Biltmore opened its doors in 1895 as George Vanderbilt’s residence and a country retreat for his friends. With 250 rooms, it remains America’s largest home – and has been named a National Historic Landmark celebrated for its exceptional beauty and hospitality.
In 2013, The Biltmore Company sought to bring this same splendor online through a robust and refreshed web presence. In addition to showcasing the estate, the new Biltmore.com needed to promote all of the brand’s products, pastimes, and services at the retail, wholesale, and estate level.
As a comprehensive expression of the brand, the site would provide detailed product information while building a lasting, emotional connection with Biltmore’s virtual and real-world visitors.
While commonly recognized as a historic attraction, Biltmore has far more to offer travelers of all kinds. Wines, home furnishings, professional development, foods…our challenge was to increase awareness of all these lines of business while keeping the estate and its legendary charm at the center of each story.
To accomplish this, we needed to thoroughly redefine our site architecture – to assure each business line independence while facilitating seamless cross-promotion. All while telling a rich visual story and inspiring our guests to share experiences online.
The new Biltmore website contains robust content across all business channels in a simplified, interactive environment. The site architecture was redesigned to consolidate information streams, tailor the user experience for new visitors, and entice previous/existing guests to explore more of the site.
Unique design elements and customized, omnipresent calls to action gave each section an independent voice – while still achieving brand consistency across the site.
To enhance visual storytelling and streamline the user experience, a significant portion of legacy text was replaced with images and videos. Page volume was cut by 62 percent through editing and message consolidation. The end result was a lighter site with quicker, more consistent messaging.
With our content strategy in place, we procured, customized, and populated a new content management system. The scalable platform enables over 50 Biltmore employees to efficiently publish copy, images, videos, and more to keep content perpetually fresh and relevant.
Thanks to a responsive web design approach, the site delivers the same visual and functional experience across all devices.
The new Biltmore.com represents a significant step forward in creating highly interactive content showcased in an intuitive manner.
More than celebrating and elevating a historic American brand, we raised awareness, engagement, and retail interaction for multiple brand extensions in a consistent, cohesive way.
All while never losing the ease and simple elegance of Biltmore.