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Sage Hospitality: Employment Branding and Promotion

Sage Hospitality is a premier and innovative hospitality management, investment, and development company headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

The Challenge

Sage Hospitality oversees several hotels, restaurants, and bars in multiple states. With thousands of employees under its wing, the company wanted to increase branding internally for current and prospective employees, using the overarching company name: Sage Hospitality.

Sage DNA chartThe Approach

First, we wanted to create branding and a messaging platform specific to employment. Then, with the unified messaging for employees and prospects, we could promote open positions and company culture. Promoting the employment brand internally would include back-of-house wall decals, social video ads, and internal email creative. Employment branding for prospects would include digital ads on search, display, and social media.

The Process

Creating the employment brand started with in-person tours of several key Sage Hospitality properties located in Denver, Colorado. Our creative team got a behind-the-scenes look at hotels and restaurants, with an emphasis on what Sage wanted to improve for its employees.

After touring properties and talking with Sage employees, we developed two different brand concepts and presented them to the client. Concept 1, “Believe in Possible,” was an aspirational concept that spoke to the possibilities of one’s future with Sage. The second concept, “Work Where You Belong,” invoked the confidence, pride, and bold spirit that constitute the foundation of Sage.

The “Work Where You Belong” concept was eventually chosen, and it included a variant of the tagline “You Belong Here” in order to speak directly to current employees. Once finalized, we began building assets to launch the new Sage employment brand internally through Sage properties and externally through digital advertising.

Branding Assets Created:

  • Logo Lockup
  • Messaging Platform
  • Custom Decals for Heart of House

For digital advertising, we set up a three-tiered approach that would help us learn more about the company’s target audience and tailor content over time. We also dedicated the final tier to advertising to Sage employees to bolster the brand internally and show appreciation for its awesome network of employees.

Phase One

Phase one used high-level content and broad audience targeting to reach as many people as possible within the target market of potential hospitality employees. Targeting also focused on five key metro areas in which Sage either opened a new property and wanted to increase brand awareness or had several properties hiring.

This phase successfully engaged audiences on Facebook, Instagram, Search, and Display Ads. The primary focus was reach and engagement so we could gain better insights and better tailor content for Phase 2.

Phase Two

Phase two used specific hotel property images and narrower audience targeting, with the goal being to generate website visits and employment applications. We focused on the same key metro areas but saw a significant increase in engagement, website visits, and applications. For this phase, we also cut down on placements and concentrated most of our resources on social ads.

Applications are great, but we also learned that the audience really enjoyed and responded well to geographic-specific photos. Sage has beautiful luxury hotels and restaurants, so, of course, people looking for jobs in hospitality would gravitate towards this brand. It was just a matter of making that connection between Sage Hospitality as a whole to its individual properties such as The Blackstone in Chicago or Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah.

Phase Three

Phase three pivoted away from marketing directed toward potential employees and instead focused on reaching current Sage Hospitality associates. Sage had already been creating and using employment video content, so we adopted one of its newest videos and promoted it to Sage employees on Facebook.

The content matched the audience so well that we actually decreased ad spend. The easier it is for Facebook to gain ad engagement, the smaller the budget needed to adequately reach an audience. Sage employees quickly engaged with the video by sharing, commenting, and using positive reactions.

 

Sage Hospitality Wall Decal

The Outcome

After research, concepting, branding, internal marketing, and digital advertising, the client is thrilled with the campaign’s results. Now, Sage has evergreen employment branding and assets that can be used for current employees and prospects.

During the digital advertising campaigns, online applications increased 6% compared to the previous year; career page users increased 27.85% compared to the previous year, with 20,731 users clicking to view job openings; and the client had pages full of insights to use for future employment campaigns.

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