Isle Be in Touch
Creating a successful digital brand for a vacation destination
-- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/12/2013 1:23:48 PM
The Soggy Dollar folks liked the work done with lifestyle brand retailer Life Is Good, so they enlisted the company responsible-SilverTech, a digital marketing agency in Manchester, N.H.-for help in creating integrated digital marketing strategies and bringing those strategies to life, from concept to creation.
SilverTech's primary goal was to create a digital brand that virtually brought previous visitors back to their time spent at Soggy Dollar. In addition, by reconnecting with, and encouraging visitors to reminisce about their experience online, Soggy Dollar hoped to grow previously stagnant online sales of branded apparel and gifts via a new e-commerce website.
Like any tourism destination competing for traveler wallet share, Soggy Dollar needed to find a way to maintain relationships with its visitors in between trips.
"We reached out to SilverTech to help us create an integrated brand experience that could be applied across our website, social channels, email and even on the island," says Jerry O'Connell, owner of Soggy Dollar Bar. "Knowing the emotional connection that visitors have to our beach, to our infamous Painkiller rum drink, and to our staff, it was absolutely critical that we found a partner who could recreate and bring to life the authentic Soggy Dollar experience."
It's an experience that has led to the bar being named a top 10 Caribbean beach destination by Conde Nast Traveler. And as part of SilverTech's strategic process, members of the team traveled to the Caribbean to experience Soggy Dollar firsthand, where more than 200 visitors per day go to relax and party at its White Bay location.
The beach bar is only accessible by swimming from a moored boat or by beaching a dinghy, so currency is often soaked and soggy by the time it arrives, hence the bar's descriptive name. There, the SilverTech team investigated what made the place unique in order to translate that experience through the Soggy Dollar website.
"People are so crazy about the authenticity of this place that we had to maintain it online," said Erin Presseau, account director at SilverTech, who worked on the Soggy Dollar project. "You get there and it's so laidback and surrounded by natural beauty that you feel like you are on a deserted island with 200 of your closest friends. So it became clear to us immediately that every detail had to be authentic so we made sure the photographs were real, the staff photos were current and the magical vibe of the island came across in the messaging and interaction online."
The SilverTech team designed and developed a new, interactive Soggy Dollar e-commerce enabled website, created email campaigns to reconnect and grow relationships with travelers in between visits and kicked off social media campaigns that included contests to further engage loyal fans and encourage them to visit the new site.
More specifically, here are some of the ways the agency was able to connect visitors both on and off the island:
- Put a webcam on the beach so visitors can relive their experience and potential visitors can find out what they are missing.
- Use authentic photographs and colors, right down to a portrait of the bartender mixing a cocktail, the exact number of stools at the bar and the color of the Caribbean ocean.
- Offer branded merchandise guests can purchase online-merchandise they couldn't buy on-site because their swim-up route to the island bar prevented it.
- Stay connected with guests via email through the Painkiller Club, named for the bar's signature drink.
- Encourage guests to share their experiences through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.
The results have been impressive. In less than five months after launching the new website, online sales are up almost 200% over what was sold online the entire previous year, email subscriber lists have grown nearly 20%, the social media fan base is up 16% and social interactions have more than doubled. In addition, the new website, launched at end of June 2012, earned a gold Davey Award in the categories of marketing and tourism, which recognizes agencies for their creativity.
SilverTech continues to work strategically and creatively with Soggy Dollar as the company's official digital marketing partner, and helps to craft ongoing campaigns and develop new interactive concepts for all online, digital and mobile channels.
"We're delighted with the new ways we're keeping our customers and fans connected to the one and only Soggy Dollar experience we've worked so hard to create," says O'Connell. "We're hearing that it's the next best thing to being here."
(The above case study was submitted for publication by digital agency SilverTech.)
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