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Defining Nihiwatu’s leading concept and positioning the brand for the future


As an exclusive hotel situated in the unspoiled and opulent environment of Sumba Island, Indonesia, Nihiwatu was acquired by Chris Burch & James McBride in 2013 who saw the opportunity to leverage its idyllic setting to become the global luxury hospitality brand of the future.


A key challenge in defining Nihiwatu’s leading concept was to understand their differentiating features to uncover its unique strengths and personality. A thorough assessment of the client experience and a clear understanding of the brand’s guests were essential in delivering a new leading concept and identifying key expansion opportunities for the future.


We assessed the brand equity through on-site interviews of key stakeholders, which helped us establish a consumer profile with key mind-sets and motivations. To further help define the new leading concept, we conducted an in-depth analysis of the key touch points of the client experience. Identifying a detailed reference market for Nihiwatu and conducting best-practice analysis allowed us to develop Nihiwatu’s positioning for the future with the opportunity to grow as an active lifestyle and authentic luxury hospitality brand.


We crafted Nihiwatu’s leading concept with a brand essence, mission, and vision embodying what the brand truly stands for: “Experience beauty. Travel with purpose.” We then developed a plan for the future global expansion of the Nihi brand based on key criteria; with new openings being planned in the coming years due its success. Nihiwatu has also been awarded twice“ #1 Hotel in the World” by Travel + Leisure.


Market dynamics
Customer understanding
Competitive analysis
Brand audit
Best practices


Brand fundamentals
Positioning options
Leading concept
Implications & gaps


Brand book & guidelines
Marketing strategies
Activation platforms
Communication strategies
Client journey & touchpoints


KPIs definition
Client experience measurement
Learnings & insights



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