Grist began the development of south coast law firm Blake Lapthorn’s new corporate website around six months before the announcement of its merger with counterpart Morgan Cole.
The initial workshops on strategy, architecture and content were over. The marketing team were excited about the creative, the responsive website build was nearing completion, the bespoke content management system active and launch plans being prepared. Then news of the potential merger broke and we had to react decisively.
Initially the site launch was postponed while the partners ratified the decision. This was difficult in that Blake Morgan were still populating the old site with articles, knowing that they would have more work to do to transfer these in the future. Although much of the content could be imported automatically, there was still manual work to do in review.
Once the decision to merge the two firms was confirmed, new brand guidelines were developed to encompass a new name, Blake Morgan, logo and colour palette. The modular approach to development (where the site is built using a collection of templates and ‘plug ins’ which can be dropped in to any area) meant that the new creative could be quickly and seamlessly deployed.
Having an external perspective focused on the user journey, rather than the internal structure or approach, ensured they did not over-engineer the project or drop down into the minutiae.
A late decision in the merger process was to create a separate company (under a common steering committee) to manage the claims division of the merged firm. A ‘clone’ of the corporate website was quickly developed to retain synergy with the group but successfully convey the distinct brand identity.
Initial feedback has been incredibly positive. Partners are surprised and delighted with both the end result and the speed with which it was achieved. And they are really engaging with the new website: many have started blogging profusely which is really helping to drive quality traffic to the site.