Building Shingletown Saloon’s Brand From the Ground Up6 min read
Dan Murphy, the owner of Ballard Loft, had been working with us since our first year in business. Our relationship had evolved over the years as we grew, improved, and expanded our service offering. We used our experience from working with clients like Ballard Loft to shape our services and add things such as branding to our menu. It was exciting to start from the beginning with someone who had been with us for so long. Dan Murphy and his team had the opportunity to experience the “honeymoon phase” a second time with Marketeering Group when they decided to open a second restaurant, Shingletown.
Because Ballard Loft was already a client in 2013, they approached us for our assistance in building a business plan for a bar in Ballard that hearkened to the neighborhood’s roots as a logging town and the world capital of cedar shingle production.
Once they finally found a space, we met and they signed a new basic package and added a new website. We produced a 22-page strategic plan that outlined the new restaurant’s branding, including target markets, style, social media tone and voice, blog post ideas, photo and video shoots, and launch strategy.
Once we understood the inspiration behind Shingletown, our graphic designer began creating the logo. We used the vision of historic Ballard lumber mills modernized for the current neighborhood bar scene to steer our design direction. We focused on colors and fonts that would evoke the classic feel with an updated style. Our designer began by sending the client about six logo options. The client and designer then worked together to narrow down the fonts, styles, wording, and imagery that would create the final version:
Once the logo was finalized, each department got to work using it on the website, social media, etc. Signage, menus, and some fun art projects for the restaurant’s interior followed:
Photo and Video
Representatives from the development and design teams joined the photo/video department for the photo shoot to create a cohesive look with Shingletown’s visual branding and website design.
The use of props such as wood and a saw blade that would later be used in the restaurant’s countertops gave a backdrop that fit with Shingletown’s look and feel. We took photos with the format of the website in mind. The saw blade was used as a surface around which to arrange menu items, leaving space for a logo in the middle and serving as the homepage background for a very image-centric site design.
Shingletown’s owners and head chef collaborated to provide beautifully arranged plates and raw cooking elements, such as the salmon and shellfish set aside specifically for the photo shoot.
For a video, we set up a time-lapse camera to record the restaurant space as the interior was reconstructed. The camera was set from near the beginning of construction through the opening weekend, giving a behind-the-scenes look into the creation of a restaurant.
With the branding message and feel settled, we looked for a website theme that could convey Shingletown’s message and tone effectively. We wanted a theme that would prominently display images, be clean and user-friendly, and be a vehicle for our design direction. We constructed a sitemap that was well organized and gave us a base for developing content to convey the brand, history, and story to users.
Using the branding and style guide, as well as images from the photo shoot that were directed to fit the web design and the sitemap, our team designed and built out the website. We incorporated a blog to ensure there would be new, up-to-date content regularly, and to give us a place to talk about events, Ballard history, and the making of Shingletown. We have continued to tweak content and add photos of the space now that Shingletown is open, and have embedded the time lapse video of the construction onto the home page.
Multiple local blogs and news sources have used the website as a means for gaining information about Shingletown to let their followers and users know about the new pub and eatery in town. Visitors have used the site to get information about hours and the story of Shingletown and ask questions via the contact form.
Using a combination of paid (a modest $100/month Facebook ad budget) and organic social media efforts, we developed a strategy that encouraged our target market to be excited about Shingletown, and it kicked off! Our recipe of posts included photos of the establishment in construction, updates on the menu, photos of food and drinks, educational pieces on the history of the name, neighborhood news of Ballard happenings, blog posts, videos, and features from news sources and blogs. We created and still manage profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.
We started from scratch on June 15th, and by our opening date one month later, we had over 200 page likes on Facebook and excellent organic post reach (see screenshot).
In three months, we had achieved over 300 page likes.
The SEO landscape is in a constant state of flux. Search is no longer its own isolated division of digital marketing; the last few years have seen black hat, quick-win tactics replaced with fully integrated SEO, PR, and social strategies that have the potential to work really well together. So is it worth it? The good news is that if businesses can implement SEO, PR, and social as one effective, unified campaign, it will inevitably yield stronger results and a hugely improved return on investment.
The Shingletown case study illustrates how brands can combine SEO, PR, and social to maximize results and simultaneously boost link numbers, exposure, and engagement. Our goal was to highlight the spirit and culture of Ballard’s historic lumber and shingle mill industry with authentic Pacific Northwest food, drinks, and flare.
We started out by submitting Shingletown to search engines such as Google and all major online directories, such as Yelp. Our focus was to build visibility online, not just by creating directories and reaching out to the press, but also by understanding the direct competition and studying their strategies — not to copy them, but rather to find ways to do what they’re doing but better. We always made sure the information was consistent and linked back to the Shingletown website.
We crafted a press release that was appropriate for multiple media outlets and then reached out to them. We had responses from The Seattle Times, Ballard News-Tribune, Seattle Met, Zagat, The Stranger, and other local publications.
Let’s talk analytics…
Our job is to monitor all traffic, understand how it was acquired, and continue to keep it that way. All traffic has been a combination of searches, social visibility, and press mentions.
Shingletown Saloon Rebrand
Dan decided to rebrand the restaurant about 18 months after opening, and we created the new logo and made adjustments to the website and other digital marketing channels to reflect the new look, feel, and name.