Good news for those of you with Squarespace sites: Instagram and Squarespace have partnered to allow shopping from your website on Instagram! By linking your product catalog and tagging a product on Instagram, users will be able to view product details and click through to buy it on your site without even leaving the app. This feature is available for the Commerce Basic and Advanced plans. Feel free to contact us if you want to know more about Squarespace or this feature!
Welcome to Episode 4 of Five in the Hive! We recently interviewed our clients, Jenna French and Brenda Black, about the branding and the launch of the Shenandoah Spirits Trail. This trail consists of wineries, breweries, distilleries, and cideries and was part of a collaborative effort of Winchester-Frederick County, Shenandoah County, Harrisonburg City, and Rockingham County to help drive tourism to these areas. Take a closer look to see how we came up with the concepts for the name, logo, tagline, collateral and website to help promote the trail.
The power of a good website design can take your business far and wide. Especially for a small business, where company knowledge is essential to the customer. Studies show that 70-80% of people will research a company online before the making a purchase or engaging in service. Furthermore, approximately half of small businesses have invested in a website, which is exactly what our client Parrott Orthodontics did.
Parrott Orthodonicts is a paradigm of how a good website can do wonders for branding. We hired the client a photographer, revamped their logo, added relevant copy, and redesigned their website itself. This is the finished product:
For reference, this is the old site:
1. Pleasing Layout
The old Parrott Ortho website employed the traditional “F Pattern” that is highly common on websites. When a reader glances at a website it has been noted that he or she scans a horizontal line across the top of the screen from left to right. Then, the reader moves down the left side of the screen looking for keywords or points of interest. Even though the “F Pattern” is logical, it is not always aesthetically pleasing. Our client changed from this layout to a more contemporary design. Now the homepage has easy visuals and utilizes white space. White space is important to break up content and photos.
2. Easy Navigation
One of the most essential steps to a good website is for it to be easily navigable. There is no correct way to move visitors around your site but there are strategies to avoid. Using drop-down menus is a popular option, but menus within each other can be cluttering. For example, in Parrott Ortho’s original site six drop down menus existed. Some pages did not have content. On the new site, four menus are used with each page with relevant information.
3. Appealing Graphics
Stock photos may be easily accessible, but they may not always assist in the overall impact of your site. While Parrott Ortho had photos of people with braces in their first site, they were not unique images by any means. With their new site we hired a photographer that took high quality photos of Dr. Parrott, staff, and patients. Furthermore, a proper color palette should be developed.
4. Meaningful Copy
The text that goes on a website itself should be purposeful and relevant to the brand. You never want to have a thick block of text on your web page for a business. The first Parrott Ortho site also had symbols that did not properly show up. Always remember to revise and proofread the content too. The new Parrott Ortho site does a better job with clear and concise text. The viewer can quickly learn about the business and decide if he or she is interested in pursing it further.
5. Social Media Icons
30% of small businesses owners say that keeping up with technological advances is a major concern. What this means is that even as a small business it is important to have linked social media accounts. On your business’s webpage a small icon bar should feature links to these pages. The new Parrott Ortho site does a good job of showing they have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Even if your business does not post too frequently on these pages, it is important to check on them. Social media can extend your brand’s awareness beyond just the home website.
In March, we were hired by the Virginia tourism bureaus of Winchester-Frederick County, Shenandoah County, Rockingham County and Harrisonburg City for a destination marketing campaign to help brand a winery/brewery/cidery/distillery trail. The trail was created as part of a collaborative effort of these localities to help drive tourism to the Northern Shenandoah Valley area. Hive Creative was hired to create a name and logo for the trail; marketing collateral for visitors and businesses; and, a one-page website to promote the trail online. Here's a case study outlining our work for this branding project.
1. Research - Before we begin any project, we dive in to collect as much information as possible. For this tourism marketing campaign, our research included informational and planning sessions with the clients, visiting as many establishments as possible in each locality along the trail (and sampling, of course), conducting phone interviews with owners of these businesses, and researching similar trails online to get a better idea of the competitive landscape.
2. Common Themes - Throughout the research phase, we looked for common themes to emerge. These could be common words people use to describe the area, architectural themes, or any other commonalities among the establishments and localities that would help us in the logo design phase. The beautiful, scenic mountain views were at the top of that list, closely followed by the friendly people, and outdoor recreation. We developed a few concepts based on these findings, but none of them gave us that "aha" moment we were seeking. Back to the drawing board!
3. Logo Design - One thing that stood out during our visits were chalkboards that were used in almost every brewery, winery, distillery and cidery that we visited. Chalkboards were used for tasting menus, food menus, announcement boards, and various other purposes. Lo and behold, we found our winning concept. The Shenandoah Spirits Trail logo design was born.
We incorporated hops for the breweries, grapes for wineries, apples for cideries and corn for distilleries. The logo also incorporates a typeface and colors that were inspired from the many chalkboards we saw.
4. Creating a Tagline and Hashtag - Like other winery and brewery trails, the Shenandoah Spirits Trail is meant to encourage visitors to make multiple stops along the route and provide unique experiences with each visit. There isn't a final destination. In fact, the choices are vast enough that you can return to the trail time and time again and have a different experience each time you visit. The tagline was created to help convey these points: "The Ultimate Path to Beverage Enlightment...One Sip at a Time." A hashtag was created, #SipShenandoah, to help filter conversations and posts online.
5. Designing a Brand Guidebook - Because each of the establishments and tourism bureaus along the trail will be using the logo for promotional purposes, a guidebook was created to help with consistency and correct usage of the brand and logo. The guidebook included recommendations for logo use, Pantone and CMYK colors of the logo, typefaces and usages, and more.
6. Creating Marketing Materials - The logo directed the look and feel of the supporting marketing materials. One piece that was designed was a Pocket Guide, which folds into a 3.8" x 3.2" rectangle. When opened, a hand-drawn map with tasting notes is included on the front side and the trail's breweries, wineries, cideries, distilleries and localities are featured on the back.
6. Designing a Website - The final piece of branding the Shenandoah Spirits Trail included designing a one-page, mobile-friendly website to allow users to download or request a copy of the Pocket Guide, visit websites for the localities and establishments along the trail, and plan their visit(s) to the area(s). www.shenandoahspiritstrail.com
7. The Brand Launch - Our clients planned a fantastic launch event for the Shenandoah Spirits Trail, which was held at Woodstock Brewhouse. Local government officials, tourism officials, the media, and owners of the breweries, wineries, distilleries and cideries were in attendance. This was a pretty cool moment for us: witnessing a project that we'd worked hard on for several months finally come to fruition; seeing the logo appear on signage, t-shirts, glasses, and more; and, hearing the positive feedback from everyone involved.
We'd love to hear what you think!
Interested in reading more? Check out a few of our other blogs that relate to tourism marketing and, specifically, the winery and brewery trails.