Refreshing a brand and building a cutting-edge web presence for an iconic San Diego hotel
Family-owned since 1967, Ocean Park Inn has been a beacon of iconic San Diego beach and surf culture. As the vacation industry has evolved with younger families traveling, the need for more unique experiences and stays has become increasingly apparent. In order to stay at the forefront of the industry, Ocean Park Inn was challenged to meet the demands of travelers, and with an upcoming renovation to the hotel, the timing was perfect to update their brand and define the vision.
Accounting for the love BL3NDlabs has for its homebase San Diego, and a serious passion for pushing San Diego businesses ahead of the curve, we engaged with the Ocean Park Inn team for digital and print rebranding, website design, and responsive web development.
We set out to build a brand that paid homage to the inn's history while also feeling modern and more youthful. Beyond the brand, our next step was to apply the brand to a new marketing site, enabling custom room search and reservations, package purchasing, and a clean, easy way for the Ocean Park Inn team to manage it over time.
The pillars of the Ocean Park Inn brand have always been the same: casual beach vibe, fun, and vibrant. We set out to strategize around the rebrand, challenging ourselves not to acquiesce to the standard ocean-blue palette but rather think outside of the box.
We created a brand identity inspired by the mid-century modern interior design of the recent renovation that would connect with the next generation of San Diego visitors: young families, millennial couples, and leisure business travelers.
We designed the logo using a script typeface to exude a laid-back vibe and created wave forms encapsulated in a circle to represent the beach and sun, all in one. Inspired by the original logo, we carried out motifs of waves, the sun, and palm trees throughout the new brand identity.
With a scalable visual design system in place, we provided assets for social media, email, print, and environmental designs, ensuring that the Ocean Park Inn brand felt cohesive and seamless from booking online to checking in at the hotel.
We kicked off the web design portion of this project with our proven process translating brand into accessible, joyful, purposeful websites. Understanding user goals, business goals, and long-term vision, we started by building a robust Information Architecture (IA) and content strategy.
After cross-team approval on the IA, we moved into applying the refreshed brand to the defined pages. The goals for this project were clear: showcase Ocean Park Inn as a San Diego cultural staple, promote the San Diego beaches as incredible tourism destinations, and of course encourage travelers to book rooms.
Understanding that the purpose of our engagement was to support the Ocean Park Inn team in setting up a website that'd be usable for the internal team to manage over time, we decided to use Wordpress as the content management system.
We implemented a branded theme on top of a custom Google Maps integration to highlight key San Diego spots for guests. We also included discount codes for places that have partnerships with Ocean Park Inn.
We built a custom scroll gallery for prospective guests to preview their hotel stay in an impressive full screen experience.
On top of Wordpress, we wrote a completely custom integration with a 3rd party property management software to accommodate the multi-step user checkout flow. The integration included room reservations, add-on packages (and associated inventory management), time-based drip campaign rules, coupon management, real-time availability, and booking estimates using a combination of date selections, trip durations, and guest types.
Upon checkout confirmation, we implemented Bridgepay as a payment gateway using a PHP SDK, supporting coupons, seasonally-appropriate pricing on a sliding scale, delayed payment processing, and stored payment details with a secure token.
As an industry standard, we also implemented Google Analytics to enable the internal Ocean Park Inn team to have ongoing access to their site metrics to inform data-driven iteration decisions for years to come.