The Torridon

Your great escape

Imagine yourself nestled amidst a breathtaking landscape where rugged peaks pierce the endless sky, meeting a glistening sea loch below. 

Set amongst 58 acres of private parkland, The Torridon boasts 30 rooms, a secluded Boathouse, award winning restaurants and an infamous whisky bar with 365 single malts!

This intimate Scottish haven truly captures the essence of the Highlands.

In Conversation With...









The Torridon originally approached 80 DAYS for a website refresh. However, it quickly became apparent that a more comprehensive brand strategy was needed. This led to a deeper collaboration that addressed several key objectives. 

These included attracting a more relevant customer base, overcoming seasonality and strengthening the brand's overall meaning to drive both conversions and employee engagement. Additionally, the strategy aimed to improve price positioning, by reducing customer sensitivity to cost and ultimately increasing The Torridon's overall brand equity.

What promoted The Torridon to re-evaluate it’s brand?

Allan: Well, things had changed quite organically before I joined the team and Dan and Rohaise (Rose-Bristow) had already invested quite a lot of time and effort looking at the direction they wanted the brand to go in.

They were 75% of the way there, with new logos etc, but there was probably still a slight disconnect between where the brand was and what we were trying to say, particularly digitally. We quickly identified that there was still some work to be done to bring the brand to life and give it some personality for social, digital and web.

We recognised that we needed an external view on how we could continue the work we’d started and create a living, breathing, brand that really got across our values here at The Torridon.

Our TV appearance on Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby drove great awareness, but users weren’t getting a consistent experience across all of our marketing. A big part of this project was to bring everything up to a standard that is representative of what we actually deliver when you arrive at The Torridon.

David: Initially, we were brought in to discuss a revamp of their website, but upon requesting their brand and visual identity guidelines, we collectively discovered that while there were a lot of elements, there was an overwhelming amount of information. Their unique selling points weren't readily apparent from their existing positioning.

So, our initial task became clear: simplify their existing brand and provide absolute clarity about their market position. Although their visual identify was beautiful, it lacked memorability. To address this, we undertook a project to enhance their brand assets, focusing on aspects like their colour palette and secondary patterns, to help make them more distinctive.

The other key element that we introduced was a new tagline, ‘your great escape’. We created that to be different to their comp set and be more benefits driven. The original line was ‘a hotel like no other’ but that wasn’t as distinctive as it could be.

In short, our focus was on clarity, simplicity, distinctiveness, and differentiation. While The Torridon had all the raw ingredients, they were getting lost in the noise. 

How has your revised brand influenced your overall digital marketing strategy?

Allan: As David said, the work that 80 DAYS completed has helped us to be clear about what we want to communicate. It’s helped to shape our key messaging, our positioning and where we stand against some of our competitors.

We have a much stronger understanding of exactly who we’re talking to now and importantly, how to get through to them across social, paid advertising and web.

Katie: Definitely. It’s also been super helpful having that clear understanding of your positioning when it comes to collaborating with your PR agency, Custard. It’s helped us to work more collaboratively with them and better understand where PR fits within your overall strategy. That all stems from having clarity on exactly who you’re talking to and what message you’re going out with.

Has your day-to-day approach to marketing changed?

Katie: We’ve really focused on the alignment between everyone within our team, so that regardless of medium, we’re all conveying the same message, the same tone of voice, similar imagery and shared tactics and targeting.

We determine the campaign, the messaging and the budget before working collectively across web, digital and social to decide which channels we use and how we ensure consistency across everything.

Allan: Absolutely. The cohesiveness, across the board, has made such an impact, alongside our approach to targeting. Currently we have 30 bedrooms so in Summer it’s pretty easy for us to fill the hotel, but not necessarily at the best yield. That’s another area where the brand work has been very important for us, to help determine which audiences are going to help us maximise our revenue opportunities. We chat regularly about the shoulder months and how we can drive gains there too and that’s worked very well across all channels, especially across paid and organic social.

Katie: We’ve got a pretty flexible approach and that’s really helped us try to somewhat negate seasonality and attract all-year round business. As soon as something changes, for example if Andy in our social team decides he wants to change tack, then we update our messaging, targeting etc across our digital campaigns. We’re always on the same page and working in unison.

So has clarity on your brand identity helped to influence your social content too?

Andy: I think the brand work gave us a solid foundation to build upon. It gave us a strong, clear, set of core messages.

And I just want to echo what Katie said. The result of that upfront brand work has been that all the different stakeholders, agencies and partners are working so closely together in strong partnership. The brand guidelines have informed everyone at every stage. So, whether we’re discussing social media or a wider digital strategy, the offers we’ve created, January availability etc. Everything is anchored to that piece of brand work at the beginning.

So, it’s been pretty easy for us in the social team actually. The brand informed everything we did. And, even though you almost leave us to it Allan, we’re always on standby for last minute requests, when you have a business need that’s more short term than our strategy, we’ve been able to be quite nimble and respond to things very quickly.

Allan: Yes, that’s been really helpful. Going back to the first question, social is probably one of the main areas we weren’t getting right before we started to work with 80 DAYS. The brand document has been helpful here, alongside the execution from Andy’s team which has been excellent. It’s been lovely having all the content planned out, but equally if we’re quiet for an event or dinner bookings are a little low, we always have the option to use social to drive short lead demand and that’s really appreciated.

Social media has probably been the biggest change for us and certainly the channel that gets the most attention and comments. We’ve seen a huge change, for the better, in the quality of our output.

And you know, vanity metrics don’t mean a huge amount to us. We don’t necessarily want to add 40,000 followers that are never going to engage with us. It’s been an organic process that has added a chunky number of people that are genuinely interested in our brand and that’s ultimately much more valuable to us as a business.

And how have you approached follower engagement?

Andy: Actually, I think that’s one of the things we’ve been particularly successful at; community management and striking the right tone of voice in the comments box. It’s easy to just default to a copy and paste ‘thank you for your kind words’ approach when you get the level of engagement that The Torridon receives, but we’ve taken time to drive deeper conversations with people, particularly previous guests. When a previous guest comments on our posts we use that as an opportunity to encourage them to share more of their photo and video memories within the comments. It helps to build a community of people who really hold The Torridon close to their hearts and are keen to share their experiences and memories. They become the most powerful ambassadors for the brand.

And Allan's absolutely right, vanity metrics are not helpful. It’s about quality, not quantity. We focused on placing video at the core of our content strategy, with reels the most important type of content we produce. Over 750,000 reels views in one year are testament to the fact that it works. 

Allan: Exactly and another great example of where we weren’t really getting it right before. The knowledge that Andy and the team have brought on what we shouldn’t be doing and the execution of what we should, as well as the planning and content trips – it’s all been game-changing for our channels.

"Before we were selling rooms and now we’re selling experiences"


So, overall, do you think the brand, website and marketing are a better reflection of The Torridon now?

Allan: Absolutely. What really impressed me is that everyone who has worked on this project has taken the time to get up here and see us and experience The Torridon in person. They understand the hotel, not just the physical geography, but exactly what we offer; the ambiance and vibe, the level of service. That’s absolutely reflected in the brand and the website. We’ve really moved from a brochure-style site that told you very functionally, ‘this is us, this is what we have to offer’, to a much more inspirational offering. The copywriting really helped with this too – making everything far more interesting and aspirational.

In terms of hard numbers, it’s probably a bit too early to measure success as it’s only been live for a few months. And it’s challenging to compare performance as we’ve had a few turbulent years with the pandemic distorting everything.

That said, my gut feeling is that it’s a vastly improved user journey and a far better showcase for The Torridon. I think when we do sit down and analyse the results soon we’ll probably see the more expensive rooms being sold first along with longer lead times. I think that ties in with the aspirational storytelling; why would they come here and choose the cheapest room? Before we were selling rooms and now we’re selling experiences.

And finally, how have you found working with 80 DAYS?

Allan: Overall, it’s been great. Your willingness to come and see us is huge in itself and I don’t think you could have done the job to such a high standard without that.

Katie: Oh yes, it was a real hardship to visit The Torridon and stay in your lovely hotel!

Allan: But seriously, the collaboration has been excellent. We meet monthly to discuss what’s going well and what needs to change. Clearly, it’s working really well and we’re excited about the future.

Looking to refine your hotel brand to be more visually distinctive?