoming sales cycle of the vacation rental industry, we organized a four-day brand bootcamp customized to the client’s priorities.
In the bootcamp, our full team arranged interviews with key staff members, audits of all current collateral (social channels, marketing outreach, email campaigns, website content etc.), along with a review of the client’s current sales metrics and goals. The agenda was formatted to allow our creative directors and designers to work alongside the client to develop a marketing strategy, new brand marks, and a conversion-optimized website wireframe.
The bootcamp format was an opportunity for our team to immerse ourselves around the brand and empathize with their consumer. Independent studies with the owner, general manager and staff, and our own experiences as guests, allowed us to identify the gaps between the intended service the client wanted, and what was really being delivered on the consumer level. This exercise is critical to any large-scale branding effort, and the investment fosters the development of essential viewpoints that allow the entire marketing team to work more effectively and efficiently.
Independent studies with the owner, and our own experiences as guests, allowed us to identify the gaps between the intended service the client wanted and what was really being delivered on the consumer level.
Following our rounds of interviews and analysis, we collaborated with the client to develop a narrative around the brand’s pillars. These elements guided our development of the logo, website, and brand voice that will serve Cinnamon Shore guests as it enters its expansion.
As the main icon associated with the brand, we felt that the umbrella should continue to exist as the recognizable mark that guests and homeowners would attach to and own. Our refreshed version minimizes white space between the canopy and the stem, and features more rounded corners so that it plays well with the softer letter forms of the logo’s new typeface, Dapifer.
The chosen typeface was further customized with a curved “R” that reflects the wave of the ocean, while also speaking to the brand’s value of understated elegance.
We created a new – but familiar – look, feel and voice for the brand that will welcome Cinnamon Shore guests for years to come.
Color was an important element that needed to be modified in the Cinnamon Shore branding. We transitioned the brand’s original color from a deep, burnt orange to Cinnamon Coral, to soften the brand and reflect the warm tones of a Port Aransas sunset. New brand colors Deep Blue Sea, Seaglass and Sunbleached Linen complete the core palette and are reminiscent of the beachfront environment.
It was imperative that the brand’s overall essence matched the new-and-improved logo and color scheme. We updated the client’s messaging with memorable taglines that speak to their values of community and family.
Expanding upon the existing brand statement, “Welcome to a simpler way of life,” we added warm and welcoming statements that guests would see as they book a reservation, check-in, and around the premises. We designed a new welcome kit to give guests an unforgettable first impression of Cinnamon Shore. The kit includes a branded folder, welcome letter, postcards, bookmark, event itinerary, maps, etc. We wanted to make a traditionally informational interaction feel completely personal and tailored, setting the tone for the rest of the guest’s stay.
The elements that define the core of Cinnamon Shore are documented in an 80-page brand book that we designed and developed for all staff members, vendors, and agency partners to reference for any need. After the initial bootcamp, our agency continues to serve as an extension of their marketing team, and our creative directors continue to advise and consult with the management team to help with branding of future developments and facilities, ongoing event and experience collateral and to uncover the marketing opportunities through them.
For a PDF version of the brand book and real estate book we developed for Cinnamon Shore, contact me here.