The De Vere Group is one the UK’s most prestigious hospitality brands, offering impeccable service, refreshingly different venues and hotels with a modern British flavour. Covering De Vere Hotels, Venues and VILLAGE resorts, the group comprises of 65 locations throughout the UK.
Supporting Greater Brand Autonomy
De Vere Group
De Vere’s website originally showcased all the company’s offerings and sub-brands on one website, driven on a common platform. However, as De Vere’s online channel evolved it became clear that this approach was no longer adequate to reflect the growing diversity of the brands within the De Vere portfolio, which included exclusive luxury retreats, golf courses, spas, business hotels – including meeting and conference facilities, and more family oriented experiences at the groups resorts.
Developing Distinct Brand Identities Online
De Vere worked with technology partner, Vexed Digital, to implement a multi-million pound upgrade to the company’s online identity. Key to this was creating multiple brand sites that represented each distinct sub brand but to achieve this in an efficient way through shared components that would enable increased e-commerce functionality – making more services accessible online than before – and cross-selling between brands. Vexed decided to develop four brand sites:
Alongside the brand sites for Hotels, Village, Venues, Meeting Rooms and Lodges was the umbrella site – devere.co.uk – a Website that would help direct users into the sub brand sites.
Vexed were happy to continue to use Magnolia as it had proved effective, popular with end users, and powerful to extend. Additionally, it would be simple to create all the sub brand sites within a single Magnolia instance.
Creating a Virtual Presence for De Vere
Key to the upgrade was the ability to deliver virtually any service online and to fulfil De Vere’s ambition that their guests would be able to book the widest range of services possible online. That could mean booking champagne with a room, or dinner with golf, or accommodation with a conference. The key was to build dedicated booking engines for services that could be re-skinned to match each brand site but make it possible for site visitors to draw on the entirety of the group’s services from any single site.
Google Maps integration
As a Java based system, Magnolia made it easy for Vexed to work with third-party booking software to develop and integrate dedicated booking engines for specific services such as rooms, dining, events and golf.
Alongside bookings, specific features such as Google Maps and travel information were also implemented across each of the sites.
Overarching all brand sites, was a new facility – My De Vere – that would allow visitors to register and manage all their bookings.
Vexed implemented quickly, with the brand sites created over a six month period between October 2011 and spring 2012.
Driving Business Performance
In the first months since the new site was launched, the new strategy is already delivering real business value.
That has increased site visits for all sites – for example, visits to the hotel site increased by 20%. Overall visits increased significantly. Creating dedicated sites for each brand has been seen to increase bookings while improving cross sell Each brand site – hotels brand traffic increased 20%. Revenues have increased accordingly.