Mackman worked with Essex based shop and café destination Mersea Barns on their brand development, photography and website design project. As a destination East Mersea lacked a key landmark for families, outdoor enthusiasts and the local community to share. Our aim was to build a desirable space that would entice visitors and celebrate the quality of its offering.
We created an image that sought to evoke the memories of the island and its people. Initial progress had been started on an exciting new development on the east of the island, however, no branding or marketing had been considered at this point. We were approached with a blank canvas, and an exciting challenge.
Bringing the East Mersea community together
With wild natural beaches and large open spaces, Mersea Island has always been the place to go for a peaceful, scenic day out. The local community is close-knit, and the produce on the island is renowned for its quality, from oysters to wine. In 2016, the time was right to provide a new hub for the village of East Mersea, with a space that could be used and treasured by everyone.
However, starting a business from scratch is a challenge, and Mackman was approached to provide a roadmap towards a new brand that appealed to both locals and visitors from miles around. We identified that our work with Mersea Barns needed to be underpinned by the concept of 'Destination Familiar' - a place that feels like you've been there before.
Creating an authentic brand
A branding programme was put in place which included the following items:
We collaborated with Mersea Barns to understand their audiences, build their brand, and produce a 'brochure' style website that presented them as a new destination built on honesty, authenticity, and the local area. The strategy had to be ready for the completion of Mersea Barns' physical premises.
Once the brand had launched and Mersea Barns had found their feet, they recognised that their website needed to work harder for them. We therefore added functions relating to ecommerce and events to allow the site to serve as a community pinboard.
Encouraging visitors to snap and share their own photographs and memories of Mersea using #MerseaBarns allowed the brand to tie in with people's emotions and experiences and build trust.
With their fully stocked brand toolkit built on thorough insight of their target audiences, Mersea Barns had all the ingredients that they needed for a successful launch. The shop and café have become a hub for the local community and a destination for visitors from further afield, showcasing local artists and craftspeople, and the best local produce. Since the launch of the new brand and website, we have remained close to Mersea Barns. We continue to support Mersea Barns on an ongoing basis for marketing, mentoring and photography. In 2020, we helped them to implement a click and collect system in response to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Mackman have been amazing, helping us make very rapid changes to our website and strategy. I can't fault them for their helpfulness, creativity and support during some pretty interesting times. Thanks guys - you are total stars.Mersea Barns
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