We started by helping to develop the name Hotel Alma, which evolved from the familiar collegiate term “alma mater.” The name anchored a brand identity that positioned the hotel as a character endowed with the qualities of a trusted colleague, a favoured friend and the host everyone wants to come home to.
Our marketing and communications plan spanned 18 months and involved creating and implementing more than 65 branded marketing tactics targeting both internal and external audiences. We were subsequently called on to extend the brand to promote the U of C’s summer housing products.
In all marketing applications, the brand voice is down-to-earth, friendly, provocative and slightly cheeky. Though the hotel never had a literal voice on radio or television, our messages consistently evoked a real character, entrenching the perception of Alma as a caring host.
Immediately after the 2009 launch, Alma leapt to number five on YYC’s Trip Advisor. Within the first year, RevPar targets identified in our marketing plan were met and the U of C community had embraced Alma as “the” place to stay or meet on campus.