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    A Whitstable Website to Attract More Visitors

    Wednesday, December 04, 2013

    Having made the move to Whitstable, and keen to share our skillset with local businesses, we were particularly excited to be approached by the proprietor of the Whitstable Cottage Company, Garrie Keeys. The current site, although keeping him busy with bookings, was in much need of a refresh to bring it up to modern standards, to be more intuitive for visitors and to be easier to manage and update, and Garrie came to Bungalow on recommendation.

    Eager to improve the way properties displayed on the site, and also aware of the great potential to be gained by social media exposure, we met to discuss how a new site could look, perform and work smarter. The idea of including a blog/events/reviews dimension to the site piqued Garrie’s interest further, appealing to his journalistic side. This would not only provide key content for local news, events, things to do when visiting etc. - all ideal for sharing across social media - but also increasing the site’s visibility to Google.

    And so, with a blueprint in place, we updated Garrie’s existing brand identity and rolled it out across a Wordpress-based build with new property description pages with location maps and enquiry forms, plus 'featured' properties, blog, twitter feed, Facebook and pinterest integration too. The new backend to the site makes it quick and easy for Garrie to enter, edit and update his clients’ properties, to write his blog posts and reviews, and to add his guests’ testimonials too.


    Whitstable Cottage Company website - on computer, table and smartphone

    We designed the site to be ‘responsive’ - automatically optimised to deliver a different layout according to screen size (computers, tablets and smartphones) understanding how useful it can be to access location maps, local information and late availability deals on the move.

    We’re thrilled with the result - it’s added a new angle to the property-based work we’re already known for, and applying this to a local business promoting tourism to the area… it’s a win-win. Garrie, too, is thrilled with his new website and we wish him and his business every success!

    The site looks so good I got a bit emotional looking at it - bit of lump in my throat.
    I am stunned ......thank you so much!


    If you're planning a short break to Whitstable - pearl on the Kent coast - you know where to find the best accommodation: just click to visit the Whitstable Cottage Company website and start planning your trip!

    Art... With a Business Perspective

    Tuesday, August 27, 2013

    Having met local fine artist Selina Firth at a gallery private view, and later seeing and very much liking her distinctive work, the opportunity arose to discuss her art with her from a business perspective. Learning that she was selling original works rather than prints, the conversation turned to our in-house, exhibition-quality giclée printer - and the possibility that she could increase sales without the constant need to create new pieces.

    With an upcoming exhibition scheduled at Whitstable's Fishslab gallery a few weeks hence: 'The Air and Feel of Here', we encouraged Selina to start thinking of her art in a commercial sense. We worked with her to scan and photograph her latest body of work, visualise the exhibition space - thinking of it very much as a retail space - and to devise a range of prints, formats and sizes to provide price points accessible to all.

    We recommended producing limited edition runs of signed prints on exhibition-grade Hahnemühle photo rag - a beautiful, weighty, 100% cotton art paper - from greeting-card size up to 24" prints. To introduce a lower entry point price, we created branded exhibition posters on a less expensive paper stock; with an imprint footer giving the title and exhibition details – devised in part to appeal to the tourist market who wanted to take a piece of Whitstable home with them.

    Intrigued by her 'SF' greek letter signature, we suggested it could make for a strong brand mark… so we digitised it, paired it with a clean, modern typeface, and her new identity was born.

    We then turned our attention to mounting, framing, hanging and presentation. We produced some smart, branded, foam-backed boards giving information about Selina, her prints, prices and ordering - plus a QR code board so gallery visitors could save her details to their smartphones. We also prepared a mailing list form to start a database for future marketing mailouts to announce new work and exhibitions. On-brand business cards completed her set of materials.

    Selina Firth - Fine Artist Selina Firth - Fine Artist Selina Firth - Fine Artist Selina Firth - Fine Artist Selina Firth - Fine Artist Selina Firth - Fine Artist Selina Firth - Fine Artist Selina Firth - Fine Artist Selina Firth - Fine Artist

    We're delighted to report that the exhibition was a great success, with a significant number of sales made and orders taken - crucially without Selina having to sell any of her treasured original pieces. The exhibition also gave the artist the confidence to approach businesses along Whitstable's renowned independent High Street - as a result, it's so exciting to see her lovely work hanging in shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants all around the town.

    Off the back of her success, Selina is focused on business possibilities and the greater exposure to be gained, and we're currently discussing future marketing, and indeed a new website to showcase her work too.


    Here at Bungalow we are able to offer artists access to high quality design, consultancy and marketing tools to help make their art commercially sustainable, reach a wider audience, and attract more sales.

    We print using our HP DesignJet Z2100 onto exhibition grade papers for photographers and fine artists (and celebrities' signed prints too!). With its 24" paper path, we can print up to A1 here in-house. Please call for more information and pricing; there's more information here about our PrintShop… and see our printer in action with internationally acclaimed photographer, Joel Meyerowitz here.

    Clarity begins at home with Clare Declutters

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    Local businesswoman Clare Marriott came to us to revamp the identity, look, feel and website for her 1-year-old decluttering business - her previous agency's work having generated neither the results nor business she'd hoped for. Ever keen to apply our consultative approach to local businesses, we agreed to step in.

    The Approach

    Our recommendation was a clean sweep - everything, including her business' name - had to change in order to connect properly with customers and give it a fighting chance of success.

    We took a fresh look at her business and knew we had to make this both personal, and productised. We surveyed the nation's registered organisers and declutterers from the apdo's website to get an overview of the industry - and the competition - and felt there was a clear gap in the market for a smartly designed, engaging, modern brand.

    We originated a bright, positive-feeling, approachable brand identity using script font (plus aptly named Clarendon) and icons to give personality plus a modern edge… And we renamed her as Clare Declutters - a simple, no-nonsense approach, for clarity.

    Clare Declutters - click to view the website

    Identity in place, we rolled it out into a user-friendly, easy to navigate website built on WordPress. We image-sourced and copywrote the site, giving a nice balance of text and photography. It was crucial to define Clare's services as clearly as possible, in an organised, product-like way to help connect directly with people in a muddle.

    We role-played who her potential customers might be, as well as the situations they might find themselves in, and devised packages tailored to six core situations, including: bereavement, moving home, office administration, general muddle - even coining 'clear with a conscience'… taking a (potentially profitable) recycling tact instead of a trip to the tip! We even helped Clare pitch her prices.

    Clare Declutters - click to view the website Clare Declutters - click to view the website Clare Declutters - click to view the website Clare Declutters - click to view the website

    The result was a clean, fresh, comprehensive brand and website, and with some lovely business cards and flyers designed and printed, Clare was fully equipped to get the business back on track. We also helped Clare start blogging, and set up her social media channels - Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to widen and strengthen her digital networks.

    Click here to visit claredeclutters.co.uk


    We're particularly pleased with the site - Clare Declutters is a great example of how polished branding and design can really help a business get ahead. If you're looking for a fresh start, and an organised way to present your product or service to new customers… Clarity begins at home: call Bungalow!

    An Empowering Business Makeover

    Thursday, May 24, 2012
    Kerry Hales

    Getting Connected

    With our move now behind us, we were keen to start doing business locally, participating and contributing to Whitstable's thriving entrepreneurial vibe. With so many independent businesses here, we wanted to put our skills to good use locally, broaden our network, and enjoy a balance in having more face-to-face clients. The challenge: to find our first local client for a Bungalow-style business makeover!

    With that in mind, we headed off to our first tweetup at Whitstable's Hotel Continental. No sooner had we walked through the door than we were approached, arms-wide, by the rather wonderful Kerry Hales, who we had already struck up conversation with over coffee some months earlier, Christmas shopping in Whitstable. A well-connected, much-liked and social-media-savvy businesswoman with great energy – and accomplished track record, she admitted she felt held back by not having a professional brand image, identity and website (other than her existing stock-template, unbranded blog). As a Strictly Come Dancing fan, she had already seen our work and was only too thrilled to let us take a look at her business. Early discussions made it clear that she would benefit from a Bungalow makeover... and that we too would benefit from her infectious and inspirational manner. The fit was good — we clicked!

    An initial consultancy session followed where we got to grips with her current business, before turning the tables and becoming coaches to draw out her longer term vision. We then began to plot out a strategy for her new brand, its positioning and roll-out.

    A New Image

    We wanted Kerry's brand and materials to be a true reflection of her personality, strengths, energy and capability. We turned the spotlight on Kerry, literally, when she visited us at our studio. Upon arriving, she instantly took a shine to our iconic Egg chair; glasses on, pen and journal at hand, Kerry looked right at home. The shutter began to click, and to our delight, a newly confident, empowered professional woman emerged. We shot a series of images that would become an intrinsic part of her new business identity and help direct the look and feel of her website.

    Kerry Hales business cards

    A New Identity

    With super new portrait photographs to work with, we focused on her visual identity and combined a friendly, positive mark and typeface with energising, corporate swatches, balanced carefully to appeal to both female and male demographics. We also advised she evolve from 'the communications coach' to 'Kerry Hales, the complete coach' to position her as the figurehead of her business and to connect more directly with her audience.

    With brand visuals in place, Kerry was keen to present her new business identity at her networking events across Kent: we designed business cards with a QR code for quick mobile access, vital for such a busy networker.

    The New Website

    We then turned our attention to her website. Kerry's old site was no more than a stock-template WordPress blog. We took her site apart and turned it on its head. We redesigned it from the ground up, reorganising and rewriting the content, replacing what was effectively a personal journal with an engaging, business-based, service-focused website. We asked Kerry to write clear definitions of her core services, telling her to think of them as 'products', for which we created new pages, individual identities and site-wide promo-spots to make them feel accessible, tangible, professionally packaged – and purchasable.

    Kerry Hales new website 

    Already up to speed with social media, we brought all her channels on-brand and incorporated them and their feeds into her site; we also introduced her to Pinterest to give an additional visual dimension and resource. Given Kerry's great presence in front of a lens, and wanting clients to be able to get to know, form a bond, and feel comfortable with her, we tried our hands at video-blogging... something we'll be focusing on over the coming months. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email newsletter, and YouTube - all integrated into her site for maximum exposure and engagement.

    Kerry Hales website footer

    Designed to Engage and Connect

    Kerry's new website enables her to keep her existing network – and potential clients alike – updated with her news, blogs, inspirations, products, activities... even video-blogs to maintain that crucial personal connection.

    • Video blog
    • social media shares
    • newsletter sign-up
    • calls to action
    • pinterest
    • twitter feed
    • blog snippets
    • branded sign-off & contact details

    Over to Kerry...

    With the website now handed over, its WordPress engine gives Kerry full control over all content, management and updates. She now has all the tools available to enable her to do what she does best: work on her business – her products, services and marketing – rather than 'blog, blog blog'. She has a professional, confident image, and a thoroughly modern, first class website that not only means business – it clearly demonstrates that Kerry means business too.

    We've thoroughly enjoyed working with Kerry and are thrilled with the results, as is she...

     

    I'm truly staggered by the Bungalow boys' talent and abilities… they wear so many hats! Not content with being top notch designers, they are business strategists, consultants, social media gurus, copywriters, and website experts – is there nothing they can't do? I am so grateful to have worked with them and can't express what they have done for my business and for me!

    If you're serious about business – and shouldn't we all be? – then call them. David & Scott are personable, have the highest integrity I have come across in business and they will over deliver on 'everything'. They get right to the core of your business, they need no direction… they just do it, they get it, they are on another level!!

    Kerry Hales

    www.kerryhales.com

    The Bungalow Journal

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    Settling in after our big move has been no small feat, but Whitstable is a fantastic place – we've already met lots of fantastic people, it's by the sea, packed with independent shops… and the house is a midcentury marvel. All in all, it's right up our street!

    Embracing this vibe, we've been working on a new Blog: the Bungalow Journal — a place for us to post our architecture, design and style inspirations (all with a midcentury slant, of course!) There's much that we're eager to blog about that really doesn't quite fit with this, our business blog, and so the Journal was conceived, designed and built… and has just gone live!

    Starting with entries about our midcentury move, including full details of our Bungalow renovation – and how we sold it privately, and now starting to take a wider look at the Californian architecture of the era that so captured our imaginations, it's very much a work-in-progress.

    Post-by-post, we'll share our inspirations from the mid-20th Century, insights into seaside life here in Whitstable, plus updates on the renovation of our new house, Cambria. (The latter is likely to be a very long process indeed, so it's good to know our virtual notebook won't run out of pages!)

    Jump across to our Journal and check out the first few chapters in our journey!

    Update Your Address Book!

    Wednesday, November 09, 2011

    This is just a quick change-of-address blog post to let you all know that we've moved! Our own property marketing campaign has proved a resounding success and we’ve sold our bungalow privately!

    The bungalow, the brochure and the For Sale board... now Sold!

    We're still amazed at how the bungalow and its online marketing have been tweeted about, shared on Facebook and featured on property, design and style blogs around the world — and look out for it in the next issue of Midcentury Magazine too! It's particularly rewarding that our combined talents have not only brought deserved attention to the Edgcumbe Park Development... but also saved us over £10,000 in Estate Agency fees.

    December 2011: ISSUU, the world's leading online publishing platform, has just awarded us the accolade of best application of their product and we'll soon be featured on their blog! (Very chuffed!)

    Once we're settled in we'll be blogging properly about how we put our property know-how and marketing expertise into practise to achieve this thrilling result.

    Although sad to leave the bungalow, our super neighbours and the lovely locality behind, we were in need of more space — and the next challenge...

    ...We’re now settling in to an even quirkier property by the sea near Whitstable, Kent! Keep an eye here on our new journal to see more about our new home: an architect-designed, 1970's curiosity called ‘Cambria’, and our ongoing explorations of the local area — famed for its oysters and creative pursuits. We're very excited and are looking forward to sharing it with you!

    Cambria, front elevation... and seagull's eye view!

    Meanwhile, do please update your address books with our new details:

    Bungalow Industries
    Cambria
    47 Hazlemere Road
    Seasalter
    Whitstable
    Kent CT5 4AW

    If you’d like our help in expertly presenting your property for sale to achieve the best possible price — perhaps even selling privately like us, you know where we are, or call us on 0845 601 1470.

    With house-warmed wishes,

    David & Scott

    P.S. Even though our new home has an upstairs, we’ll always be ‘Bungalow’ ;-)

    47