Brand and Interior Planning and Design
In the world of hospitality, what’s the point or meaning of a room or a space? Or a series of spaces that make up a facility?
The conventional thinking is based on purely practical purposes. Such as with wineries, we need parking. We need greeting. We need a room for retail and tasting the wines. We need dining. We need event spaces. We need wine making and wine cellaring ad so on. Each space is planned so far as puzzle pieces efficiently fitting into a layout to the discretion of the planner and constraints of the lot or existing building.
After that, the spaces are filled with beautiful fixtures, outfitted with tech and point of sale equipment, kitchen and service needs, then decorated to the trend of the day and bam, opened.
What’s not often considered is the point. Or, what do people really want from that room versus what does the facility want from that space? What is the experience that can be enjoyed in the space as it relates to the brand? What stories can be told, what emotions can be elicited, what pleasure or inspiration can be spurred in the direction of the brand so that the guests feel enveloped in the experience, culture and meaning you are projecting?
This is what we ask.
In 2016 we began working with a new winery in Nova Scotia’s breathtaking Annapolis Valley owned and run by a multigenerational family in Wolfville. The winery had already been making waves with their game changing wines and beautiful packaging.
They reached out to us because they felt that they were missing brand. The were approaching the build of their facility as well as ready to roll out a number of new wines, wine club program, and other experiences but they had not undergone the process of brand development.
The brand isn’t a logo. Brand is the personality, the tone, the purpose and motivation, the emotional value, the soul and everything you do, how you do it and what you say. The logo and identity is simply the visual interface or communication that sets up the promise. In the end, brand is what audiences think of you.
But brand does more than interface with the audience. Brand also constantly informs the brand owner what they are supposed to be doing and in the manner they should do it. Brand is purpose. Brand is approach. Brand is the story that influences the outcomes of the physical.
So for L&W they realized that as they were about to dive deep into the largest project that they had ever endeavoured, that they had no guidance, meaning or purpose that could provide cohesion between all aspects of building design, experiences, future labels and wine releases, events and so on.
The solution was to take a step back and back fill the brand. To look at who the Lightfoot were and what motivated them to carve this path. To dig deep to pull out the soul of what drove them to work so hard every day and to what goal.
With this understanding we produced a brand guide that could be used to indoctrinate the new to the growing organization as well as keep those inside the brand focused.
Following this we looked at the wine portfolio as it related to the brand as well as the understanding of the audience. We helped reorganize the portfolio into tiers that could in themselves story tell with meaning; coastal or “Tidal” lifestyle, Terroir & Biodynamic and Family among others. Each of the tiers were given part of the story toward the whole. Each tier now has purpose and a clear delineation so that audiences can appreciate the difference and find their own fit within the range.
Next we turned to the facility design. Working with the highly regarded architect Vincent den Hartog, we assisted in creating purpose for all potential audience experiential spaces. Starting with flow and drawing from our retail knowledge, we organized spaces to work best for audience experience and pleasure. Considering what could be adjusted or created to ensure guests could live the winery dream without emotional barriers, red lights and speed bumps that could break their flow and enjoyment.
We then conceived and designed each space to take on the storytelling of the brand and specifically in special rooms, each wine tier was applied as a subtle theme.
The retail room subtly supports the feel of the Nova Scotia coastal vernacular as well as quietly tells the story of the family’s history of emigrating to Canada before the beginning of the formation of the country as well as the patriarch’s life as a barber.
The Tidal Room and lounge envelopes the guests in coastal hospitality and cheerful small village seaside charm.
The Biodynamic Room sets a moody warm atmosphere for learning about the winery’s approaches to terroir, biodynamic viticulture and efforts to preserve the ecology of the area.
And the Cellar confidently supports the importance and strength of family and friends to the Lightfoot’s within a spectacularly impressive celebratory space that can easily expand or contract to provide great breadth or intimacy.
The result after opening is that the experience at Lightfoot & Wolfville is a dreamy endless experience that flows with cohesion from one scene to the next. And through each scene the audience gains a better understanding of the L&W brand story and approach to hospitality as well as a bigger picture sense of what is Nova Scotia.
Lightfoot & Wolfville Web: https://lightfootandwolfville.com