Launched in 1999, Frontier Economics is one of Europe’s largest economics consultancies where employees pride themselves on distilling complex issues into simple messages. But it suffered from a visual identity and digital presence that did not reflect the personality of the business. This was impacting its ability to attract the best intellects and talent from the graduate market and also attract new clients. It needed to shift external perceptions - and a new website would play a vital role in this.
The work started with a project to define a new brand platform and narrative for the company - explaining what Frontier does, how it does it and why it is different. From this, the concept Economics with imagination was developed. Viewed as a direction and shared ethos, rather than a tagline, this became a starting point for ideas and a reference point in website development.
Parallel to this, a comprehensive audience mapping exercise was undertaken, with input from a range of participants through group workshops and stakeholder interviews. Potential employees and existing and new clients were viewed as priority audiences, while secondary audiences and user group needs were also identified. Technical audits and peer reviews were also conducted.
It became clear that Frontier Economics’ unique approach could be brought to life through a new visual identity, digital experience and people-focused films.
The responsive website was the first incarnation of this new identity. The site’s structure, content and functionality were defined based on analytics data and user input to optimise the experience for its target audiences. Dedicated multilingual areas - German, French and Spanish - were also created for each of the company’s regional offices.
Content is written in an editorial style and divided into sectors ranging from climate change to technology and water. Using tags and categorisation of content, onward journeys to related information are created - whether that is to dive further into a topic or to meet a Frontier expert.
Since the site’s launch in September 2018, visitors are spending on average 57 per longer on the site, staying longer and interacting with more content. Its bounce rate has halved to 27 per cent and visitors return more frequently each month. And for the first time, Frontier Economics’ annual graduate recruitment campaign, launched on the new website, filled every application slot.
The judges felt that the site contained ‘nice design elements, striking visuals’ and was easy to navigate. ‘It achieved some great results,’ they said.