This case study is based on an candle company I met while doing photography for a local artisan market. While the products created by this family-run company are high quality, there is an overall lack of focus that goes beyond the website, and extends into both the marketing and branding.
This high-end artisan product has relied heavily on in-person experiences for sales. The events of 2020 accelerated the requirement for businesses to have not just an online presence, but to provide substance to the customer’s online experience. The challenge for this project would be how to convey the real-world experience of a candle online.
Candle Company offers a boutique product that typically relies on a customer’s sense of smell to draw them in. After doing market research, I decided to base my content strategy on telling the story of self-care.
The key to the candle company’s messaging for their CTAs will be to evoke the memory of scent, warmth and relaxation. I aimed to achieve this by using person & scenario centred photography and descriptive language.
All of the product & lifestyle photography for this project was done by myself.
The use of visual elements is a powerful component in an overarching content strategy, especially with the challenges the candle industry has faced in the past year. Using real images conveys intimacy by creating an atmosphere that your audience can buy into. As the old adage says, “a picture is worth 1000 words”.
There are 2 product shots of each candle; one image shot straight on with the lid on, as some studies have shown this increases sales. Another shot was done with the candle lid off, this was done to show off the decorative appeal this particular Candle Company offers.
Consultation was given to help improve Instagram feed, topics included:
- Use a variety of niche & popular #
- Use the right number of #
- Finding the right #
- The best (& worst) times to post
I also provided a list of suggested hashtags, with ~5 suggestions in each of the following categories:
- Branded #
- Industry specific #
- Location #
- Niche #
- Popular #
I provided consulting on blog copywriting best practices, including:
- When & where to use keywords
- Formatting dos & don’ts
- Evergreen content concepts
- Trending content concepts
I also provided a list of potential blog topics based on the copywriting outline, SEO keyword research, and the tone of voice of the brand we were building. Some of these topics include:
- Soy candles vs other candles
- How candles contribute to self-care
- Can wax be composted?
- Do candles expire?
- Your home’s signature scent
There were also 2 ongoing blog series:
- Which candle to burn during self-care activities
- Craft ideas for used glass candle jars
Mobile First Design
My initial sketches were done in a lined notebook. They incorporate the curly-bracket shape detail in the logo as a main feature. I also wanted to incorporate more images that showed the atmosphere or activity the customer could image themselves using the premium candles in.
In my first digital iteration of this mobile site I kept the curly-bracket inspiration, but softened it with the use of a gradient. I kept the idea of the hero banner showing candles in use, but played with different fonts and colour combinations.
The final design held on to the original branded shape that was conceived in the early sketches. Other aspects became more refined, such as the colour gradient (#FAE3EE) and fonts (Lato Lite & Dancing Script).
This clean design will easily expand into a tablet & desktop screen size.