It’s no secret, 2020 challenged the globe. It retired truths, humbled industries, and reminded us of how fragile life can be. But through it all, there was one constant we all shared: an element that embodies safety, security, space, and access to life’s defining moments… home.
While overcoming challenges is nothing new to Synergy, for a company that creates and delivers value through human-to-human connection and care (i.e., hospitality), the challenges of 2020 were different. When your core customer is not only restricted but afraid of the very experience you offer, you can’t help but look inward.
And so, when the shock of the pandemic settled, Synergy looked in the mirror and asked a simple yet profound question—what is our purpose?
There was never a question, Synergy, and our stakeholders—our internal team, parent organizations, guests, clients, and partners—would emerge from the pandemic whole and business travel would resume with gusto. But we didn’t want to just emerge the same as before because we were different… the world was different.
2020 was a seminal moment for Synergy Global Housing. The pandemic taught us there is so much more to the work we do. There is a deeper meaning to our brand’s purpose.
As we all settled into our own masked, socially distant version of the pandemic, Synergy realized not only was a page turning, but a new book was being pulled from the shelf. A book beckoning brands to not only listen but actually hear the changes society craved, and frankly, deserved.
To answer this call, Synergy set out on a collaborative exercise to look inward and consider the company we want to be tomorrow and into the future.
Introducing a reenergized Synergy Global Housing…
Reinventing ourselves for tomorrow and beyond… this is our brand story
Synergy’s leadership sought a group of brand champions to help redefine and renew the soul and identity of the Synergy brand. 17 people from across the globe answered the call to update Synergy’s mission, purpose, values, and creative brand assets while Synergy’s co-founders went to work on the vision. Leadership asked this eclectic group of brand champions to consider the greater context of what the brand means not only to Synergy… but to the world.
And what emerged was nothing short of extraordinary.
For the vision, Synergy’s co-founders, Jack Jensky and Henry Luebbert refocused on their core beliefs and the principles on which the company was established—delivering a sense of home for global travelers. They wanted Synergy’s apartments to be homes to the world’s traveling and relocating workforce; to business people on the move. They believed Synergy’s apartments were capable of being momentary sanctuaries with the power to bridge the emotive, nostalgic, and transcendent power alive in the concept of home.
But they didn’t stop there. Jack and Henry knew “home” meant so much more than a place. They saw it alive in relationships, families, and memories, believing humanity’s bounty exists in this deeply personal and robust concept we all collectively call home.
To bring the world together to deliver a new sense of “home” for global travelers.
They agreed, when Synergy looked up and gazed forward towards the future, they envisioned Synergy’s community of people united in a common quest to bring the world together to deliver a new sense of “home” for global travelers.
With vision inked, the brand champions sought to address Synergy’s values. They asked, what are the core maxims those who wear the Synergy red hold true? The champions all agreed, while we may have changed in 2020, our values did not.
We still value the innovative spirit. We still value a passionate approach to everything we do. We still value the core of our business—the people who make it work. And we still value the convergence of all of those elements synergizing into a sole force to deliver an exceptional guest experience.
Then a champion asked if we could deliver values that express that same sentiment—just in another way. Maybe a bit broader. Maybe a touch more inclusive, global if you will. More so, why say what everyone says? Sure, “innovation,” “passion,” and “people” are strong values, but shouldn’t an innovative company say it differently? Shouldn’t a passionate company dig deeper and find the exact words to make our red shirts shine bigger, bolder, and brighter? For, Synergy’s values need to be bright enough to show the way home in the moments our growth take us into dense fog and confusion.
Purposefully alliterative and left of center, the following values are Synergy’s new bright red signals illuminating the truest path towards our vision.
Synergy and all its stakeholders are:
Curious, driven, and creative—we build for tomorrow.
Determined, tenacious, and talented—we always make it happen.
Bold, committed, and accountable—we deliver service excellence.
Together, we are Synergy.
Vision—check. Values—check. Next on the list was Synergy’s purpose.
Staring out at the prospective of articulating Synergy’s “why,” the group was befuddled with an abundance of purpose. Then one champion stood up and shared a story.
A story about Synergy assisting a family with an emergency accommodation need in Angola. It was the early days of the pandemic and this family needed a home base to bridge them between their host country and their home country. Not an easy feat during the crescendo of global travel restrictions taking effect. This type of housing request typically takes weeks of planning and multiple layers of Synergy partners to execute. The team stepped up and did it over a weekend. But that wasn’t the point of her story.
The point was nestled in the family’s humbling and gratuitous feedback. They spoke of how amazingly appreciative they were for the sense of familiarity Synergy and its partners gifted their family. They were mere hours away from being stuck in a distant country, far away from home. And buoyed by Synergy’s unnamed purpose, we showed up when they needed them most. Never mind the groceries and supplies Synergy sourced, the family was grateful for that small sense of comfort—home—that beat back the unfamiliarity of their life on the road.
The group was moved and all agreed, delivering those moments is Synergy’s “why,” our purpose. We exist to create familiarity in an unfamiliar world.
To create familiarity in an unfamiliar world.
That one felt good. The Synergy brand champions were excited, inspired, and committed. It was time to tackle the big one, Synergy’s mission.
Synergy’s mission statement sought simplicity, yet to those willing to look close, dimensionality. Much like a prism, when Synergy’s mission was held up to the sun, the brand champions wanted an array of light to burst forth articulating all anyone needed to know about the work we as an organization perform.
So, the champions asked, what is it we do? They knew the statement must encompass hospitality, involve technology, and represent the elements that create the necessary velocity required to achieve service excellence. Moreover, the champions felt Synergy existed in a distinct, yet burgeoning service ecosystem. One, where all who contribute—the partners—are responsible and accountable to the desired outcome.
Hospitality… ecosystem… people… partnerships… technology…
Hospitality, ecosystem, people, partnerships using technology’s power.
People, partnership, and technology delivering an ecosystem of hospitality excellence.
Over and over, the champions tweaked and played with the elements. Until that magical moment, the phrase—Synergy’s new mission statement—landed on the tongue of one tenacious brand champion.
To build the world’s most robust hospitality ecosystem powered by people, partnerships, and intuitive technology.
And like that, Synergy’s mission was etched in stone and ready to drive us forward.
Much like when you lose 60 pounds and need a new wardrobe, Synergy needed an evolved look to match our updated soul. So, the brand champions passed the torch to the branding experts.
First, the icon. The current icon built 15 years’ worth of brand equity with a simple yet elegant design, its global shape expressing the story of Synergy’s reach. The artistic yet understated “S” slicing through its right side with subtle confidence.
Our new icon, so much more than a graphic element, has been purposely designed as a tangible representation of our unified global efforts. An illustrative device to communicate our commitment to serving our guest’s global destination needs, while leveraging the rich history of our brand. It feels new yet very familiar.
Next on the docket, Synergy’s brand color. The experts asked, why “pin” this pin down to just one color? While everyone screamed foul, the experts persisted and encouraged Synergy to break the mold. They encouraged us to allow the icon and logo to adapt to the colors around it.
But, the logo still needed a color for formal situations, like conference banners, step and repeats, and event sponsorships. The team toyed around with keeping the tried and true maroon, lighting it up, and even put a gradient to it. Nothing felt right until they lost the dark hues of the maroon and allowed the red to pop. And just how a diet will make your skin shine, the icon’s formal color took on a brighter, vibrant, rakish red.
Next, the experts pulled on the typeface and sanded down the edges of the letters to give our logotype a friendly, approachable, yet confident presence. The new identity was shaping up well. Not only did it look sharp, but it felt like a natural evolution of who we are as a company—organic of our vision, mission, values and purpose.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The more the experts peeled away, the more Synergy’s new lock-up began to feel like it belonged. Like it was home. But it was still missing something. It needed that firework element. It needed a tagline.
The tagline needed to be bold enough to stand without a period. It needed to create intrigue yet allude to the function of the company invoking themes of possibility, purpose, and potential. It needed to invite ambition, bestow capability… it needed to say anything is possible if done together. That’s all the brand experts needed… Anywhere, together.
New lockup—check. Then the brand experts selected a new font, set down new photography standards, and encouraged the brand’s content creators to get off the soapbox and have conversations in their marketing. BTW, how are we doing?
All in all, Synergy’s new lock-up stepped out from behind the shōji and revealed its new look and feel to it revamped soul and… well the two punched their ticket together to a place called anywhere.
And that my patient reader, is the power of shaping the moment. Our 20-year brand, perched atop the industry with the wind at our backs and sun upon our face, didn’t sit back and allow 2020 to shape our future. We channeled it to spur our future.
Good is never enough. And excellence is never a destination. When you select Synergy as your serviced accommodation provider, you are selecting an organization of like-minded people who honor a perpetually elusive ideal because it forces growth.
When you add it all up, Synergy is not only equipped but destined to accompany you on your next journey. Anywhere, together.