Redesigning a brand’s website is always an interesting journey. A strong digital presence has become mandatory for any business, as consumer behaviors have dramatically changed in recent years. While newer channels like social media and messaging platforms have become pivotal, brand websites and apps remain at the forefront of digital channels.
When Arctic approached us to fully redesign their brand website, we knew it was going to be a complex and rewarding project. With Arctic’s important heritage to live up to, it was clear that it was also going to be an exciting challenge.
Romania’s favorite brand
Arctic is a household name in Romania. You would be hard pressed to find someone who has not yet heard of the appliances manufacturer. The brand is deeply ingrained in Romanian culture and relevant to a wide demographic. Since 1968 the company has made more than 38 million refrigerators. Now, more than 50 years since the first units left the factory, the brand remains the number one choice in the local market for the second consecutive year, according to independent research.
For a long time however, despite the brand’s positive image, it was widely regarded as a traditional name, especially since it is part of an exclusive club of Romanian brands with a legacy spanning more than four decades.
Arctic wanted to bridge the gap between the brand and younger consumers, which has led to a full-scale rebranding process in recent years. Naturally, digital presence has been playing a crucial role.
Mobile first approach and a new information architecture
We needed a detailed overview of how the previous version of the website was performing and how users were interacting with it, so we turned to data. Many of our website development projects in recent years point out a clear fact: the habits of Romanian consumers have changed. Unsurprisingly, more than 90% of the incoming traffic on www.arctic.ro is generated with mobile phones. The decision to build the new website using a mobile-first approach came naturally.
This meant rethinking the entire information architecture and bringing it to a point where the products would be easily accessible to customers. Based on relevant data and experience, we opted for the look and feel of a friendly mobile app. Even though users would access the website through a mobile browser, we wanted it to have the familiarity of a modern app.
Presenting product features in a new way
The evolution of technology has changed the buying behavior in the home appliances sector. Previously, the typical customer would tie this type of investment to an event. A new refrigerator for example would be an investment linked to a kitchen renewal or the failure of the old one.
But things have changed and with the growing appetite for tech and unprecedented market offerings, the life cycle of large appliances has been reduced from 10-12 years to 5-7. Part of this shift lies in how people make buying decisions. Most studies done in the past 10 years indicate that a buyer is 60-70% more likely to commit to a product after they see a form of video content about that product. Gone are the days of bullet point specs and features next to a product photo. Our client’s new website had to contain relevant videos for the brand’s audience.
Arctic shared a key insight that influenced the direction of the video content. Their customers are far more likely to be receptive when they are engaged by another person about a product. This has been especially true for brick-and-mortar sales.
We wanted to borrow part of that experience and use it in the video presentations of the new website. To do this in a scalable and cost-effective manner, we teamed up with Tovid.ai and went into the production studio. We hired a professional actress and filmed a wide range of expressions and facial gestures.
Next, we digitized her appearance and combined it with the capabilities of machine learning. An advanced algorithm brings the digitized human model to life by learning the product descriptions, facial expressions, and appropriate tone of voice. The result is a customized video presentation for each product, carefully explained by a friendly human figure. For users this enables a better understanding of key product features and a sense of familiarity.
Creating a digital visual language and design system
The new arctic.ro also needed a complete overhaul from a usability perspective. Our team analyzed the user flows, the existing usability level and how visitors reach their desired products.
Before this however, Arctic shared their brand manual with us, which later became an important starting point for the new visual direction. The logo is at the heart of every brand and in this case, it would lend itself to the new visual language.
Our team used it as an inspiration for the iconology, which in their own words was an elaborate, yet enjoyable process. They then mapped the high and low usability areas, focusing on improving them to provide users with an optimal information flow.
A transformed digital presence
Arctic’s new website was created with cutting edge tools and practices, following a roadmap based on clear, detailed data. Currently, it is the only brand in the industry to feature a digital human model to present the company’s product lineup.
It is another proof point of Arctic’s commitment to innovation and to bringing its clients the high-end products and experiences.