A hospitality brand in Japan turns over a new leaf

Business objectivesExpansion, Upgrade brand
Chalet Ivy
Messaging framework
Systems DigitalCommunications

Elevating a brand to accelerate business growth

Ivy Hospitality Group develops and manages luxury hotels and resorts. The group began with Chalet Ivy, a boutique hotel centrally located in the popular ski resort town of Niseko, Japan.

The success of the 78-room property encouraged the group to open more hotels in the region.    

Stepworks collaborated closely with the group to develop a unique identity system, designed to be applied across all its properties. 

The initiative began with a site visit and research. The brand strategy emphasises Chalet Ivy’s natural warmth and cultivated hospitality inspired by the traditional Japanese garden. This informed a new identity for the group that aims to amplify its unique value.


Value created

Evocative positioning – The hotel’s promise of A naturally warm welcome in Hokkaido, coupled with the aesthetics of traditional Japanese gardens, presents a strong platform for creative development.  

Maximised resources – Applying the Chalet Ivy name to new properties facilitates cross-selling and helps promotion budgets go further.

Distinctive identity – The logo playfully hides the brand name. Those who find it are rewarded with a sense of discovery, which many people like to share.

Previous logo
The new logo is the most basic visual expression of a brand system designed to grow with the group
Blurred photos of trees with Chalet Ivy's brand promise
Photo of branded name cards for Chalet Ivy
The logo can be applied as a motif
Branding Digital
Content creation
UX and UI
Web development Communications

Building a strong online presence for a hotel brand

The Chalet Ivy brand development project included a comprehensive website.

Built to express the brand model and corporate identity, the website served as a test bed for the new creative direction. It is presented in Japanese and English versions.

The website features a number of online applications, including booking widgets designed to encourage conversion, a reservation calendar for venues, and a newsletter subscription signup. A content management system enables the Chalet Ivy team to readily manage the website from day to day.

Value created

Enhanced guest experience – Website navigation and architecture aim to make it easy for the guest to make a reservation and learn about the facilities and amenities.

Helpful hotel guide – The website includes useful guest information for many aspects of each property from airport transfers, to special offers and local attractions.

Visitors can find and book a range of amenities and services
BrandingDigital Communications

Developing a desirable consistent image

Like many branding initiatives, the Chalet Ivy project began by assessing its legacy brand assets. The brand building team kept an open mind about starting everything fresh.

The team ultimately decided that the most effective approach would be to evolve the existing Chalet Ivy brand to a new level of relevance. Each of the three Chalet Ivy properties has different histories. It was important to find common brand attributes that could highlight the uniqueness of each hotel during the guest experience.

The new brand model and brand identity have been applied to a range of deliverables, which include everything from stationery to in-room amenities.

Value created

Integrated platform – A single name and creative platform for all hotels minimises brand management resources and enables new properties to be more easily onboarded.

Clarity in development – With a single set of guidelines and the ability to reference existing properties, the Chalet Ivy brand can be rolled out at an accelerated pace with minimum creative risk.

A pre-opening sales brochure introduced the brand to influential stakeholders

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