Opinion / 17.11.16 / 4 min read

Where Next for Student Accommodation?

We are absolutely delighted with our recent brand transformation programme for student accommodation provider Victoria Hall Management Ltd.

Where Next for Student Accommodation?

Rebranded as Host, we have worked with the organisation to develop a new brand positioning, name, identity, trademark, brand guidelines and transactional website which features student accommodation across the UK.

Victoria Hall’s 20th anniversary was the perfect time to rebrand, and demonstrate their on going commitment to a sector that is rapidly scaling – with investors seeing positive revenues and long-term capital growth in a market that is structurally undersupplied.

What makes the perfect host? Students told us that the perfect host was welcoming, put one at ease, whilst delivering a relaxed environment. Informed with this research, the new brand positioning is centred around ease and a hassle free customer experience while the new name Host – which perfectly describes the brand purpose – is derived from a functional idea: homes for students. This, along with the new logo has been registered as a trademark.

Agency CEO Simon Barbato comments: “The purpose built student accommodation market is burgeoning in the UK and to remain relevant, Victoria Hall Management Ltd needed to transform. Other providers are using brand as a competitive advantage and therefore making this brand distinctive was a challenge. Our strategic solution and name was the perfect platform for the company to relaunch, refresh and renew their proposition. We are delighted to be able to help Victoria Hall Management Ltd achieve a stunning new brand.”

Senior Designer Tom Shenton led the visual identity system, guidelines and website: “We created an iconic branding system using the H ‘pause’ device with playful imagery and key messages. Tone of voice and language play a huge part in creating cut-through to an often hard to engage audience consisting of domestic and international students. We’re really delighted with the client’s open-mindedness to where next thinking.”

The fresh thinking, and ease of customer experience was applied to the design and build the new Host website. Student research inspired a modular design, which is visually arresting and simple to navigate, on any screen resolution. UX and simple UI features which enable easy search and booking make it hassle free – even on the move, when viewing on a mobile device, as well as landing key brand images and messages.

Louise Cant, Marketing, Sales & Comms Manager of Host says: “We’re thrilled to see the results of the last 18 months of hard work and collaboration with Mr B & Friends. We needed a brand partner that truly understood our business, had a passion for our vision as a business and of course could develop a new brand that excites the market. The new brand and website is really cutting edge and puts us at the forefront of the student accommodation market.”

The rebrand has already picked up attention from investors, and industry press. Seeing our much-loved work featured in The Drum’s Creative Works, Design Week and Econsultancy is always a massive bonus. To be nominated for the CSS Design awards, and Awwwards is also a boon, we can’t wait to see what becomes of it.

Go on, why not give us a cheeky vote?


Sarah Dennis

Marketing Director