A technology-driven hospitality management company that takes the hassle out of managing short-term rentals for homeowners by offering a consistent, high-quality service. Growing at a rate of 400% YOY, Hostmaker is currently operational in London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona and Lisbon.
We were first contacted by Daniella Dasso (Branding) to help Hostmaker design a new brand for their latest project. After the initial debriefing, it was clear for both parties, that we needed some key pieces of information to shape the design. So, naturally, we suggested to design and conduct an internal workshop in order to dig out insights from key stakeholders. Our team was careful to identify business, product & user needs in order to choose the right research methods. The workshop's framework was heavy but finely structured between two days and consistent with the client's expectations. The big day arrived, and we got started. Yet, somehow, the more we progressed the more we all realized that the workshop was turning into something else. Regardless of all the careful planning, and timely execution, we found ourselves adjusting (with the participant's agreement) the workshop's framework on-the-go. Together we embarked on an exploratory search and debate of the project's key drivers; the meaningful 'reasons-why' behind the new product and service.
The workshop's framework finally resulted in a sequence of 6 research actions. To get a broad view and align participants, we started by drawing a Stakeholder's Map, identifying key players and the relations between them. From here, three different customer typologies emerged, which together we built into 3 distinct Personas. In order to understand and relate to them better, we helped participants sketch Empathy Maps for each Persona, providing a deeper analysis of customers pains, gains, and motivations. Next, we decided to invest most of the workshop developing
a complete Service Blueprint. In the mapping between customer actions and the entire service cycle, opportunities to offer real value were identified. It also aids in the shaping of meaningful touch-points, mitigation of customer pains and improving operational performance. Once completed, and agreed upon by all participants, we moved forward to conduct Boundary Shifting. A fancy way of saying 'Benchmarking'. The shifting comes into play since we also take time to look at examples, market leaders or trendsetters that belong outside the market's sector,
industry or business environment. Helping participants find solutions to problems by looking outside their 'comfort zone'. Lastly, we conducted an Affinity Diagram, commonly used to sort a vast number of data points, we sorted potential significant keywords or brand attributes. This last exercise was the only one focused towards informing the actual brand design of Hostmaker's new project. But the detour we made during the workshop, was deemed valuable in order to build a solid conceptual foundation for the new brand's design and communication.
Brilliant workshop! The world needs more people like you guys, keep up the good work.
— Laura ELLEN Ward, lead INTERIOR designer at hostmaker