Ascott unveils Somerset brand refresh to reinforce commitment as a sustainable lodging player
Ascott unveils Somerset brand refresh to reinforce commitment as a leading sustainable lodging player
Refreshed Somerset brand features new experiences anchored in sustainable travel for multigenerational families
Launches augmented reality campaign with over eight million ASR points to be given away
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A brand that champions inclusivity and sustainability, Somerset embraces harmony within individuals, with families and in the environment
Singapore, 22 November 2022 – The Ascott Limited (Ascott), a lodging business unit wholly owned by CapitaLand Investment, today unveiled its refreshed hospitality brand, Somerset. A brand that champions inclusivity and sustainability, Somerset embraces harmony within individuals, with families and in the environment. This brand refresh follows Ascott’s recently announced Ascott CARES, a sustainability framework that aligns Ascott’s growth strategy with environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations. The refresh of the Somerset brand serves as another milestone to mark Ascott as one of the first hospitality groups to be conferred Recognised Standard status by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
Ms Tan Bee Leng, Ascott’s Managing Director for Brand & Marketing, said: “Sustainable travel has gained prominence in recent times as travellers become more socially conscious and aware of their environmental footprint. We are witnessing a returning trend towards family vacations and multigenerational trips, as guests look to travel as a way to reconnect post-pandemic. Against this backdrop, the Somerset brand was refreshed to meet travellers’ growing expectations for sustainability, while at the same time ensuring they can immerse themselves in a truly inclusive, harmonious experience.”
“As the second largest brand within our global portfolio, Somerset has been most popular amongst our guests travelling with families, because of its flexibility to cater to different travel purposes – from long-stay relocations to short-stay vacations. As travel continues to rebound, we are excited about the renewed opportunities Somerset will offer for families and eco-minded travellers. Somerset celebrates the coming together of people in an inviting, inclusive and homely environment. We hope to curate a stay where all families across generations can share happy moments, build lasting memories and create positive impact,” added Ms Tan.
Somerset Brand Signatures
Once through the doors, senses are immediately reinvigorated with the Somerset signature scent, a fresh and light citrus scent with woody undertones and a touch of tea tree oil with anti-bacterial properties for an added peace of mind. Guests are then greeted by the sight of the signature lobby wall feature, a unique nature-inspired centrepiece that further sets the tone for the stay. Somerset Rama 9 Bangkok and Somerset Pattaya in Thailand, for example, have lobbies lined with large clear glass panels so that guests can enjoy immersive views of the lush outdoor gardens. Somerset Baitang Suzhou in China has its lobby wall adorned with high wooden bookshelves that serve as trellises for plants to be displayed.
Welcoming guests with a friendly smile and a calming disposition, Somerset associates, known as “the Guardians” are custodians of the brand’s commitment to being inclusive and sustainable. The Guardians at Somerset Pattaya, sport a refreshing look with a short-sleeved outerwear for the men, and a comfortable knee-length dress with a split neckline for the ladies. Dressed in breathable and non-restrictive uniforms, the Guardians are warm, attentive and relaxed, extending help so that guests can focus on the moments that matter.
From wooden keycards to eco-friendly in-room stationery and amenities, guests are encouraged to practise the sustainable way-of-life upon checking in. Catering to different lifestyle preferences, rooms are designed with rounded edges to accommodate guests both young and old. For the full Somerset experience, guests can choose to stay in a range of Signature Themed Suites that are curated with family and eco-friendly themes in mind. The ‘Family Suites’, for example, are fitted with children’s furniture and décor to inspire imagination and play. Flexible room configurations using dual-key and connecting-room setups can also be arranged to ensure a comfortable stay for groups of any size. Rolled out across multiple properties, guests can choose from Jungle-themed suites in Somerset Rama 9 Bangkok, to Forest-themed suites, Tatami-themed suites and Arcade-themed suites in Somerset Baitang Suzhou and Somerset Wusheng Wuhan in China. Pet-friendly themed suites, complete with miniature play tents and welcome kits for the furry companions are also available at Somerset Alabang Manila in the Philippines.
Within property grounds, guests of all ages can spend quality time at the Eco Play Area and Gym. Powered by happiness, the Eco Play Area is a kid-friendly area with biophilic elements and play features powered by solar and kinetic energy. At Somerset Pattaya, the brand’s first property at a resort destination, children can enjoy play time at its outdoor Pirate ship-themed water play area with an infinity pool overlooking the sea. Guests can also work out at the Eco Gym, which includes gym equipment and technology that are either energy-saving or power-generating, allowing guests to be mindful of the energy they consume and at the same time generate electricity while exercising.
The Somerset Sustainability Passport Programme is an initiative that encourages guests to be part of the green travel movement by rewarding them with discounts and perks when they make sustainable choices. Somerset properties in the Philippines, for example, will launch the programme for guests to earn Ascott Star Rewards (ASR) points when they opt for sustainable practices such as the reuse of linen and towels, and sorting of plastic waste. Somerset Rama 9 Bangkok will also launch the programme for their little guests to complete tasks and collect stamps at different parts of the property. Guests can redeem prizes such as the ‘Cubby and Friends’ collectibles, and bring a piece of Somerset home. Cubby, Ascott's mascot who champions inclusivity and sustainability, is fitting as a brand icon for Somerset, and can often be seen with friends from around the world, featured as part of property interior design and merchandise. For example, Somerset Kuala Lumpur has designed a series of wooden magnets each with Cubby dressed in traditional outfits visiting iconic landmarks.
‘Somerset Where’s Cubby Global AR Adventure’ Campaign
In celebration of the refreshed Somerset brand, Ascott is hosting ‘Somerset Where’s Cubby Global AR Adventure’, a seven-week long interactive campaign with more than eight million ASR points worth over SGD20,000 to be won. From 22 November 2022 to 8 January 2023, AR codes are hidden across the 70 participating properties and online channels, featuring 12 different designs of an animated 3D Cubby. Each Cubby design carries an educational message that embodies Somerset’s brand values of inclusivity and sustainability. Guests and the public can scan the AR code, take a picture or a video of each design and share it as an Instagram Story. To qualify for the weekly giveaway, participants will need to follow and tag Ascott’s Instagram account (@discoverASR), to stand a chance to become one of 10 winners selected at random to receive SGD200 worth of ASR points. (Further details of the online campaign and prizes can be found in Appendix B)
Somerset brand refresh is part of Ascott’s Brand360 strategy, a groupwide exercise to strengthen its expanded brand portfolio through sharpened brand stories and the introduction of signature experiences and programmes unique to each brand. The Citadines brand refresh was unveiled in September 2022. With the tagline ‘For the Love of Cities’, Citadines offers travellers the comfort of a serviced residence and the flexibility of a hotel. Ascott, Oakwood and The Crest Collection brands will also be rolling out new brand signatures and programmes in 2023.
The refreshed Somerset brand features a new logo in eucalyptus green with a rounded typeface, accentuated by curvy loops and heavy edges that are stylistically modern yet friendly. The circularity of the logo presents the concept of harmony, of people and elements coming together to form a whole. The link between ‘r’ and ‘s’ plays up the interconnectedness and relationship of one another.
Visualising harmony, Somerset’s refreshed colour palette includes varying tones of green with calming qualities and evoke nature, optimism and growth. Its series of complementary colours are pastel-based to represent a carefree spirit akin to a child’s.
The Somerset font – Georgia, is a serif font that plays up the rounded-visual style of the Somerset logo. Its storybook-like quality also gives it an air of imaginativeness.
Property amenities and stationery, such as wooden keycards, notepads made from unbleached kraft paper and paper-based writing materials, are examples of Somerset’s efforts in incorporating sustainability as part of the guest experience.
With more than eight million ASR points worth over SGD20,000 to be won, the ‘Somerset Where’s Cubby Global AR Adventure’ Campaign runs from 22 November 2022 to 8 January 2023 on both virtual platforms and across physical Somerset properties. Five AR codes are hidden in each of the participating 70 properties across 18 countries for guests to find, while members of the public can take part by locating AR codes that are hidden online. To join in the weekly giveaways, participants can simply scan the AR codes to see 3D Cubby come to life, take a picture or a video of each design and share them as Instagram Stories. Participants will need to follow and tag Ascott’s Instagram account to qualify, and 10 winners are selected at random to receive SGD200 worth of ASR points each week.
A similar edition of the on-site challenge is also taking place in China. Guests will need to scan all five QR codes and present the screengrabs to Somerset Guardians. Each week, five random winners will win ASR points worth RMB1,000.