How we took our identity online - tips for a great web development project!
Fraser Sutherland, Property and Marketing Manager for Storage Vault, reviews their digital journey and offers advice about commissioning an agency...
How We Took Our Identity Online
Our business started offline — a traditional bricks and mortar number. By the time we started on our web presence, we’d already hammered out our branding and company identity.
When it came to moving our physical identity online, we discovered it was actually quite a tricky process. In this blog, I’m going to talk about who we are as a company and how we took that identity online.
With more self-storage businesses moving into Scotland, we knew we needed a strong visual identity that instantly conveyed who we are and what we do.
We opted for a bright yellow primary colours, highlighted by vibrant red accents. The lock, which is integrated into our logo, reinforced our commitment to security. Our name — Storage Vault — helped hammer that commitment home.
Our headquarters in Paisley are draped in our iconic yellow livery. Inside, our branding continues. Bright, bold and friendly throughout. From the moment you walk through the door, we strive to provide a really personal service.
Every single piece of our branding and nugget of our service helps define who we are as a company. We wanted to take every last bit of that online.
Storage Vault Goes Digital
Early this year, we began planning the digital side of our marketing, starting with a new website. After shopping around we decided to work with local design and development agency, Digital Impact.
Before we even started the project, we knew it would be tricky to carry our physical identity into a new digital space.
I knew that the people in our team understood Storage Vault better than anyone on the planet. We had built the company from the ground up and were familiar with every tiny minutia.
That’s why we took the brave decision to get directly involved with the design of the website. Starting early this year, we began piecing together website elements, creating a design that accurately reflected our culture.
Once we were finished, we handed it off to Digital Impact, who tweaked our designs, adding industry-standard blocks like testimonials and a blog — the sort of stuff we’d overlooked earlier. Over a few weeks we worked back and forth, honing in on the perfect look and feel for Storage Vault.
If a customer walked into our Paisley facility or clicked onto our website, we wanted them to have the same experience — and we’re pretty confident that we’ve achieved just that.
Working with Digital Impact’s designers, we produced something that’s truly special and precisely tailored to our business. And that’s something we simply couldn’t have got if we worked in a more traditional supplier-customer relationship.
Our Tips for a Great Web Development Project
After our three-month project, we’re really happy with our finished website. We thought it would be a nice addition to this blog to include a short series of tips for other companies commission agencies to build their new website.
Our list of tips is far from extensive and is mainly based on our project but we’re sure it’ll give you a headstart in your own project.
Understand Who You Are
The first step towards commissioning a great website is understanding who you are. What is it that sets your business apart? What is it that makes you you?
Actually defining your brand identity is a huge step in any business and it’s one I strongly recommend you take. Consider creating official brand guidelines and company voice documents.
Make Sure Your Agency Gets You
Once you’ve got your culture nailed down, it’s time to educate the people who will be building your website.
Invite them out to your offices and have them spend a day with you. Let them get to know you, your staff and your services. Make them feel like part of your team so they know how to best sell your company.
Stay Involved and Ask for Regular Updates
It’s essential you stay involved throughout the design process so that two months down the line you aren’t handed a website that you’ve never seen before and absolutely hate.
Ask when and where you can give feedback on designs and make sure you ring fence time to actually look at, and comment on, designs.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Changes
At the end of the day, it’s your website and you’re the one that’s going to have to use it for years to come. If there’s something not quite right with the look or feel, don’t be afraid to ask for changes.
A good agency will never take it to heart.
But Stay Flexible
Time to backpedal a little. Yes it’s your website and yes you want it to look exactly like it does in your head but that doesn’t mean you should ride roughshod over your design team.
If you’re employing a design team, a group of people who have many years experience in their field, that’s a huge chunk of knowledge to tap into. If they make a suggestion, that’s not something you should ignore. Listen to their advice and use their experience to tweak, tune and perfect your new site.
See how the site worked out at www.storagevault.com and follow up with Digital Impact.
Any advice you’d like to add? Contact us