2013 Marcom Gold Award
Homebase Abroad is a luxury Italian Villa Rental Specialist that helps its guests take the best vacation of their lives with a carefully curated portfolio of luxury villas and bespoke concierge services.
Competition within this category is very intense with competition ranging from high end travel specialists, villa owners and online marketing providers like Airbnb. Some of these competitors have multi-million dollar budgets. Homebase Abroad was struggling to find a niche where they could effectively compete with the larger players. When we were hired, Homebase Abroad had a website that was not dynamic and materials that were not clearly branded. Communications, Ink was tasked with updating their corporate brand and managing all of their marketing initiatives.
What We Found
After interviewing clients and layering survey data with secondary research, we determined a new identity should be created but the name should be retained. We selected a traditional key design that expresses the welcoming nature of Homebase Abroad’s services, uniqueness of the properties, focus on only Italy and the thoughtfulness of the services that make you feel at home. We identified a niche for Homebase Abroad as the only Italian villa rental specialist who can tame complex trips with warm, personal service, highly customized itineraries that use bespoke villas as the perfect backdrop and support that is with you for the entire trip.
We designed an updated (and now trademarked) brandmark including a tagline for this internationally-recognized Italian villa rental specialist. Using an outside PR firm, we positioned the owner as the leading authority on Italian villa travel. Typeface, colors and iconography express the luxurious nature of each vacation, and their singular focus on Italy as well as the thoughtfulness of services. We produced business cards, letterhead, folders, notecards, labels, travel documents and brochures using a high quality paper (Mohawk Via Felt Pure White). We also created an image library that was easy to access. These images are used on the website, blog posts, email campaigns and social media. We manage Homebase Abroad’s blog using a photo rich style and content designed to help the readers explore the many benefits of villa travel in Italy. Communications, Ink designed an email campaign that promotes Homebase Abroad’s houses and services with visually-rich branded designs. The campaign increased the Client’s list size by 15% over a six month period using only a signup function. The average open rate for each email campaign is 31% compared with the industry average of 20%. In addition to creating these materials, we provide scheduling, analytics support and market research services that allow us to make changes to the budget, editorial calendar and content to ensure we are helping Homebase Abroad reach their sales goals each quarter.