Putting down digital roots for a leader in down-to-earth luxury

The Challenge

Debuting over thirty years ago with The Halkin in London, COMO Hotels & Resorts have since become leaders in down-to-earth luxury and holistic wellness, now boasting a portfolio spanning seventeen hotels, four continents and every environment the modern luxurian could ever need. 

From urban escapes to nature retreats, COMO’s properties all share the same values and form one collective purpose: to honour the spirit of place and the essence of universal wellness. It’s a quality felt in each of the brand’s destinations, each distinct in its own right, but not entirely captured in their digital experience. 

To put down digital roots, COMO engaged Matter Of Form in 2021 to design and develop an online experience that feels like an extension of their already impressive brand. 

Previously, the experience was convoluted. What should’ve been simple conversions, whether a restaurant reservation or spa treatments, would take the user on average eight clicks from homepage to completion, and ultimately saw just 0.23% convert. 

Beginning with a total immersion into the brand and an audit spanning market research, discovery dives and search data to inform strategy and design — the project resulted in a dynamic digital experience, fully optimised and primed to revive the brand’s position as a rich storyteller and preserver of heritage.

A Portal for Brand Storytelling

COMO Hotels & Resorts needed to reposition from a collection of disparate hotels to a true lifestyle and experience brand. To do so, we worked closely with the COMO team to architect the next digital chapter for the COMO brand and its wellness ethos.

Wanting the digital experience to act as a portal for brand storytelling, on small scales as well as large, we designed the site to be as immersive into each destination as possible, dedicating full pages to every hotel rather than just overarching corporate- or country-level pages. Tapping into the nuances of the COMO offering, we crafted a ‘STORIES’ journey for users to explore recipes, activities or entire itineraries to ignite a sense of the real-life COMO experience, before visiting and after. 

To strike a balance between the key functionality of the site — conversion — and their vision for the future, we streamlined the user experience without fostering a speed-driven scenario that showed no healthy friction or brand-building activity.

With the input of their team, we surfaced far more relevant, distinctive content to entice prospective guests to book, simultaneously crafting templates that enable COMO to push more editorial content, designed to be shared across platforms and appeal to a new generation of guests — what COMO call “second summit seekers”, a cohort whose fulfilment is measured less by the outward signifiers of status and success, but a sense of personal transformation, compassion and positive impact.

Above all, COMO provides reassurance in your search for respite from a fast-moving world, so you can feel the joy of living in the present moment
Capturing A Sense of Wellness, Online

To appeal to second summit seekers, translating COMO’s holistic wellness ethos and offering online was vital. They’re independent, informed and selective — global citizens who won’t be won over by overt attempts to sell or embellish. We needed to capture and convey the real experience of a COMO retreat, complete with top-of-the-line facilities, expert therapists and a vast F&B offering, without overwhelming users or losing the distinctiveness of each destination.

We gave significant digital real estate to COMO’s imagery and videography to spark that sense of rejuvenation guests gain when onsite, carousels capture ‘the pause before the word’ as cool shades across the site create an elegant digital canvas.

We weren’t afraid of white space; giving designs and content room to breathe, to be taken in by the user. Layered compositions of bold typography and imagery

create a confident, playful, immersive experience that caters to curious individuals.

After working with the brand for 25 years, this is the first time we have a website that allows us to express ourselves creatively in the passionate and exciting way that differentiates us from all our competitors. Something we have been able to do on every other platform but on our previous website. Now we have something we can all be proud of.
Rashna Mody Clark, Consulting Creative Director