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A few days ago Treebo unveiled its new brand identity. We were holding our breaths to see what customers thought about it. And to our sheer joy, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. A lot of people were also curious to know the story behind the pinwheel, behind the new hotel sub-brands, and other parts of the new branding. So we thought we’ll share that here. The new brand has been in the making for a while now and this chapter in our journey began a few months ago.

The Background

The focus for Treebo has always been to provide a delightful experience to its guests. The entire company was founded on that principle. At the beginning of this year though, at a management offsite, we added two elements to our vision. One, we expanded our horizon from hotels to travel. Travel, we believe, helps enrich people’s lives by introducing them to new cultures, new situations.

Unfortunately though, throughout a traveller’s journey, there are multiple instances of poor experience, which we felt we could solve by using the learnings and capabilities we have developed while solving this problem in the hotel segment. Two, we increased our emphasis on making our offerings accessible to “every traveller”. We wanted to break the barriers associated with travel and democratize it. When travel brings so much joy, why should a dignified travel experience be the privilege of a few? With these additions, we defined our vision as –

To enrich lives by delivering delightful travel experiences to every traveller

As our vision took on new forms, we wanted our visual identity to also be representative of the new changes. An identity that reflected elements of joy, of travel, and of universal access is what we strove for.

The Brand Personality

Every brand should have a clear ‘personality’ – a set of characteristics that define how the brand talks, feels, behaves. For Treebo, there were 6 brand traits that we defined at the beginning of the journey itself. And we wanted the new identity to continue reflecting these traits. These traits are – young (we belong to the new, progressive age), fresh (our ideas and our offerings, both are new and refreshing), reliable (we will not fail you in our promise to provide you quality), conversational (we love chatting you up!), desirable (we’ll cater to aspirations, not just needs), and achievable (despite all of the above, we’ll be accessible, not intimidating)

Introducing the Pinwheel

Meet Treebo’s new logo- the pinwheel. This colourful and simple device, we thought, best embodies our vision. It represents the childlike spirit of wonder that accompanies travel. Through its movement, it creates a sense of joy that puts a smile on your face irrespective of your age, your occupation, your income. It symbolizes the breakdown of barriers and emphasizes inclusiveness. Anyone can own a pinwheel. Anyone can enjoy a pinwheel.

The pinwheel’s vibrancy, its universal appeal, and the cheer it instantly spreads made it the perfect representation of what Treebo aspires to do – make the joy of travel accessible to all – as well as of our brand personality. 

Sub-brands for Hotels

In addition to the new look, we have also introduced three sub-brands for our hotel portfolio.

This is a call we took in line with our commitment towards guest experience. As our portfolio grew in size, it was obvious that despite offering the same core quality guarantee that Treebo is known for, not all our hotels would offer the same amenities. Some, for example, might offer buffet breakfast, others might offer in-room. Some might have large rooms, others might have clean but cosy rooms. We wanted to transparently communicate this information with our guests so they know what to expect while booking a particular property.

Irrespective of the category they belong to, all Treebo properties will always stand for great value for money. But the sub-brands will help bring out the subtle differences between them.

So here are the sub-brands into which we are segregating our portfolio:

Trip Hotels by Treebo: Our Trip hotels are everyone’s favourite pocket-friendly option. The hotels are located at convenient locations and have all the basic amenities you’ll need to be well-rested and ready for your mission in the city, whether for work or leisure.  The price points of these no-frills hotels will be in the range of Rs.1000- Rs.1500.

Trend Hotels by Treebo: This brand will have the largest share of properties in our portfolio and will operate in the Rs.1500- Rs.2500 price range. These hotels with their spacious rooms, sumptuous breakfast, in-room beverages, and other services offer accommodation at good prices along with plenty of amenities for an assured comfortable stay. 

Tryst Hotels by Treebo: The hotels under this category are our most premium offerings. Formerly known as ‘Select’ properties, the hotels under this category will typically be in the price range of Rs.2500- Rs.4000. Our Tryst properties come with large rooms, spacious bathrooms with shower cubicles, lavish buffet breakfast, and several such other premium amenities. If luxury at an affordable price point is what you are looking for, Tryst should be your pick.

Here’s an insider story – when we were debating the various options for the names of these sub-brands, there were suggestions like “Lite”, “Express”, “Mini”, etc. We were leaning towards these – since these would have been self-explanatory – until someone in the team called out “Why do you want to rub it in my face with these names that I am using a cheaper option? Shouldn’t it be more elegant than that?”. And thus ‘Trip’, ‘Trend’, and ‘Tryst’ were born. They also helped retain the connect amongst the 3 brands as well as with the parent brand, Treebo. The alliteration of ‘Tr’ to bring about the phonetic connect was indeed a conscious choice.

Non-Hotel Offerings and “Treebo” as the Parent Brand

In our endeavour to become the most loved travel brand of the country, we are branching out to not only have hotels in our areas of operation but to also include other elements of travel under our umbrella.

In the past year, we have already started work on two travel segments- homestays and tours and activities. We have begun offering homestays on our platforms. These homestays offer experiential experiences that have been specially curated and in tune with the culture of the area. Travellers have the opportunity to live in coffee estates in the midst of the plantations in Coorg or spend evenings curled up around a fireplace with views of the picturesque hills in Manali.

In the realm of tours and experiences, we have Events High which offers curated activities and events in 8 cities in the country. The strong presence that Events High has along with all the events and experiences it offers sits perfectly with our goals and will enable us to continue enriching the travel experience of every traveller.

With these verticals under us ( and possibly more offerings in the future), we intend for Treebo to take a parent brand position with each segment having the suffix Treebo to it, for example, “Events High by Treebo”, “Trip Hotels by Treebo”, “Homestays by Treebo”.

In this branding effort, our creative partners were Dev Kabir Malik Design, a brand strategy and design studio. Their expertise lies in helping companies articulate their core essence and build themselves up into memorable brands that are meaningful to their consumers or customers. DKMD is also the studio behind the creation of the Bira91 brand.