There’s nothing quite like a hopping on a bike and feeling the breeze in your hair on a sunset bike ride along the picturesque Sea Point promenade. Childhood memories of riding with “no hands” for the first time, the flying sensation of high speeds, near-collisions and scraped knees come flooding back. You can’t help testing your bell – brrrrrring brrrrrrrring – for safety purposes, of course.
But how do you communicate that experience on a website? Having been long-time customers of UpCycles, we got chatting about their website and before we know it, that question was ours to answer. So we checked out UpCycle’s social media presence and found that people had such a blast that they LOVED taking photos of their joyrides. And you can see the what a good time they’re having. So we let them tell the story of what it’s like to rent an UpCycles bicycle by collaborating with them on the UpCycles website.
Here’s a taster of what Instagram users happily contributed to the Upcycles website:
We used a grid design because we were working with generally square pictures of a relatively low quality (having been shot on the fly with phones most of the time). We used a small slider on the homepage and built links to important pages around it. We got across the important information as succinctly as possible with maps and clearly listed rates and contact details. We also incorporated their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds to show off their online communities.
We had a lot of fun developing this site on a tight timeline and budget – and even more fun hearing how thrilled Jared and Shannon from Up Cycles were when we showed them the end product.
When you spend a significant amount of time in the same place with the same people, ridiculous things are bound to tumble out of someone’s mouth at some point. What makes this even more interesting, is that the Pomegranite office is not just home to us pomegranites (Liz and Sarah), but also to the staff of Agriptrotein, an innovative, award-winning start-up that develops protein sources for the agricultural sector and who happen to do it with maggots.
There are several lines that divide the office: tea drinkers | coffee drinkers, maggot wranglers | online presence magicians, men | women, those who think it’s hilarious that people think I’m the Agriprotein secretary because I’m the first desk you see when you walk in | me.
Here are five quotes from life in our office:
1. Sarah, busy building a website:
What do you call this thing that your tabs are in on the internet?
2. Source remains anonymous for obvious reasons:
Yes, they have a bootleg. Don’t tell my wife, all my jeans are dirty and she hates it when I borrow hers.
3. One of our excited clients:
OK great, where do we start with the website, fonts?
4. In a client workshop:
So it’s going to be maggot biltong, essentially.
5. Liz getting teased for her occasional make-up use:
Going on a date or seeing a client?
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a seminar on one of the world’s most powerful marketing tool.
Is it the hashtag?
Is it blogger relations?
Being spoken of highly is the single most valuable marketing tool there is. We can vouch for it – Pomegranite has grown leaps and bounds through recommendations.
Other than always, always delivering a top product with exceptional service, there’s no direct way a business can create these positive conversations. That’s why they’re so valuable – they’re spontaneous and sincere. What brands can do, however, is make the most of the good relationships they have with customers and clients.
For us, testimonials are an important way to show that our clients trust us and are happy that they picked us to work with. They’re so important that we have them scrolling on our homepage and they’re displayed on their own page.
There are a variety of ways that a brand can squeeze every drop from a juicy, happy customer on social media. Reviews, testimonials, ratings, interactive content, forums, discussions and comments are all ways of boosting your brand in conversation which is a huge marketing asset. If it’s positive.
Our view? Build from the foundations. Always deliver and be a pleasure to work with.
Check out these amazing stats about word of mouth. They show why social media software company, Lithium, is expected to acquire online influence measurement company Klout for at least $100 million.
Generally, by the time we work with small businesses, they’ve survived early development, have a strong sense of who they are, and are ready take their marketing and branding seriously. This is never more true than with small businesses in the fashion industry. But how is working with these types of clients different to others? Here are five tips that worked for us with local fashion businesses, Soul Society and White Rabbit Days.
Before we get cracking, here’s some White Rabbit Days fabulousness:
While these clients have lived their brand since they were brave enough to go out on their own, they generally haven’t been asked to articulate it formally, so discussing business plans and marketing strategy is often a first foray into outlining strategy. Our workshops have proved valuable in these situations by giving the client clarity and strategy to build on, and by giving us insight into the business.
It’s only by really listening that you can get a sense of what makes the business different. And, in the end, that’s the story you need to tell.
2. Figure out what they need from you
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Rather figure out why they came to you. For instance, Soul Society already had a great website and really strong branding. What they needed from us was help telling their story, which is exactly what we did for them.
3. Evoke the juice
Find out what makes the brand you’re working with special and communicate that. For instance, Helen, the designer behind White Rabbit has a really animated way of speaking – making up words and cracking jokes all the time – and we used that sensibility across the copy in the website. For example, the name White Rabbit Days comes from the way Helen used to explore a new city with friends on her travels.
You pick a direction, choose a road, a door, jump on a bus; follow the white rabbit (in a non-druggie way) and see where it takes you, what treasures you find, who you meet and where you end up.
4. Be flexible
Small businesses have particular pressures. Often the person you’re liaising with is also responsible for many other things like manufacturing, distribution and accounts. They’re juggling problems and opportunities all the time and this means that you might not have direct access all the time. Once you can arrange it, however, you can make decisions with the client very quickly.
Cash flow is another things that can be difficult for small businesses. Being flexible is crucial to being able to have a good working relationship.
5. Stay in touch
You never know where these businesses are going and who they’re connected to. Every big business was once small – stay in touch and who knows where they might take you!
Here’s some Soul Society fabulousness:
Select a brand to go to their Facebook page:
Featured (top) image source
Today, I met with Suzi and Pascale from Miko coffee, an originally Belgian coffee brand with two centuries of roasting heritage behind it. Miko has a Fairtrade brand calledPuro. With the support of their coffee brands, these great gals also run Trees4Schools – an awesome initiative which plants trees and veggie gardens in at-risk schools.
More stories about Miko’s fascinating history soon, including the myth that they had to resort to roasting acorns during the second World War but for now, check out Trees 4 Schools teaching kids how to grow enough food to feed their families in an old tyre.