In 2012 Amanda Macleod underwent a complete re-brand. One of our most striking transformations, this is her journey from home baker to professional cake maker.
Originally a graphic designer, Amanda Macleod was a home baker with a passion for sugar craft and cakes. Making celebration cakes for friends and family, Amanda's hobby soon became a rising business. In 2008 she founded Venus Cakes, going on to win awards, feature on Sky TV and present at industry events and shows.
A piece of cake
In 2012, cake designer Amanda Macleod approached Netmatter looking to improve and refresh her existing website presence in accord with her success. "I don't have the resources for a big shop in Belgravia or a cake academy but I do have the talent to create amazing cakes," Amanda told us. "I'm looking at the website as a re-launch for my company, to take on new ideas to push it forward and to embrace the 'whatever it takes' attitude to be as successful as I can be. I am open to all ideas."
Amanda sought a brand identity and website that was as palatable and memorable as her finished cakes.
Committed to her work, it was important to create a new brand, name and website that reinforced this, giving Amanda a persona that rivalled London boutiques. The challenge was to create a package that presented her and the business as 'already famous'. Amanda's visitors need to not only be in awe, but almost taste her jaw dropping cakes.
Sinking our teeth into Amanda's business we discovered that was already famous. Looking through emails from clients and in discussion with Amanda we found that she had won a number of awards, featured on Wedding TV and in fact already beaten a London bakery on The Great Cake Bake.
From here all we had to do was get making. In order to give Amanda the status she deserved we had to make the tough decision to get rid of Venus Cakes. Instead, Amanda Macleod was used, a name which we felt stood proudly among high profile competitors in the market.
Baking the cake
Enabling the business to travel to the next level meant that we had migrate all content from the existing site and migrate it to the new site. Similarly we had to take existing followers and migrate them over to the newly branded social sites.
To create the persona we needed in order to make Amanda famous, we had to put a face to the brand. To do this we sent Amanda to see Paul Dakeyne Photography for a photo shoot and tutorial. A master photographer, Paul created the standout profile photos we needed for the press page. He also taught Amanda how to photograph her cakes, creating the awe factor we wanted on the gallery.
From the hundreds of emails Amanda had from clients we were able to create a personal testimonials page which not only featured comments from happy customers, but photos of the cake and a warm 'Thank You' from Amanda. We had created somebody famous and this was proof of how good she was.
As part the content strategy we reorganised the blog to name it 'Crumb Tales'. This gave Amanda a platform which could be recognised and registered. We gave her training on how to resize images, how to manage her blog and a social media strategy for Twitter and Facebook.
The gallery was designed to be the 'sticking point' and most popular area of the website. Here the visitors were presented with a gallery of amazing cake designs that could be filtered using the smooth sub menu. Aptly named 'love at first bite' this area became a place for Amanda to shout about her work in a breathtaking and awe inspiring manner. Each photo within the gallery has a 'pin it' button to allow visitors to quickly pin them directly to Pinterest.
We also provided Amanda added value around her branding. A company logo needs to be instantly recognisable – something that gives a hint of the owner's personality, and clues to the industry they work in. The letter 'A' became the signature of the brand and features throughout the website and blog in various forms including sign-off stamps, content separators, promo marks and cupcake toppers. Our desire was to work the large icing swirl and the letter A into the mark and almost a stamp of class on a finish. The circle shape was introduced to create the impression of a cake while the dotted circumference added designer decoration.
Proof in the pudding
After redesigning the Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages to make sharing easier, the website went live. A four week plan was put in place to broadcast the new identity out to existing followers, asking them to find and tweet the new profiles. Using relevant hashtags we got people sharing and soon Amanda's work was picked up by the BBC and ITV.
The new brand and social strategy delivered more success that would have been achieved from being on page one for wedding cakes!
"The website is professional, warm, inviting, modern, colourful (add at least another 50 of the most positive adjectives you can think of)! The team at Netmatter showed real commitment. Every aspect of the website is so well thought out. The branding is amazing, too. The way they have echoed the action of putting the icing of the cake with the A and the dots around the edge is brilliant."
The entire process to approximately 3 months to complete. Amanda was supplied with a 30 page blue print of the brand and the same, if not more, for the website.
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