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  • The Howling Moon

The Howling Moon offers Canberra’s ultimate rooftop experience.

As the capital’s first and only rooftop bar, branding development necessitated extensive consultation and creative ideation.

To increase patronage to the Canberra Rex — the hotel housing The Howling Moon — key objectives were to design and establish an unforgettable brand, and position and launch the bar as a desirable location. But drawing people to a venue on the outskirts of Canberra’s CBD was always going to require strategic planning.

How do you raise a venue’s status to new heights when no one knows it’s there?

Branding

Two-part logo design adds a unique layer to the brand, splitting focus between the wordmark and the wolf icon – an easily recognisable shorthand.

A distinct typeface strengthens brand impressions through eye-catching uppercase and a striking, bold weight. Suitable for both print and digital applications, the brand palette is warm, vibrant and trendy, with an overall look that’s upbeat and bright.

Secondary visual language includes support materials to create multilayered brand design. A bold pattern — comprised of the core wolf brand element — brings dynamism to the fore, enhancing collateral where suited. Fun vector graphics play an integral role in brand language and the promotion of seasonal events, enabling highly creative, recognisable and engaging visual language.

Communicated across all assets – from logo and environmental design, to brand and venue collateral, to the website design and build, to signage, social content and staff uniforms – branding development aligns with the bar’s extraordinary vantage point over Canberra’s mountains and city.

Website

Website design is both striking and functional, animating the brand’s iconic wolf to add literal dynamism to the site. Bold colour blocks segment content sections, Instagram feed integration provides timely imagery, and language is conversational and inviting — giving customers ample opportunity to discover the venue.

Launch

With a bar, an identity and zero brand awareness, the next phase was implementing a strategic launch. To generate intrigue around the brand ahead of its launch date, Facebook and Instagram went live as part of a two-pronged strategy. General community interest and excitement developed over always-on content over the course of five months, with buzz then channelled into an official cobranded launch campaign and event, promoted solely through social media and press partnerships.

Procuring entertainment and enticements for the evening, we crafted different experiences for each bar — incorporating ample opportunity for social engagement.

Our strategic Tame The Wild cobranded launch campaign communicated with over 100,000 Facebook users via paid media and 42,000 Instagram users organically, with event revenue doubling the average Friday night income.

Communications

Positioning itself as something of a trailblazer, the bar promises to take good care of patrons. Seemingly wild, but strategically considered, brand voice adopts inclusivity to make guests feel welcome. Socials are edgy, assured and smart, but never insensitive, offensive or mean.

Working in collaboration with bar staff to ideate concepts, seasonal campaigns push the boundaries to promote fun, appealing occasions. Events are vibrant and joyful, incorporating the brand’s visual language to encourage sharing and bookings.

Implementing marketing strategies through community engagement, we facilitated conversations by engaging specific tactics. Visual cues of handles and hashtags are featured on venue menus and signage, The Howling Moon hashtag tracks and discovers user-generated content and enables visitors to become brand advocates, and competitions incentivise fans to post content about the bar.

Over the span of four months, private bookings increased by 152% with an average of 19 private venue bookings per month.

From conceptualising cohesive brands for our internal venues to providing ongoing support and management, the team at BEING have consistently displayed professionalism, creativity and flexibility under pressure. They have raised the profiles of our bars across a range of touchpoints, while providing us with the guidelines to create on-brand communications. We are so happy to have partnered with BEING and look forward to collaborating on the branding of our remaining venues in the near future.

Jackie Gregory
General Manager, Canberra Rex Hotel
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