What’s the potential of a pet food website? Up until now, they’ve been more of a perfunctory presence – a place to store product information, or house TV campaigns. But when we set out to create a new site for Purina ONE, we needed it to do a lot more than that.
A Close Partner
We’ve been working with Purina ONE on many different projects, from running their Facebook community to helping them launch their sustainability-minded line, beyOnd. We work closely with their shelter program, and helped them embark on a journey to change the perceptions of shelter pets. While their efforts are wide-ranging, they’re based on a set of clear values, like pet welfare, nutritional discoveries and sustainability.
Stepping Up the Game
Purina ONE has always been hesitant to talk about their breakthroughs in the field of research, their efforts to help shelter pets find homes or the people behind the brand. As more specialized brands started to turn up the heat on what a pet food brand is supposed to do for the world, it became necessary to start telling these stories. That’s why our strategy was to rebuild purinaone.com as a site that showcases Purina ONE’s values, and provides a transparent look into the actions they’re taking.
So how do you make a packaged goods website centered on a brand’s values? Inspired by forward-thinking brands’ use of new web technology to tell richer, deeper stories, we designed a whole portal for doing just that. To reflect that it’s a journey that’s always in motion, we called it Pursuits. Here, users can click into each of Purina ONE’s missions, learn what it means to the brand and see where they’ve taken it.
Translating what a company actually does can be difficult. We wanted the content to be useful and informative, and most of all – challenging. Taking a journalistic approach, we created rich media content, including long-form videos that let visitors explore the science in Purina ONE’s most innovative products, and graphics that help them grasp the intricacies of sustainable processes.
Showing the People Behind the Brand
The Culture of Innovation Pursuit gives visitors an inside look into the people behind the brand and what motivates them every day. To create this content, we did interviews with the brand team staff, encouraging them to share their goals for the brand and their experiences as pet owners. We also created content about the Purina headquarters in St. Louis, showcasing the spaces that are built around creativity and collaboration. By highlighting the culture of Purina ONE, we also got to shine a light on Purina itself.
A Flexible Platform
While we were building the site, the brand was launching The True Nature of Cats, a journey to gain insight on the domestic cat by traveling to Africa to study one of the cat’s remaining ancestors, the African Wildcat. It is a complex mission, one that seeks to help cat owners better understand their pet, and to clear up misconceptions about cats and the people who care for them. We discovered that the Pursuit section gave us a natural home for all of this content, and we managed to incorporate it by launch.
Creating a Bridge to Purina ONE’s
Before the site was built, most of the content that we had created for pet owners and around pet welfare lived on Facebook. As you might realize, Facebook is a perfect place to gain insight from customers and create conversations. When it comes to providing content for people to engage with and explore, articles and multimedia quickly get lost in the stream. We knew that the most successful brands were ones that created a cohesive ecosystem that engaged consumers on both platforms. The website gave us a perfect place to store this dynamic content, and to invite visitors to return to our Facebook to participate in the creation of future content.
A Place for Useful Information
Our content strategy for Facebook was to create content that helps pet owners give their pets the best care possible, and gives them access to the behaviorists, nutritionists and veterinarians at Purina. We wanted to continue this on Purina ONE’s new website.
We designed the homepage as an editorial grid, providing a feature story and plenty of other options for people to explore. We sorted through the content on Purina ONE’s former website and restructured it to feel more like simple, short-form articles that people could easily engage with and share. We also looked at what kind of content the brand was missing and created an abundance of new articles, using Purina ONE’s network of shelter partners as resources. We designed an article template to house these, with social sharing features built in. A simple sidebar on each article features related articles, encouraging people to explore and learn.
Inviting Visitors to Participate
We also wanted new visitors to know that our content is shaped around them, and they can tell us what they would like to see by participating in our Facebook community. To do this, we designed a custom widget showing the latest Facebook conversations, which lives globally on every page of the site. We also designed a community tab that gives newcomers a snapshot of the rich conversations that Purina ONE is having on Facebook every day. Since many articles reference the Facebook community, or even use their snapshots of their own pets, visitors get the sense that the site reflects not just the brand, but them as well.
Optimized for the Way People Use the Web Today
We designed the site using the latest advancements in HTML5 and CSS3, which allowed us to bring the typography to a new level. We left Flash behind and optimized the new site to integrate the SEO strengths of Purina ONE’s former site.
Knowing that many people who interact with the site may be arriving on a mobile platform or a tablet, we designed the site to be as light and elegant as possible to reduce loading times. We also used adaptive design, so that the site naturally adjusts to mobile and tablet screen sizes.
A CMS that Keeps Things Dynamic
The site uses the popular open-source CMS Umbraco, giving us the tools to make any simple, necessary changes, without needing to call the developers. Access to the content management system also makes it easier for us to input new content regularly, making the site feel truly editorial and dynamic.
A Brand that Deserves a State-of-the-Art Site
Purina ONE is a brand we believe in and work with closely every day. We hope that the site helps people to understand them as more than just a pet food brand, but as a positive force for change.