With a $7 billion dollar impact on British Columbia’s economy, the BC Blueberry Council represents the growers of the largest highbush blueberry suppliers in the world.
We were tasked with designing and building a Drupal-based website; to promote the blueberry growers and industry to the world, helping members, growers, trades, and consumers connect.
With so many stakeholders involved, it was a challenge to balance the business needs and consumer needs.
Growers wanted information about pest control, crop management, and connect with suppliers, and develop new export markets. Suppliers wanted an easier way to connect with different types of growers. Fresh, frozen, pulp, juice, etc.
The consensus was to focus the website on the needs of consumers firstly: where to buy locally, finding blueberry recipes, promoting local events. Secondary but just as important was to help marketing develop new export business.
Technical challenges to overcome were porting over years’ worth of data from legacy website and hosting.
With a mandate to focus the website on consumer needs, we developed a look and feel that would remind consumers of the local fruit stand; rustic, friendly, authentic.
The overall design of the site was always to consider responsiveness. We wanted people to use the site to find local growers while out and about.
Content was contained in blocks of different type and color, and framed by images of blueberry pies, or blueberry fields.
Google analytics gave us insight into what consumers were clicking thru. Primarily searching for and sharing recipes, and where to buy locally. We consolidated the recipe posts from the previous website into our new system and added a better search, and ability to share via social media.
To help consumers find where to buy we created a ‘Find BC Blueberries’ menu that was prominent on every page. Consumers could find local berries – while trades could search for growers.
For growers we created their own section on the site that provide information relevant to their industry. A gated section was also provided to post council news and minutes.
The consumer focused website was very well received by both by consumers, growers, and BCBC staff.
Google Analytics indicated a 50% increase in consumer traffic compared to the previous year.
The fully responsive website helped consumers find and share recipes, and search for local growers.
Growers had more accessible means to navigate information relevant to them. Suppliers could search and connect to types of growers.
To support BCBC marketing we created micro-sites for consumers in Korea, Japan and India. BCBC marketing was able to reach new export markets. Traffic from these countries has since doubled.