As a business owner, recently celebrating 30 years of helping to brand and shape destinations Jo (my wife) and I were privileged to recently visit a truly inspiring place, employing similar brand ideas to those of DS.Emotion’s, this was Novanta 90 in Tuscany, Italy.
Their story started in 2014 when 4 guys stumbled upon an abandoned Tuscan village near Florence. Their initial goal was to set up a pop-up hotel for ninety days. Almost eight years later they have built an amazing and inspiring business and destination, not only because of the beautiful surroundings and the buildings they have skillfully and sympathetically renovated, but mostly because of the wonderful culture they have created.
Guests, alongside the people who run this place in such a unique way, seem to share a similar passion for the Novanta principles of fun, spontinaity and enthusiasm. This translates into a unique vibe, shared equally by those visiting and working there. This young team seem to thrive on the place’s ambition and this converts into experiences enjoyed equally by all.
I was even more encouraged to see Novanta’s brand ‘vision’ displayed proudly on the fridge of the honesty bar (of course) for all to see. This expression of their core focus, values and targets was displayed for everyone to understand, and in some cases invest in.
Perhaps too many brand foundation pieces, many created by us, are exactly that, foundations for internal audiences, on which to build brand campaigns. Nothing wrong with this, but a lesson learnt here perhaps is to share some assumed sensitive information, such as targets and strategies more directly with our end users, providing a transparent and honest view on a places ambition? After all, what’s to hide if your audience is as keen for you to succeeed in your ambitions as the people who founded the business?
Either way we were blown away with the accommodation and of course the beautiful surroundings, but most of all we were truly inspired by the people who pull all this together for others to enjoy.
I would encourage anyone with shared values to find out more.