Website should tell your brand’s best story
A company website is not only a marketing and informational tool; it has to tell your brand's story. Robin Tooms talks to Christine Warren, Marketing Director at the Houston Zoo, about how they knew it was time to upgrade their site and better tell their story.
Robin: Hello, and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I’m Robin Tooms, Vice President of Strategy at Savage. And my guest again today is Christine Warren, Marketing Director at the Houston Zoo. So Christine, I’m so glad you’re on Brandonomics today.
Christine: Thank you very much, Robin.
Robin: Well, I want to talk about the website. So the Houston Zoo redesigned its website this year. It’s now an award-winning website. And I want to know, how did you know it was time to redesign?
Christine: Well, there were several things that we wanted to address and we knew that we needed to do a complete overhaul to be able to address them properly. One is that the old website – the navigation was a little bit – It made more sense for the internal zoo, the people that set the website up, than it would for the consumer on the other end. Another was that we really felt like just the look and feel of the website was no longer reflective of the look and feel of our brand overall in all our other pieces, in all of our other marketing.
We have a phenomenal photographer, phenomenal graphics team, and we really wanted the web site to be more reflective of their work to really showcase the animals in all their beauty, to be colorful and vibrant, and to have a little bit more of a modern look. So we updated the homepage to reflect that and then the photos of the animals and those visuals are carried throughout the entire site now. And lastly, we knew that with the increased use of iPhones and iPads and all these other devices, we needed a page that was more mobile-friendly, and our old site just didn’t accomplish that.
Robin: So good, I’m glad to hear that. The other part of it is what you were mentioning there about the story that it was telling. So it’s not just the fact that you’re trying to get families to come to the zoo. There are other events and programs and things that are just really important. How do you convey that?
Christine: Yeah, we have a lot of aspects to what we do that people may not even realize. But we want to be able to tell those stories. Things like our conversation programs: we participate in more than two dozen programs across the world to save species. And that’s something that we want to be able to tell people about and want them to feel invested in as well. And those pages were a little bit buried in the old site – not quite as easily found. So we made them more visible with the new site and the results have been really phenomenal. We’ve actually, with our conservation pages, seen a 200% increase in the page views since we’ve re-launched. So we’re really pleased with that.
Robin: And as I mentioned you recently won an AMA Houston Crystal Award for the site.
Christine: We did.
Robin: So congratulations
Christine: Thank you.
Robin: Well, this has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.
The Houston Zoo provides housing, meals, medical care and education for more than 6,000 permanent resident animals. Its mission is to provide a fun, unique and inspirational experience fostering appreciation, knowledge and care for the natural world for each of their more than 1.84 million annual guests. http://www.houstonzoo.org/