South West Wine School - Creating the Digital Brand
If there is any truth in the saying ‘wine gets better with age’ then the people at South West Wine School would be the ones to know. Wine aficionados we are not. Branding on the other hand is something we know a thing or two about! And we can tell you that, unlike wine, if your online presence if left stagnant, it does not get better with age.
We’ve recently worked with South West Wine School to kick-start their online presence, including: creating a brand new website, social media set-up, logo design, photography and video content. Plus adding those all important invisible aspects (custom code, SEO, meta tags etc.) which are so important for online visibility and success.
So let’s take you behind the scenes to discover just what goes into creating a brand.
Working with the co-founders of South West Wine School - Hayley and Jonathan Reynolds - we started on the branding process by showing them various options we’d created for their logo design. Once the final designs were decided upon, we created two versions of the South West Wine School logo: one with the full name, and the other as an abbreviation.
Next it was onto the website. A website is the most important part of any online business, as this is the first port of call for visitors wanting to find out more. For South West Wine School, our brief was simple: build a fully branded website, with emphasis on beautiful bespoke visuals. This meant creating a custom built website using the Squarespace platform (with custom code as required), including full integration of their social media networks, and making sure the site was fully optimised for mobile and tablet devices. Because of the nature of the South West Wine School, an online booking system was required on their website, which we integrated using Acuity Scheduling: a third party scheduling system. Acuity Scheduling has the benefits of doing a lot of the hard work for you, and is user friendly for both the customer and administrator. It sends out confirmation emails when bookings are made (to both customer and administrator), allows customers to amend their bookings (subject to your rules), and has a useful back-end system for administrators, providing client lists, financial payment data etc.
Second only to websites, the next stop for customers will be a visit to your social media sites, which are now a mainstay of any business. For South West Wine School, we set up three fully branded social media accounts - Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Sending emails and newsletters out online can often be a headache, which is why we recommend using Mailchimp as an easy way of doing this. In this case we set-up an account, and made a simple branded newsletter template for future use. We also shared with them a personalised step-by-step guide, so they could send out their own newsletters going forward.
Getting those all important visuals involved a day on location in a beautiful Devon vineyard, to take promotional photos and video footage. Going out on location is always one of our favourite parts of creating a brand and we were so lucky to have brilliant sunshine! After we have enough material, the editing process begins. The day’s footage is condensed into a promotional video and two social media edits, to use in the pre-launch stage. These films and visuals were used to build the website and on social media. We also included a sound track on each of the three videos (promotional digital rights included), with an animated logo and name bars within the video.
Finally, we fully optimised their website with built in SEO. This is so important to gaining increased traffic to your website. So we incorporate meta tags and image tags when the pages are first constructed. This leads to your website being found more easily by those searching on Google, and then on other search engines. Using your business’ target key words helps you become more visible, which is why taking the time to update SEO is so important. In short: better SEO = more traffic.
This project was a huge amount of fun and the website analytics are already proving to bring in excellent levels of traffic and engagement. After working with South West Wine School, a glass of wine was the obvious way to celebrate its success. We really hope to work on more projects like this in the future!