A Gamified Social Publishing Platform

The largest maker of consumer winemaking products in the world wanted to develop a strategy and platform for a unique wine-based community. The website we created deepened Winexpert’s relationship with its existing customers and reached out to thousands of new ones

The Idea

We created a place for sharing ideas and conversations about wine, wine making, food, travel and good living. ‘The Unreserved’ was a niche social network that quickly gained close to 3,000 users and 808 blog posts. A dedicated team of community managers wrote, commented and connected the community to the Winexpert brand on a regular basis. A monthly newsletter tool was also used to profile user submitted stories and rewarded those that had the most comments and “likes” with monthly prizes of a free Winexpert wine kit, extending the brand into the homes of many of the users.

It was a place for sharing ideas and conversations about wine, wine making, food, travel and good living. ‘The Unreserved’ was a niche social network that quickly gained close to 3,000 users and 808 blog posts.

The user experience

We used a colour-coded system to map the complex content strategy that was going to be employed. The mix of branded content and what was created by the website’s users had to have the right balance to ensure content marketing strategy objectives were being met on every page. Post launch, the branded content blended so seamlessly with the user generated content the site felt more like a beautiful lifestyle magazine than a social network of passionate bloggers, winemakers, and professional content writers.

Social media publishing

Members could quickly create profiles by leveraging Facebook’s single sign on. This also connected the users accounts to Facebook on the back end, so when users finished writing a blog post they were encouraged to post it to their Facebook feed as well. The site’s entire content was then smartly fed automatically to the Winexpert Facebook app, populating the Winexpert Facebook feed. This kept the content up to date and fresh in multiple channels with minimal effort from the curators.

Expertise provided -

  • Product strategy
  • Marketing strategy
  • Brand strategy
  • Social strategy
  • User experience design
  • Visual & UI Design
  • Ruby on Rails development
  • Front-end development
  • Community management
  • Project management
  • Content strategy & development

The Visual Design

Winexpert is positioned as a premium brand worldwide with quality being the key differentiator. With that, a high level of sophisticated design had to be reproduced within the identity of ‘The Unreserved’ social network. Our team created a rich old-world feel in the user interface that didn’t get in the way. This added significant depth and details often not considered by other platforms of this type.