Fast Company recently published an article that took notice of a collaborative coffee concept we branded for a tech-forward Marriott hotel in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. Marriott is using their Charlotte City Center location as an “innovation lab” to test out new technology and amenities to appeal to a younger generation. With “beta buttons” that allow guests to give input on every aspect of their stay, a localized independent coffee shop/café (that’s where we come in), and boutique studio fitness classes for a communal workout experience, this Charlotte Marriott caters to the needs of young consumers while staying true to the brand that is so well-known.
The coffee shop, Coco and the Director, is intended to go beyond the typical, generic hotel coffee counter and includes goods by local makers and a fresh menu of unique food and drink. We were given the unique challenge and opportunity of designing the brand identity for this collaborative space to bring people together in this hotel as well as a unique, upscale restaurant concept, Stoke, whose award-winning chef and innovative, local dishes bring hotel guests and locals alike for food and fellowship. (See our work for Stoke here.)
The concept we created for Coco and the Director is the result of brainstorming the varied use and inclusive nature of the idea of “co-” : co-creating, co-llaborating, co-existing, co-working, and so on. Thus we landed on the identity of Coco and the Director, a coffee and co-lab experience. There is mutuality in the name and the place, and the spirit of the brand is approachable. It is humble, hand-drawn, and developed to inspire creative courage in those who interact in the space and with the brand.
This coffee shop collaboration with Marriott was a dream project as we were afforded the chance to unite all of our favorite things: design, coffee, fun brands, local culture, and coffee. (did we mention that?) Additionally, we were also awarded an Addy this February for our branding work for Coco and the Director.