A wonderful brief. A slightly scary schedule. And a whole lot of collaboration. Here’s the story of one of our most energising website projects...
- Content strategy
- Technical strategy
- Digital strategy
- Information architecture
- CMS training
- Design systems
- Experience design
- Responsive web design
- Web development
- API integrations
- Functional testing
- Search engine optimisation
- Conversion rate optimisation
- Bespoke APIs
- Nuance Chat
- Google Marketing Platform
It was early 2016 and we were sitting on the floor of a corner office at Mercury’s Greenlane offices... “We’ve got 4 months to design and build a brand new website that combines the content from Mighty River Power and Mercury Energy, allows customers to join and self serve, and showcases our new brand - which doesn’t exist yet!” That was the first time we met Mercury’s Head of Marketing, Ben Harvey-Lovell.
What followed was one of the most energising, satisfying and collaborative projects we’ve ever worked on at Catch.
We were part of a huge team of passionate people and partners who delivered one of New Zealand’s most successful large Corporate rebrands in recent years. Energy was made Wonderful over the course of those 4 frenetic months, but it wasn’t without its challenges...
Mercury had worked with Dick & Jane on the design of their new visual identity. When we first got the website brief, the logo, colour palette and brand strategy were still at the research stage but we had a pretty good idea of what we’d be working with. Dick and Jane had also designed a homepage template that Mercury loved so we had a wonderful starting point for the design.
Our first challenge was to research, test and design a new IA that would bring together the consumer and business retail content with the generation and shareholder content that traditionally sat on the Mighty River Power site. The brief here was to make the site structure cohesive, to bring together two stories into one coherent narrative that would allow customers, investors, analysts and employees to find the content they needed.
The second challenge was the detailed design. Our design and development teams worked on a new Digital Design System—building a modular, reusable, responsive pattern library that would be re-used across multiple digital environments.
We rapidly integrated the new design system into Mercury’s incumbent Kentico CMS, giving Mercury’s Digital Team full control of the site structure and page layouts.
Multiple API integrations were required to enable customers to join and self-serve, and to access third party data for modules like share prices and lake levels. Given the timeframe this required a smart, pragmatic approach. Where appropriate, a new React layer was developed to lay the foundation for the future.
As part of the project, we designed and built Mercury’s full suite of marketing, billing and system-related emails. Leveraging the new Digital Design System we created for the website, this allowed us to approach this work in a similar way — modular, reusable, mobile responsive components that were integrated into Marketo and their core internal systems.
The whole project really was like building a plane in the air. As we were designing and building the website alongside Mercury ICT and Digital Marketing, TRA were validating the visual identity by engaging thousands of customers and shareholders. Dick and Jane were iterating the visual identity from this feedback while FCB were developing the campaign launch content. Meanwhile the Mercury marketing team were re-writing and rebranding hundreds of automated customer letters and emails, while designing new office fit-outs, station signage, and vehicle liveries. We were all bouncing off each other, and it was wonderfully collaborative.
Despite the time pressures, the long days and the late nights, the website launched on time, on budget and was... well, wonderful! It was a finalist in the 2017 Best Design Awards, and an important part of the story that helped Mercury win the 2017 Grand Effie and the Supreme Award at the TVNZ Marketing Awards.
The success of the project forged a long and productive partnership with Mercury and we’ve since worked on multiple digital transformation initiatives together - from designing and building new Join journeys, updating the self-service portal - My Account, to designing and building the Mercury mobile app.
From a wonderful brief, a scary timeline, and some genuine collaboration we not only built a website to be proud of, we established trusted relationships that continue to this day.