Virgin Limited Edition (VLE) is Sir Richard Branson’s collection of high-end retreats, which can be booked through virginlimtededition.com. The collection includes Necker Island, Sir Richard’s own private island in the Caribbean, as well as a lodge in the Swiss Alps, a game reserve in South Africa and an estate on the island of Mallorca.
A new opportunity
After a year of close working with VLE’s in-house marketing team, we were invited to tender for taking over the support for virginlimitededition.com, which has more than 1,000 pages. The site has an ambitious, highly visual design, but the existing content management system was slow and confusing to use.
VLE had three key requirements when selecting its new digital partner:
- The technical expertise to upgrade the website’s content management system (CMS) with in-house design and development expertise to support the websites’ evolution
- Responsive account management, including providing advice and consultation
- Reliable hosting infrastructure that could cope with traffic spikes for its global audience
Kicking things off
Having won the tender based on our diligence, vision for the site’s evolution (balanced against our understanding of VLE’s brand) and chemistry, KISS undertook a full audit of the website, assessing traffic, user experience (UX) and the CMS. Following this a full spec was drawn up highlighting recommendations for improvement.
From a UX point of view, enhancements were agreed relating to navigation, alongside a standardisation of rates data – a complex task – to cater for different offerings across the collection.
With the core HTML and CSS to be retained the focus was on implementing a new CMS that addressed a number of client pains to improve their workflow and responsiveness to the needs of the business.
KISS developed a highly intuitive CMS that includes an array of bespoke features to speed up and simplify the VLE in-house team’s management of the site. Key features include an overhaul of the way that staging content is made live, as well as a complete redesign of the CMS’s user interface (UI), to reflect more accurately how edits will render on the front end.
Various 3rd party integrations seamlessly link data from various sources all residing on a custom hosting infrastructure managed by KISS that can cope with unexpected traffic peaks. In addition to a much more comprehensive CMS that benefits VLE's ongoing maintenance of a very active site, users also have a better experience through improved navigation and better standardisation of content types.
The project was delivered in three months, from specification through to the successful launch. A service-level agreement was established, ensuring that KISS are always on hand to swiftly respond as required. We are continuing to work together to evolve the website.
Discover more of our work
KISS has worked with a wide range of clients, primarily in the education, science and technology sectors. Projects we have been involved with include PR and marketing campaigns, website redesigns and rebranding exercises.