Most great brands see a gap in the market and are borne of necessity. A decade ago, when Alex Ormerod and her young family were looking to escape Melbourne in the summer, the choice in rentals on the Mornington Peninsula were thin at best. “You’d be spending $10-15,000 a week – which was a lot more back then – and if you arrived after hours the keys would be with the owner of the local fish and chip shop.” The lack of service, cleanliness, consistency and communications lit a spark that today is Luxico: Australia’s most recognised brand for luxury home holiday rentals.
The business has grown by word of mouth, although partnerships with Sotheby’s, Kay & Burton and a number of other key agents in holiday destination markets have also helped to build a catalogue of covetable holiday and short-term rentals in Australia’s most beautiful locations.
“We think of ourselves as hotel where each room is in a different geographical location.” Alex explains. Each home is equipped with a dedicated concierge who arrives to greet guests, explain the home’s features and extending the service to hard-to-get restaurant reservations, experiences and more. Each home is equipped with Luxico branded amenities like beach towels and slippers guests would expect at a hotel, whilst toiletries are sourced from local producers. “We use Hunter Lab in Victoria, who produce on the Mornington Peninsula,” she offers. “We’re trying to reduce our environmental footprint.”
Alex draws on her background in marketing at her own firm specialising in travel and tourism for the Luxico brand. “Imagery is really important. We switched to Urban Angles over a year ago for two main reasons. One, they’re able to work with us over multiple locations and two, which is the most important, it’s the style: editorial, architectural. No wide angles, no downlights. Urban Angles were able to adapt to that and to provide consistency over every home.”
With storytelling an important component of communicating brand, Alex could see the increasing reliance on video for Luxico. “Video shows connectivity between spaces, so with still and being able to incorporate drones where we need it, too,” she goes on to explain, Urban Angles ticked all the boxes.
“We’re a travel and tourism brand first and foremost.”
The opportunity to create something new in a market where service was lacking proved to be this entrepreneur’s unique value proposition. Her advice to anyone looking to start a business? “Look at how an industry or product is being marketed and turn it on its head – don’t fit in, either productise a service or make your product service-oriented.”