The Crown Inn at Stoke by Nayland has established a long-standing reputation as a destination gastro pub providing a high standard of food, beers and artisan wines. With an existing website and word of mouth recommendations, the bar and dining room is continuously busy with customers returning to enjoy excellent food and drink in beautiful surroundings.

The proprietors saw the opportunity to expand the business with a 16 room boutique hotel and required a campaign to promote the new accommodation. We proposed a strategic marketing plan with the objective to achieve a high occupancy rate from the first week of the hotel opening.

Brand Facts

  • The Crown is a traditional village pub with rooms situated in the heart of Constable country.
  • Their delicious food, real ales and well-stocked wine cellar have made them a local favourite.
  • Guests can select from a choice of Standard, Superior, Deluxe and Executive rooms for a home away from home experience.

Project Facts

  • The Crown wanted to promote their new rooms through a marketing campaign, along with a rebrand that included a new mission statement, contemporary photography, signage, website and stationery.
  • Using a combination of market and competitor research, multiple channels were used to target specific audiences and encourage them to stay at The Crown’s hotel in its first week of opening.
The Crown - Stoke By Nayland

The Client

Offering a rural Suffolk experience

The Crown Inn is a traditional village pub with rooms, located on the edge of the Suffolk border and overlooking the scenic Constable countryside. It offers excellent outdoors space and countryside views, marketing itself as a ‘home away from home’. It also offers a high quality food and drink experience, with a fine selection of real ales and a well stocked wine cellar.

The Crown approached Mackman after identifying the need for a renewal of their brand identity and a marketing campaign based around the opening of their new guest rooms.

The Challenge

A key challenge for this project was to drive awareness to the new rooms and secure occupancy for the opening launch.

Our Process

Promoting a new service offering

We began with a client insight research project encompassing The Crown’s organisational values, their audience and competitors. This enabled us to compile the necessary understanding required to formulate a successful branding campaign.

The thorough insight conducted gave us the template needed to provide material suitable for the marketing of their new rooms. We applied this to The Crown’s tone of voice, initiating a transition from the former ‘gastro-pub’ image to something which felt more traditional, home-grown and localised.

This applied a more accommodating character to the brand which combined well with the addition of the new guest rooms. In addition to the tone of voice, we also simplified the logo in keeping with their more traditionalised direction.

Creating an updated brand image

Our work on their online presence adapted their website in catering to their new identity. Aware of their preference of a traditional, simplistic approach, and taking into account their beautiful setting in the country, we decided to incorporate imagery which emphasised their scenic surroundings. We focused on displaying the idyllic scenario of a countryside walk, leading to a delicious dinner followed by drinks before retiring to the comfort of your countryside bedroom.

Driving customer awareness

With this theme in mind, we launched a PR campaign and ran competitions within the local area as well as targeted areas of London. The promise of a free stay at The Crown and the idea of a ‘home away from home’ succeeded in driving interest and awareness in the new opening. The Crown experienced an influx of attention to their opening, with a wide variety of people in their audience gathered at the opening to experience the rooms, scenery and food on offer.

The Results

With the marketing support of Mackman, The Crown’s new opening was a great success. We ensured occupancy for the opening and beyond through our successful marketing campaign and accompanied this with the realignment of their brand identity which matched their new values. The opening night presented an overwhelmingly positive view into the future of The Crown. Our support for The Crown remained for years after launch, with support coming in forms such as photography, online marketing and SEO services and advice.