This well executed redesign of Christchurch Classic car restorations specialists Auto Restoration’s website is a combined rebrand and website redesign project that has been very well received by the client and their target audience. It has also considerably strengthened Auto Restoration’s online marketing and had a positive impact on their bottom line.
The website was the foundation of a comprehensive marketing communications project to re-create the existing brand, strengthened for use on the web and in print, and to secure their pre-eminent position in their field nationally and internationally. The campaign rebuilt a much stronger brand by uniting print and web design to strengthen the communication of their core messages to their niche international market.
The planning, research and development of concept
To be certain of success, primary research needed to inform the creative direction of the site’s “look and feel”, it’s user interface and behaviour. Aside from consulting with client, General Manager Allan Wylie’s rich industry expertise, the redesign of AR’s website required significant time in:
i) Strategic planning attuned to exceeding the expectations of the client and their discerning, national and international target market.
‘First in class’ Award winning 1947 Talbot Lago T26 coupé at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, California, USA, 2005.
ii) Meticulous planning and thorough research both evaluating the current website’s analytics and a thorough review and assessment of the national and international competition in Classic Car Restorations.
iii) Inventory of the website’s current assets, plus a more comprehensive image and document library task consolidating many separate image and document archives, from sorting and rating digital libraries of images in varying states of disorder, to scanning photo albums, loose photos and published articles of and about their work in books and magazines.
iv) Overcoming the Achilles heel in AR’s image archive, a lack of high quality, glamorous images of their award winning restorations at renowned international Concours d’Elegance, such as Pebble Beach and Amelia Island in the USA, and the Louis Vuitton in the UK. This entailed seeking out these glamour images online and requesting / obtaining permission for use from their photographers in the USA and Europe.
v) High quality documentary photography of the workshop facility and skilled workforce, work in progress and completed restorations.
…I think what the website’s purpose is not so much to attract a larger number of customers, as it is for people who might have heard about us by other means to have a look at our profile and see the sort of things we do, the sort of company we are. …to give them the impression we are people worth their while to deal with… So I see the main purposes of our site is to; showcase our work, give an impression of what our company is like, give the impression we’re reliable and work to the highest achievable international standards.—Allan Wylie, General Manager
vi) Selecting the right web design coding firm as project partner, and the right CMS. The AR site was coded and the Joomla Content Management System (CMS) customised by Zoomroom Interactive, all the content was uploaded by MagentaDot Brands.
vii) Follow through with CMS educational and training materials and a brand use / graphic standards manual. To complete the web design project a complete set of step-by-step manuals and movies were supplied, followed up by on-site tutorials. The graphic standards manual ensures consistent use of the brand and communicates strategic brand values to audiences within and suppliers outside the firm.
The international renown and recognition that Auto Restorations has earned over the years is due to the exemplary skills and, talents and exacting standards of our individual employees.—Allan Wylie, General Manager
The execution; building a strong brand
High performance web design execution with durable appeal lies in the details. For example, relevant automakers dimensional badges enhance the individual galleries— they not only help site visitors connect with the car featured, such attention to detail also gives them “the impression we are people worth their while to deal with” and so connects them with the Auto Restorations brand.
The restoration of classic cars is as much a process as it is the goal of an aesthetically beautiful car made new again. It is the synthesis of detail and grandeur that makes classic car design intoxicating. I utilized that design ethos to provide a rich brand experience on the site, designing a suite of custom themed icons and badges to enhance the user experience and showcase the cars ‘best foot forward’.
The quality of AR’s work, the fact the firm is located in Christchurch far from their primary markets in Europe and the USA has developed into a positive point of difference, and were distilled into two brand positioning statements;
• Classic car restoration specialists,
• Established 1973. Christchurch, New Zealand.
The positioning of the brand is also graphically expressed in the ‘PassionPoint’ slideshow feature “Auto Restorations—automotive dreams” .
“Auto Restorations—automotive dreams”
The aesthetic appreciation of classic cars, the collection and racing of them is a curious blend of history, motorsport, art, industry and emotionally charged triggers. The rarest and most beautiful examples are becoming elevated to a form of highly prized, highly tradeable fine art object. These characteristics were distilled into the celebratory marketing communications ‘PassionPoint’ slideshow feature “Auto Restorations—automotive dreams” that marketing communications banner at the head of the homepage.
Their pre-eminent position internationally in Classic Car Restorations secured
MagentaDot Brands’ work for Auto Restorations met the key challenge to let the client’s award winning work speak for itself. The redesigned site and allied print collateral has given the client the means to express themselves clearly for the first time and enabled them to stand out as leaders in their field in the international market and rank very high in search engine results. Along with the right web coding project partners Zoomroom, we did the job well and Auto Restorations have gained a positive return on their marketing investment.
Half page magazine advert, “First in Class”, featuring award winning 1955 SIATA 208 CS Balbo Coupé.
Client: Auto Restorations
Category: Classic car restorations
Web Design firm / Project management/Content upload: MagentaDot Brands.
Web coding and CMS customisation: Zoomroom Interactive
Disciplines: Brand and identity systems design, Copy writing, photography, icon design, digital illustration, Web design, Web content management