Mercury Annual report

An interactive annual report that allows shareholders to customise content based on their interests and preferences. That’s pretty wonderful.

Project details

Client

  • Mercury

Industry

  • Utility

Role

  • Digital strategy
  • Content strategy
  • Product strategy
  • Technical strategy
  • Experience design
  • Responsive web design
  • Motion design
  • Illustration
  • Web development
  • Cloud infrastructure
  • Analytics
  • Managed services platform
  • Functional testing

Technologies

  • React
  • SilverStripe
  • Google Marketing Platform

The challenge

Let’s face it, most corporate Annual Reports are a hard read. They’re bursting with detailed financial content that many investors don’t understand, and are principally designed for a small audience of financial market analysts rather than mass market shareholders or consumers.

Annual reports are also typically designed for print first with digital a distant after thought. More often than not, the digital solution is to turn the print version into a downloadable pdf or browsable equivalent. Easy, but not very wonderful!

In 2019, Mercury NZ wanted to make their annual report more consumable, more accessible, and more relevant to their wide range of shareholders.

For context, the Company has one of the largest shareholder bases in NZ with over 80k mum and dad shareholders, large scale investors (domestic and international), trusts, and the Crown. That’s a diverse audience to design for!

The printed report was once again the primary asset (beautifully designed by our friends at Culture & Theory), but when the Mercury team asked us to help them create a digital microsite to host the 2019 report content, we spotted an opportunity to do something a little bit different... and a lot more personal.

The solution

Since they rebranded in 2016, Mercury have established a distinctive visual identity with yellow as the undisputed hero colour, and a cool, contemporary illustration style as a key component of the brand style guide. These components would form the basis of our digital solution.

The idea was to build an Annual Report microsite that would unveil a wonderful, illustrated story (fully animated), highlighting all of the year’s major achievements as the user scrolled down the page. As this highlights package was revealed, the user would be presented with the option of selecting specific sections that interested them to create a customised version of the detailed report.

When they reached the bottom of the landing page, the user would then be presented with two options: download their custom report, or get the full report.

Our team illustrated, designed and built the mobile-first site in less than 4 weeks.

The results

Digital reports, done well, are a much more immersive, interactive and user-friendly experience for readers than a conventional print-based annual or interim report. With the inclusion of videos, animations, infographics, imagery and personalised storytelling, a digital annual report enables organisations to connect with clarity, emotion and relevance, which has been shown to result in deeper, longer-lasting engagement with stakeholders.

We’re super proud of this piece of work for Mercury. It’s not easy to make an Annual Report engaging, but by focusing on the important story points, making it interactive, and allowing each individual user to customise their content, we were able to turn a compliance document into a piece of entertainment.

What’s more, shareholder engagement was measurable. Mercury were able to track site visits, user profiles, dwell time, and identify which content areas were most appealing. And this data can be used to influence future reporting designs.

Put simply, it’s Reporting made Wonderful!