BOSTON - Harpoon Brewery has been a staple of the Boston waterfront for 25 years. They love life and they love spending life brewing hand crafted beer, so when the focus of their website became more about life and less about beer, they decided they had to re-focus with a site makeover.
To match their company’s newly gained maturity, they wanted a website that would really highlight their beer and get back to why they got into this business in the first place. They turned to fellow Innovation district neighbor and longtime vendor Getfused for the project.
“Harpoon’s aggressive digital communication strategy presented a unique challenge,” said Steve Mammone, President of Getfused. “We needed to develop a user-centered design capable of maintaining vast amounts of media generated weekly, without over-shadowing the craft beers of the brewery.”
There were a few projects to tackle, but the biggest was finding a way to feature their beer and really give the site a consistent brand. The Getfused team made what they call a ‘beer database’ that the folks at Harpoon had full control over. With this, they can add a story for each beer along with their own branding, and feature seasonal products whenever they need to.
“Harpoon was an early adopter of digital marketing in social channels,” continued Mammone. “The new web presence needed to focus on Harpoon’s love of craft beer, while maintaining a well-established interactive connection to an active community. ”Harpoon has also built quite the community over the years, and often celebrates its loyal fans by hosting tasting events and festivals, along with daily brewery tours in both locations. The site makeover also allowed for easy sharing and highlighting of these events, along with a ‘Beer Finder’ application that allows users to find retail stores along with restaurants and bars that are serving Harpoon near them. It goes so far as to list, which products are offered at each location and is even easier to use on a mobile device, as it recognizes your current location and provides local results quickly.
“The web service integration we architected with Harpoon’s distributor and existing Google maps API allow visitors to quickly find locations nearby that serve or sell Harpoon beer. We can get as specific as telling the site visitor what styles of beer are on tap,” said Mammone. By enabling the site to be geo-aware, Harpoon is also able to show upcoming events relative to the site visitor’s location.
The new site was launched on the eve of Octoberfest 2012, a huge event for the company and their loyal followers, with much anticipation. The new platform was well received and performed flawlessly under the increased traffic.
“Our decision to create a new website was partially based on the out-of-date functionality of our existing site. But the more important goal was to deliver a complete user experience of the Harpoon brand: Love Beer. Love Life. Harpoon.,” said Charles Storey, Sr. VP of Marketing at Harpoon Brewery. “The existing site captured the “Love Life” element by focusing on our festivals, beer tastings, cycling events, road races, etc. “Love Beer” did not get the emphasis it should have. The new site hits the perfect balance,” continued Storey. “Getfused nailed it because they understood our needs and “lived” our brand first, then built a great site.”
Don’t expect Harpoon to rest on the current digital success. They are already planning on various enhancements and points of social engagement to roll out throughout 2013. Expect the Friend of Harpoon presence to be seamlessly integrated into the main web presence and feature a single sign-on integration with Facebook.
It’s simple for Harpoon as a company: Love Beer, Love Life. This sentiment is now truly reflected in everything they do.
Getfused is a digital marketing agency that delivers clients measurable results by dramatically enhancing user experience. The Getfused team uses a specific goal-oriented, user-centric approach to digital solutions. This methodology has allowed Getfused to compound the brand presence of its clients in digital channels. Founded in 1996, Getfused has remained focused on developing solutions that provide immediate and long-term results for clients, including the New England Patriots, Legal Sea Foods, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Harpoon Brewery. Getfused has offices in Boston and Dallas. www.getfused.com
About the Harpoon Brewery
Harpoon's line of craft beer features its award-winning IPA and UFO Hefeweizen beers, along with four special seasonal selections. In 2000, Harpoon purchased a second brewery in Windsor, VT. Harpoon has since introduced two lines of limited edition beers, the 100 Barrel Series and the Leviathan Series, as well as the all-natural Harpoon Cider made from freshly pressed, local apples. For more information about Harpoon beers and visiting the breweries, visit www.harpoonbrewery.com