Best Multi-Brand Websites of 2020 (or Maybe Forever)
Posted in Work — Apr 24, 2020
You need a web system. Not just a website.
You’ve heard our own Lori Dunkin preach the importance of a harmonious multi-brand digital presence and architecting a web system that mirrors your brand to truly bridge your business to your customers. Early and often, you may ask yourself, “How does my master brand website relate to my sub brands? Should they be totally separate? Am I going to find myself in a deep, dark, data nightmare?”
It’s worth investing the time in strategizing to set up a foundation that helps you win. The effort will pay off tenfold in brand equity and site longevity. But seeing is believing - so we’ve queued up a few of our favorite multi-brand website examples to showcase how streamlined your multi-company or multi-brand digital presence can be.
Noble House Hotels & Resorts (a FINE client)
Noble House’s digital environment provides guests with an easily navigable choose-your-own-adventure shopping experience that spans 26 independently branded hotel and resort properties, events, activities, and bookable spa and restaurant options.
Users may discover an individual property’s website or let the master brand website assist in selecting a location through experience categories. Not sure where you want to go but (definitely) craving sand between your toes? Select “Beach” and peruse a curated collection of oceanfront properties before launching the property brand website.
Each individual property brand website follows key master brand standards and a consistent conversion-optimized architecture, yet expresses the location's unique personality through imagery and custom content. This baseline standardization and push/pull approach between the master brand experiences and property-specific websites creates a holistic system that is scalable and easy to manage from one centralized source of data.
In hospitality, the heavy lifting is always done on the backend so the customer can enjoy a seamless, memorable, relaxing experience - both online and during their stay.
Our job is to make it easy to daydream about that beach vacation.
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (a FINE client)
If we can’t jet off to a white sandy beach, we can certainly enjoy some wine at home, right?
For our next fabulous multi-brand website example, we’ll turn over to our friends at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Their web system supports a collection of 41 wine brands with their own individual identities and boutique authenticity. Each brand is celebrated with it’s own unique expression and is never restricted to uniform templates. However, custom doesn’t mean sacrificing efficiency - content management for all 41 sites is streamlined from one easy-to-use platform, powering all individual brand sites, integrated e-commerce stores, digital sell sheets, mobile fact sheets, retailer locators, wine club accounts, and more.
Here again, the effort in creating a core web system pays off by powering individual brand distinction while still enabling scale of content and information.
Carmel Partners (a FINE client)
When you’re busy developing extraordinary residences in the most dynamic markets in the country like our friends at Carmel, you need scalable systems to keep up. With one hyper dialed-in platform, Carmel is able to support resident portals, online concierge services, intuitive search experiences, and evolving site stages (from splash pages to full operation) for 30 property sites and counting. Each location’s website communicates a strong sense of place, storytelling, and showcases differentiated design and imagery, and is powered by a scalable, yet flexible custom-built application that supports their expansion efforts.
That’s a warm (and streamlined) welcome home.
Creating a strategic web system to house 75 unique brands spanning six different sectors is no small task. The LVMH group website does so with savoir faire. Shared values and master brand spirit are celebrated on the “Group” tab and individual brands can be discovered on the “Houses” tab which is organized by business groups, such as “Fashion and Leather Goods” and “Wine and Spirits”. Each “house” has a templatized landing page that introduces you to the brand and provides a link to the individual website, should you choose to window shop.
Browse at your wallet’s own risk.
Williams Sonoma Inc
The Williams Sonoma Inc website is sort of like an 8-cylinder revenue engine. The parent company website features a company overview and an introduction to it’s eight differentiated brands: Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PB Teen, Williams Sonoma, Williams Sonoma Home, West Elm, Mark And Graham, and Rejuvenation. Each brand overview offers a quick link to “Find A Store”, “Request a Catalog”, and “Visit E-Commerce Site” - now that’s optimizing for conversion. Each individual brand website follows the same format and provides quick links to sister brands in the header. The imagery, colors, logos, and the products themselves give each site a unique feel.
And now we have a snazzy new rug, with matching copper cookware and candlemaking kit en route.
Ready to Get Started?
To get to examples like this, the key is starting with a foundational understanding of how content and design pieces fit into your overall multi-brand strategy to help visitors solve problems, reach goals, and be welcomed into your brand universe.
Here are some key questions to answer before kicking off work.
What business pain points need solving?
What tools, integrations, and technologies are must-haves?
What needs do website(s) visitors have?
What do you imagine an ideal (online) customer journey to look like?
How strong is the relationship between sub-brands and master brand? Is the link meant to be explicit and perceived by customers?
Are your customers of one brand likely to be customers of another, or are brands serving unrelated consumer segments?
What percentage of content overlaps multiple brands?
How much variety in visual identities and website aesthetics is desired?
Once these points are well defined, a backend with major efficiency horsepower can be built and work for a variety of glossy front-ends that showcase exactly what your customers need (and look damn good doing it, too).
If you’re thirsty for more project work, have a look at some of our other digital destination projects.