Create a chic, inviting and impressive brand for a homegrown 3 star hotel chain: primarily targeting the business traveller.

Audit & Strategy

Taking a fine-tooth comb over their needs, wants and expectations, we immersed ourselves in the quest to understand the would-be guest. We were intent on creating the look and feel, as well as influencing the experience design. This would optimise impact on the brand’s ability to be charismatic and memorable.

Before we could position the new brand, we mapped out the perceptual positioning of like existing brands. A firm grip on context would expose buried golden nuggets for our taking.

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Brand Creation


Africa was our muse. This brand proudly spoke of its roots with global expansion potential. The name Akwa is derived from the Kiswahili word makwa, meaning pillar or groove in the wood. Its appealing duo syllabic phonetic structure makes it easy to pronounce and recall.

Brand Identity

The clean & modern identity was designed to balance attributes of ‘affordable class’ with a healthy dose of care and attention – what you’d expect from East Africa’s newest business hotel.

Design System

The design system extended, relied heavily on the angular geometry derived from the brand’s elements.

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Guest Experience Journey Design


Pickup & Arrival Experience


Room – the little things.


Extended sub-brands for Dining & Cafés.