What are your top tips for building a successful brand?
Firstly, for me, building a brand is more about emotion than science. What is crucial is that you know exactly what you are aiming to achieve and that you have a clear objective. Whatever that might be, you need to identify what differentiates you and your brand concept from the competition. Above all, you have to be totally committed and believe in your brand wholeheartedly.
How are branding and marketing linked?
I believe that a brand is about conjuring up an image and the values associated with that image. If that image conjures up trust in those values, and reassures the consumer/buyer/client that you will deliver, it makes the job of marketing significantly easier. If you can communicate your message, your promise, by conjuring up an easy idea through your brand, it’s a shortcut that can be invaluable.
Why is creating a brand important?
I don’t think that in every case creating a brand is important. A single product may not need a brand, but just needs to demonstrate it does what it says it will do. However, if you want your public to understand who you are, and what your values are, rather than just what you do, you need a shorthand that brings that image to mind in a word or a picture. That’s when building a brand profile becomes key. It’s a promise that’s understood without explanation – it’s visceral, emotional, a little bit of magic. To achieve that, I believe it’s crucial to be clearly identifiable and distinct. You, more than anyone, need to understand and believe in the values your brand encapsulates, and reinforce your brand promise in every aspect of what you do, in order for it to be successful and effectively communicated.
Which other brands do you admire or inspire you?
I have two brands that I have both learnt and taken inspiration from. Tod’s is a brand that I can identify with as it offers sophistication and luxury with high brand values at an affordable price, which is what I see my brand doing in the hotel sector. In terms of a hotel brand, I always think of Aman Resorts as a benchmark of what I would like to achieve with Nadler Hotels in the way it immediately conjuring an image. I use the word Aman as a descriptor, when I want to express the highest level of luxury and service in our industry.
What were your influences around brand development?
In creating the Nadler brand, my influences have come from my personal experiences as a guest, and what is meaningful to me when staying in a hotel. I look at my hotels from the perspective of a guest, not a hotelier - I am looking to give my guests the best possible experience to encourage loyalty, rather than just squeezing money out of them. I don’t like the word “monetise”. A hotel is part of a neighbourhood, a community, and by putting back into that community, if our role clear, and can be linked to our brand standards, that’s a plus for me.
Did you / do you take food or hospitality trends into account, if so, what?
You can’t live in a bubble, but nor can you be whimsical, changing with the wind. As long as the trends appear to have longevity, and sit with our values, we look at whether we can incorporate them. Technology, which has a shorter and shorter shelf-life, is challenging. From a brand perspective though, as it’s the values underlying the brand that are the key, these should not need to change, but generational movements mean we have to evolve. Without a bar or restaurant, food trends are something we can look at and enjoy, and most importantly, help our guests to enjoy, as more and better restaurants, bars and cafes open around our hotels.
What is unique about your brand?
We are driven by an ethos, not an ROI. Sustainability, environmental, economic and social, is key. We pride ourselves on offering transparency and value for our guests. We give something back, not only to guests, but also to the local community, encouraging guests to explore the neighbourhood and really live like a local.
What are the future plans for the Nadler Hotels brand?
We are aiming to grow sustainably and are looking to expand to more sites in London and the UK. In an ideal world, I would like to grow the brand internationally, however this is a huge step and I'm conscious that I don’t want to run before we can walk. As a small hotel group, I want to avoid us turning into a chain and losing our brand identity, as it’s the personal aspects, and the energy and commitment of my team, that makes Nadler hotels special.
Robert Nadler, CEO
Nadler Hotels Group