Project Summary & Challenges
Due to large organic growth and the evolution of its brand over the last decade, Signet, LLC. had become a complex organization spanning multiple audiences, disciplines and industries. With a complete rebranding already in process, the firm needed to reorganize and distinguish its three main capabilities that in many ways, overlapped and supported one another.
Challenge #1: Audience Needs
Signet looked to present a balance between their three capabilities to reach a wide range of audiences in order to articulate their major operations and innovations efforts. We were challenged to communicate a solid investment position to each distinct client type by conveying experience, reliability, and autonomy, while needing to prescribe to a specific industry vernacular. Therefore, the project required an initiative to establish Signet’s unique culture and distinct set of values and business practices across multiple audiences.
Challenge #2: Presenting a Legacy Firm in a New Way
Additionally, Signet’s team had a desire for its digital presence to be as unique and high-quality as the custom-tailored work the firm is known for, and they sought to position themselves differently in the market from other private equity firms or stereotypical angel investors (and there was a rebranding already in process when we began discovery for this project). With a 20 year history and evolving brand, our challenge was to present Signet in a fresh, new way.
Challenge #3: Reorganization of Content
At the same time, Signet wanted to simplify and refresh all content on the site and reduce the overall volume of content. This would require us to overcome the challenge of de-cluttering and simplifying in regards to content architecture, menu navigation, and overall content flow on the site.
Define Key Audience Personas
In order for us to determine and prioritize site-wide goals, we collaborated with Signet to define specific audience personas. Our team created a persona matrix at the beginning of the architecture phase so that results could effectively inform both the sitemap and wireframe steps of the process. Each of the thirteen prospective audience personas we identified included a basic definition and a primary needs description. Within each persona, we were able to clearly accomplish a wide range of user goals by aligning their needs to a solution provided by Signet. This resulted in being a key measurement to the success of the project.
Simplify User Experience & Navigation
We reinvented Signet’s site architecture in a way that significantly reduced sitemap noise. Through an intensely thorough discovery process, we chiseled the complex workings of Signet's multiple arms into a simplified main navigational menu; a limited secondary menu that calls equal attention to the three main capabilities; and more streamlined and information-rich site pages. On each page, we established a structure for a visual, interactive narrative experience with clearly distinct page sections and special functional and design features that could be repeated throughout the site for consistency. Throughout the project, we kept regular content gathering meetings in place to measure our progress.
Emphasize Visual Storytelling
Because each audience is primarily interested in what Signet has done and its resume, we moved toward a “show” and not “tell” content strategy, and let the work speak for itself as much as possible. We produced content broad enough to cover a wide expanse of relationships and experience, yet specific enough to offer tangible content within an interactive portfolio of operational investment companies and real estate projects. The new site prioritizes visual storytelling by incorporating curated, full-width hero images, original graphics, and visual callouts such as pullquote styling, concept thumbnails and list menu sections.
The various facets of Signet’s identity are now more clearly communicated and controlled through simplified, more cohesive messaging, a reduced overall webpage volume, and less reliance on explanatory text. All of the enhanced design and functionality features that provide for an interactive user experience are efficiently managed by the firm’s marketing team, who is trained in the new, custom WordPress CMS that we have developed for them. We built a thorough style guide that was robust and flexible enough to make each and every page feel like a custom layout, but thoughtful and intuitive enough for Signet to be able to manage moving forward with just a few hours of training.
Because of the highly collaborative process of devising and executing a focused content strategy, Signet now has thoroughly edited and purposeful messaging that can be reiterated across multiple forms of organizational collateral such as client presentations and press releases; as well as an organized, extensive archive of artwork, articles, links and other digital assets.
We also created a protected Investor Login Portal and incorporated a Google Site Translator to accommodate for Signet’s existing clients and international audience.
HELPING YOU TELL YOUR BRAND STORY ON THE WEB.