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Luxury hotel guests of Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas, and

InterContinental Hotel Seoul COEX.


How do the major customer group of the two hotels differ?

How can differentiate visual design and service to these respective guests?

The main objective of this research was to understand the different characteristics of hotel guests that were loyal to different properties. One of the problems the hotels faced was cannibalization. The two hotel properties, under the same hotel brand, were located within a block away, and therefore was eating up each other's business. In order to prevent this, a differentiated design and service was needed.


Step 1




Prior to conducting detailed user research, I spent an extensive amount of time in the hotel spaces to observe the ambience and customer behavior.

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Step 2


(focus group)

Various focus groups were executed to interview long-term guests of the hotel. I thought this was important in studying because these people are the ones who have experienced the hotel and have insights to share. I found this to be very effective and helped me get a better understanding of why recent customer satisfaction surveys have declined.

Step 3



In order to get a better understanding of the general hotel guest population in Seoul, Korea, I conducted a competitor analysis to get a better understanding of the hotel ecosystem in Seoul. In addition, I spent some time comparing within the same InterContinental brand. This helped me position the two hotel properties in respect to competitors, as well as opportunity zones.

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Step 4



In addition to customer interviews, I conducted focus groups with employees who work on site. This helped me gain a better understanding of customer behavior, because this group of hotel staff work very closely with hotel guests. In addition, I was able to gain a better understanding of the different types of service they were providing to hotel guests. This insight later was useful in making design decisions.

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Step 5


I created a different set of personas for each hotel to get a better understanding of my potential users. The personas helped me explore the different potential user behaviors and also to define what type of design and service I was aiming to establish.

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Step 6


As a result of this user research, a visual design guideline was created and the below examples are works that have been executed based on the newly created guideline.
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Below is a quick overview of the final product that was created as the final deliverable of the user research: a visual design guideline. The two hotels have a differentiated visual design identity.

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