King & Partners’ nuanced branding and marketing sets luxury hospitality and real estate clients apart
To reach luxury consumers, a brand must be able to communicate who they are and what they offer in a way that feels authentic. Tony King, CEO of King & Partners, and Inii King, the agency’s Chief Creative Officer, have built their careers working with some of the world’s best fashion and luxury brands, and they understand what those customers are looking for.
Tony explains, “Over time you learn what’s going to resonate with that audience. Sometimes it’s taking a less-is-more approach, being a bit mysterious, sometimes highly commercial, or being nuanced in your taste or your ideas.”
Tony and Inii, a husband-and-wife team, founded King & Partners 13 years ago. “We offer many different services, from strategy, branding, content, and design, to marketing, which is really rare. Most agencies are specialized in one sector,” says Inii.
King & Partners’ initial focus on fashion and luxury opened the door to the hospitality industry, and around seven years ago, they began taking on high-end real estate clients. The common thread between all of these categories is the premium customer. Today, the agency’s work can help to sell $40 million penthouses and $2,000 a night rooms to the same group they’ve marketed high-end fashion and luxury products to in the past.
“Modern discerning customers are looking for the right association,” Inii states. “They want to surround themselves with the right brands, the right ideas, the right look and feel — and luxury real estate is sort of a combination of everything.” King & Partners excels in crafting precise marketing campaigns to meet this audience’s needs.
Shared Lives and a Shared Vision
Tony and Inii believe that being a married couple makes their work even stronger. “We sort of operate our life as one unit. We do everything together, and it’s so nice to always be on the same page,” says Inii.
Since they work with hospitality and real estate clients, even their vacations sometimes turn into research projects. “We’re always sort of on and always open to ideas,” Tony adds.
Clients appreciate that the couple’s taste is so consistent. Rob Greenspan, King & Partners’ Director of Business Development, notes, “We work with a lot of founder-led brands and vision-led companies that have specific ideas. Those types of people, no matter how small or big their business, connect really well with Tony and Inii, because they have this shared passion and clear vision, and you see the output of that vision in our work.”
Crafting Personalities That Attract Customers
Real estate and hospitality clients often hire King & Partners for help with their branding, either to rebrand a legacy project or establish a personality for a new project while it’s still in the planning stage.
They’ve worked on several projects with Witkoff, including rebranding a luxury Manhattan condominium project that wasn’t resonating with the right audience. Tony says, “It’s pretty incredible in terms of location — it’s right on the High Line, so why not take a bit of ownership of that? We created One High Line, a brand that feels very high-end, and gave it aspects of nature, using green and bringing in a softer style of illustration. This made it feel accessible, friendly, connected to nature, yet extremely luxurious and tasteful.”
Alex Witkoff, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Witkoff, was impressed with the transformation. “Tony and the team at King & Partners have the ability to create highly aspirational yet very likable brand identities and personalities,” he says. “With their help, we have launched brands like One High Line and Shell Bay, and they’ve delivered visual identities, content, collateral, and websites that have resonated with a luxury consumer as well as achieving massive commercial success — a balance that is often hard to get right.”
King & Partners teamed with the developers at Savanna on Olara, a residential high-rise on the West Palm Beach waterfront. The agency noticed that because of the increasing real estate pricing, people in Palm Beach were choosing to sell their mansions and move into condos. With that in mind, Tony says, “We created this really beautiful, robust offering where there’s a marina, a big wellness/spa, restaurants, rentals, and condos.”
The project has been well received, sales are going well, and the developer is pleased. Chris Schlank, Co-Chairman and President, Savanna, says, “It has been an absolute delight working with Tony King and his entire team at King & Partners on our project, Olara, in West Palm Beach. Not only is Tony a creative genius, but his team is extremely well organized and kept a very complex marketing program on point the entire time.”
King & Partners’ Process
Developers typically reach out to the agency a few months before, or just after, starting to build. “They need us to come up with a name, raise awareness, generate excitement, get people interested, and start very early sales,” says Tony.
The King & Partners team talks to the architects and developers, does research, and looks at the market to determine how to best position the building. From there, they work closely with the interior designers and landscapers to paint the full picture. “We’ll create renders and illustrations, design brochures, and develop a website, as well as construction signage, advertising, and social media,” he says.
Recently, developers have discovered the advantages of involving the agency even before hiring architects or interior designers. While working on The Boca Raton for Michael Dell’s group MSD, Tony recalls, “We sat at the pitch table with the client, meeting architects and interior designers, and even interviewing landscape architects, and really communicating what our vision was to all of that group.” Since King & Partners was involved early on, the project became much more collaborative — with impressive results.
The agency has seen similar success with its hospitality projects. When Auberge Resorts Collection wanted to become a more consumer-facing brand, they asked the agency to rebrand, reposition, and revamp their digital presence. At the time, Auberge sourced business mainly from travel agents and existing customers. King & Partners created a new brand identity for the company that Inii describes as “sort of barefoot luxury.”
Tony adds, “We’ve given a gravitas to that name. People will now go to a place because it’s part of Auberge Resorts Collection.”
Mike Minchin, Chief Marketing Officer of Auberge Resorts Collection, speaks highly of their work, “As a luxury brand, Auberge Resorts Collection has leveraged King & Partners across a number of projects to bring the one-of-a-kind personality of our properties and new developments to life through their work in branding and digital.”
The agency also helped Nemacolin, a resort just south of Pittsburgh, redefine itself. The 2000-acre resort includes three hotels, a zoo, a restaurant, two golf courses, performance spaces, and pools. “It’s really fun, and what we’ve done is create a master plan for them and wrap it up in a magical brand,” says Tony.
PJ Magerko, VP of Brand Strategy at Nemacolin, considers the partnership a win. “Collaborating with King & Partners has been nothing short of transformative for Nemacolin Resort,” he states, “Their unparalleled expertise and attention to detail have been instrumental in not just rebranding, but elevating our resort to new heights of luxury and distinction.”
While some luxury brands are quite niche, King & Partners recognizes that a broader appeal gives a brand a larger pool of potential customers. “We can create things that feel luxurious and exciting, but don’t feel out of reach, and connect to a much wider audience,” says Greenspan. “From a developer’s perspective, their email list gets bigger, they get more inquiries, and we’re able to generate a lot of real leads for sales.”
The agency’s creative approach is balanced by its drive to support clients’ commercial success. “Our clients know that we can create something that is not only beautiful but is going to sell,” says Tony. “I think it’s quite refreshing to the clients to see that the creative decisions we make are based on what we know is going to resonate with the customer.”
Interested in working with King & Partners on an upcoming project? View the agency’s portfolio or request a presentation.