When it was founded in 1998, Benugo had a vision not just to create superb, natural food but to give London something that was a real experience. That vision stands, but Benugo has grown both in its UK reach and in its offer.
It approached Design Culture to deliver a new website that would bring the brand to more people, connecting the physical brand experience with the virtual, exciting, and engaging audiences with Benugo’s passion, culture, and ethos.
Benugo’s offer today stretches from its own award-winning high street stores to cafes and restaurants in some of the world’s best-loved public spaces and visitor attractions, and coffee and deli bars inside high-profile workplaces as well as a bespoke events catering and hospitality offer.
The previous website, launched in 2017, was very cafe-focused and informational with the core user journey centred around Finding a Benugo. Audiences found it hard to navigate to what they were looking for and understand how one part of the offer related to another.
The timing of the website’s redesign coincided with work to visually evolve the Benugo brand, led by designer Daniel Grimm. The result is a fresh, new visual style that is much more in keeping with the brand’s overall personality according to Head of Marketing, Sophie McCready. “We’re really pleased with how the identity has progressed. It’s a much better reflection of who we are as a brand – it’s welcoming, expert, and professional but with a real sense of fun”.
The website’s design makes use of all the brand’s refresh has to offer. Visually bold, bright and warm the overall feel of the website is positive and uplifting. The brand’s voice comes through clearly with the simplicity of strong, black typography paired with the colour, space and beautiful photographic imagery throughout; with interactive design used fluidly and subtly to allow what lies at the core of the visual brand to lead.
While great at delivering functional information about its cafes, restaurants and spaces, the previous website lacked a sense of what really makes the Benugo brand. The new website is designed so Benugo can fully position itself and engage its audiences emotionally and intelligently with what lies at the heart of who it is, what it does and why – it’s passion for food, coffee and people; and its unresting innovation, sustainability commitment and amazing partnerships.
Brand storytelling can now come through really clearly, with the site designed and built so the team can surface stories, news and announcements throughout, imbuing the user’s experience with who Benugo is, its passion for what it does and its take on the world
Being asked to take on the support and management of their incumbent site, while working on the new one, provided us with invaluable insight on where the pain points were for the Benugo team, particularly around content creation and site management. So that’s where we started our thinking.
With so many physical sites to manage, there would be huge value in being able to enter, hold and manage all information and data for an individual physical Benugo site in one location in the CMS, and being able to easily surface and use that information throughout the website, for different purposes, wherever needed. So we focused on defining our data structure around finding that solution.
It involved plenty of head-scratching, ideas-sharing, thinking, and re-thinking, but being laser-focused on finding that solution and placing it at the heart of how the site is structured, functions, and is ultimately experienced is what delivers the greatest value to Benugo. It’s key to a positive user experience and critically to make the website simple and straightforward for the Benugo team to work with it daily managing the site’s content and their ability to get the most out of it as the powerful marketing tool it’s designed to be.
We needed to go through a process of rationalising and determining how we could package up and present all the many parts of Benugo’s offer. With its audiences extending beyond the cafe and restaurant-going public, the site is also designed to present both Benugo’s Events and Workplace offers; as well as engage the best talent in the sector with what it’s like to be part of the Benugo team and the opportunity to apply directly through the site’s Careers section.
Technically, the build included the intensive development of the Find a Benugo function, using React to build the application, but rendering it on the server first and settling on Next.js to improve SEO; and integration with Nutritics and Tenkites to facilitate menu and nutritional management through the site, building menus and presenting information on the front end for each location via an API.
Sophie Mccready Head of Marketing Benugo
Working with Design Culture made the impossible seem not only achievable, but really rather good! We couldn’t be happier with our new website. It’s delivered the brief perfectly and we had plenty of fun along the way. From the initial kick -off meeting to the post-launch after care, the team have been patient, creative and not afraid to challenge our suppositions. A huge thank you to everyone at Design Culture!