DestinationCore | How In Colchester brought a new energy to…

How In Colchester brought a new energy to Colchester town centre

Selina Cresswell, Marketing and Admin Executive at Our Colchester, shares her experiences of creating a new brand and website and her top tips for ensuring a website's success.

In August 2019, Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID) launched a new consumer brand and website designed to represent our town centre and the BID businesses within it. We’d like to share the story of how we worked in partnership with the team at Jacob Bailey and DestinationCore to bring a new energy to Colchester town centre.

We worked with Jacob Bailey to develop the new In Colchester consumer brand, which was designed to be our key communicator for consumers visiting the town centre. The brand was realised by working collaboratively though a series of workshops which helped us understand the style, tone of voice, attributes and values we wanted our brand to have. This then gave us a platform for our new website.

Colchester town centre is renowned for its rich history. However, the workshops helped us understand that our consumer audience and stakeholders wanted to celebrate the modern and to encourage investment across the town and demonstrate how Colchester is continually growing and adapting.

Cs colchester In Colchester's homepage

The website was an essential tool in positioning Colchester as a forward thinking destination, allowing us to provide the town with a unique and authentic identity as well as offer a platform for consumers which would become the “go-to” for events, offers and campaigns across the whole town centre.

Having the ability to add on different features to the website allows us to constantly grow and build on a site that is forever looking to adapt to its town centre

DestinationCore proved to be the perfect platform to help us deliver this and we believe it will continue to do so over the coming years. Having the ability to add on different features to the website allows us to constantly grow and build on a site that is forever looking to adapt to its town centre.

Now, after 6 months, In Colchester has built a reputation in the town centre and starting to become recognised by many. Receiving over 20,000 unique sessions to our website since launch, we’ve seen how our new brand and website has encouraged increased footfall and engagement in the town, but more importantly how it has benefitted the businesses we represent. One of our recently opened businesses has already gained over 250 views on its directory page - demonstrating how our site has become a trustworthy source of information for the town centre.

We’ve seen first-hand how a town centre website can provide a community hub for not only the consumers of the town but for businesses too. With budget being tight for some of the smaller independent businesses the incolchester.co.uk/ website provides a vital online presence, making these business visible to a wider online audience where they don’t have the opportunity or resource to do so otherwise. Our platform provides a highly visible and real benefit to these businesses.

Blogs, attractive imagery and a variety of filtering options create a website which feels welcoming

Town centres are evolving and increasingly moving towards entertainment spaces rather than being places to just shop, eat or drink. We’ve used blogs, attractive imagery and a variety of filtering options to create a website which feels welcoming and encourages user to come and experience everything that the town has to offer.

The intelligence provided through the DestinationScore Insights Dashboard allows us to understand what areas of our site are performing well and which could be refined to provide greater value to our users. We’ll continue to work with the team at Jacob Bailey and DestinationCore to get the best possible results from the investment we’ve made in our website.

Here are the In Colchester top tips to creating an effective town centre website:

  • Think of your website as a platform to represent the entire town centre – the strength is in the collective of the entire offering
  • Make the site easy to navigate by chunking up your business directory into broad sections – we used ‘See & Do’, ‘Eat & Drink’, ‘Accommodation’. ‘Leisure & Entertainment’, ‘Professional Services’, ‘Shopping’ and ‘Independents’
  • Strong imagery and creative content are essential to keep users engaged – it will get them wanting to see and read more content on the site
  • Events and Offers are a key reason why users visit a destination website – ensure the links to these areas of the site are prominent. We put them in the top-level navigation so users can navigate to these areas at any time with a single click
  • Make sure the design of your website reflects the unique personality of your destination. If the design and content on your website is not authentic users will quickly see though it and become disengaged
  • Finally, work in partnership with your agency. Remember that you’re the experts about your destination, but the agency are the experts in bringing your vision to life

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In Colchester

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In Colchester is the consumer website for the Colchester BID. We helped them create a new consumer facing brand, and then applied that brand to the DestinationCore platform to create a stunning looking website. Launched in August 2019 the feedback for this site has been superb. The client is looking to refine and improve the website in the coming months and years by adding modules in the future.

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Tel: 020 7729 0934

Email: info@destinationcore.com

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