Establishing a premium brand among leading European architects

As a local market leader, how do you create an online presence that helps you grow your business abroad?

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W ith mobile wall systems that meet the highest standards in quality and sustainability, Espero is a household name in the Dutch market and active in many others. But as they’re amping up their efforts abroad, Espero needed an online experience that would meet those same standards and appeal to an international crowd. Working closely with impact strategy agency The Terrace, we redesigned Espero’s online presence to better reflect their core values, showcase their premium product and support their international ambitions.

Wat we hebben gedaan

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Creating space for all

Espero positions itself as a close partner to the architects and his or her imagination. By enabling them to use space in a flexible way, Espero helps architects to maximise the value for the people using it. However, it’s not only architects deciding on which solutions to use when developing buildings and spaces. It’s also people like facility managers, project leaders and general managers that influence decision making, all have their individual needs and wishes. To better understand how this context translates to the future platform, we created several personas and mapped out their individual user journeys.

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Speaking to both decision-makers and influencers

Being driven by design and functionality, an architect needs visual confirmation of the brand’s and product’s quality, before deep-diving into specifications or possible customisations. Other personas however, have a more general interest in the product and need to see it applied in real life to determine whether or not it would fit their project. Once these assumptions were validated through customer interviews, we started sketching out the future platform. A blueprint in fact, that helped our designers and developers create something beautiful, functional and future-proof.

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It’s a portfolio, but not as we know it

With individual users looking for different types of information, we needed to create a rich, interactive and layered portfolio website. All users, however, should immediately be struck by an immersive visual experience and compelling copy. Once put in the right frame of mind, users are invited to explore the product catalogue, get inspired by its application in showcased projects, dive into specs before requesting additional information or a quote. The whole journey, however should reaffirm Espero as a leader in high-end mobile wall systems.

 

Designing a premium brand experience with an international appeal

Having mapped out and structured the content, we were ready to start visualising. Building on The Terrace’ new brand design, we created a sleek digital design that puts Espero’s premium product center stage. To highlight both their functional and aesthetic value, for instance, we used images of the wall systems at the heart of the architectural masterpieces they sometimes become part of.

Empowering the communications team with visual building blocks

To make Espero’s investment last, we needed to help their communications team in creating new pages, promoting new products and case studies year round. But with the new brand guide raising the bar in terms of quality and consistency, this was no easy feat. Therefore we built a compact design system of reusable components; paragraphs with layouts in which typography, image grids and links work visual magic on screens big and small.

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A headless CMS to drive that magic for years to come

As brand engagement and user experience had priority over complex functionality, we decided to implement a Drupal CMS with a headless React set up. The gained flexibility in presentation enabled us to create custom animations for the design system’s components. The brand’s tagline for instance, “Creating space for all”, is now used in page transitions. An image comparison tool that allows users to see different ‘states’ of a wall in an environment, is another example of how we’re employing animation to add to the brand experience rather than distract from it.

From local leader to world class

With leading international architects being the primary target audience, the bar for our design team was set very high. However, working closely with both The Terrace and Espero, we managed to create an online presence that brings to life the new identity, reflecting the leap Espero made from local market leader to an established brand abroad.