Neil Dixon
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Gleason Brook Winery

Branding/UX Case Study

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The PROBLEM

My client is starting a new organic winery in an up and coming wine region, Bruce Peninsula. They need to develop a Brand Identity that stands out from other small organic wineries in the more established Niagara-on-the-Lake region. The clients asks was for a fully established brand identity, website design and research to understand their customer more clearly.

THE RESEARCH

I started my research by reading many Canadian wine reports such as the VQA Annual Report that highlighted many things such as spending, imports, exports and emerging trends within the wine region in the Niagara region. I also read published reports on other topics such as ice wine production, emerging trends in food and beverage and current issues facing the alcohol market. My 6 main findings that I wanted to bring to the attention of my client are highlighted below.

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I then did a competitive analysis of all the organic wineries with sales lower than half a million dollars to understand what my clients competition was doing. I collected what their brand identity was, products, pricing and value proposition. You can look at that here

THE BRANDING PROCESS

When deciding what creative direction I should take with Gleason Brook’s Logo, I was given an idea from the client to incorporate the unique location of this winery, which is the Bruce Peninsula.

Through my research and experience there are two notable geographic features from the Bruce Peninsula.

  1. Rock / Fossils

  2. The colour of the water in the Tobermory region.

I went through many iterations of designs of fossils and colours. This was the final product.

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A Sample of the Branding Guideline

A Sample of the Branding Guideline

THE DESIGN PROCESS

This is the process I like to follow for UX design. I like to send this to the client so they know what stage I am at and what I’m doing!

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DISCOVERY

In my Discovery stage I was able to use a lot of the research I had done on Gleason Brook’s competitors for my designs for their website. After reviewing the research I met with 6 users to understand when visiting a beverage website what were they trying to find/what did the want to know. These were my findings:

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From these interviews two user personas were created and I identified how I wanted to better improve the user flow of a customer finding information about a wine product.

DEFINE

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DESIGN

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TEST

I was able to test my low and high fidelity prototypes with the same 6 users I interviewed initially who gave me insights into what they look for when researching alcohol products. The feedback I received was that the site was simple and displayed the information they wanted to know. I had 2 users who thought the food pairing recommendations were clickable which could become an issue. Another issue that came up was the user being frustrated that the “where to buy” took you to the winery location linked lower on the main page.


ITERATE

iterate, iterate, iterate…

DELIVER

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LEARNINGS

Overall this project was an amazing opportunity to research an industry that I was interested in and genuinely wanted to learn more about. This was my first client branding and I enjoyed the process. I found logo design to be the hardest part because having to decide on a simple image to represent a brand was hard to make a decision on. Also due to this winery being in development/purchasing alcohol online being difficult in Canada it was a challenge to determine what calls to action I wanted to have on the site. This project is still in development and the client is using a developer to build the site so no official website is up yet. I hope to work on more branding projects in the future. The story you are able to build with a brand is one of my favourite aspects of design.