SilverOak.com — A digital transformation that enhances the Silver Oak brand experience.View live site
Silver Oak is an all-American icon known for making exceptional wine and crafting experiences for its guests. It has a strong, dedicated fan following, and its rich winemaking tradition has solidified the brand as a staple in both Sonoma and Napa Valley, where it has built a name for itself through its innovative processes, sustainable practices, breathtaking facilities, and superb wines.
The Silver Oak team engaged us to help them create a new design system and overhaul their digital experience to elevate their identity, strengthen their connection to customers, grow their direct-to-consumer revenue, and reflect the detail and craft they put into their products.
Through the creation of a new design system, content strategy, and technology framework, we completely transformed the brand digitally. We introduced new utilities and experiences within the site framework to improve the customer journey, establish branded rituals, and give customers a reason to engage with the brand more frequently and on a deeper level.
From company information to pairing recommendations and recipes, the new site brings the Silver Oak story to life through a rich and differentiated narrative. The result is a new digital home for the brand that takes you on an immersive journey to its iconic wineries.
From the outside looking in, there is a stigma associated with wine culture. Expensive bottles, remote destinations, and elegant attire add to an unattainable perception of a culture rife with exclusivity.
This air of exclusivity creates a wide variety of emotional responses and a deep desire to take part in things that are perceived as privileged. This was the cultural tension we set out to solve. The brand is exclusive yet approachable, and we defined a new digital strategy that enables our experience to connect and reconnect with new and loyal customers.
Defining requirements, objectives, and KPIs.
In order to understand wine culture and further solidify Silver Oak’s position within it, we spent time at the facilities becoming well versed in the brand, its challenges, and its outlook.
We collaborated to set new objectives, benchmarks, and KPIs, as well as conducted qualitative and quantitative research to inform our strategy moving forward.
Customer journeys and design profiles.
To connect with people that are new to wine as well as the enthusiasts, we led a strategic initiative to better define customer profiles and understand their unique relationships with wine. Through our findings, we identified opportunities and enhancements that could greatly improve the overall customer experience and facilitate the progression from newcomer to loyalist.
We established an experience vision to act as our guide while we worked through the process. We also defined creative pillars and high-value moments that informed our process, differentiated the brand, and ensured we would deliver customer value to build business value.
The project called for an entirely new design system that was functional in modularity and utility but elevated in creativity and craft. One element that inspired our approach was the juxtaposition between their Napa Valley and Alexander Valley facilities. Napa Valley has a more classical and traditional ambience while Alexander Valley was rebuilt with a contemporary feel in a modernized, sustainable facility.
We leaned into this duality with subtle cues in the design system. Serif and sans serif typography are paired purposefully in contrast with one another to provide emphasis as well as contribute to the feeling of the brand. The entire system leverages this concept of juxtaposition, from the way our layouts balance density and open space, to the stark differences in imagery with tight crops as well as scenic wide angles.
Designed to adapt across the experience.
The new design language is built through a modular system of components that give the brand team a framework to evolve and scale their experience through consistency and context.
From our color palette to typography selections, our goal was to improve readability, emphasize focus, and visually mirror the amazing facility experiences.
Better representing the brand with new content standards.
We also overhauled content standards and guidelines to craft a branded aesthetic and voice that is editorial, welcoming, and contemporary. We delivered a robust content style guide outlining direction for creation as well as usage standards for the site and beyond.
With a business strategy focused on transforming the brand’s direct-to-consumer efforts, we set out to establish a digital channel that could help it drive more revenue through eCommerce as well as tastings and event bookings on the platform.
Redefining the shopping experience with a frictionless path to purchase.
Throughout the site, we blend content and commerce to help customers explore the brand and its product offerings. To capitalize on moments of impulse, we’ve implemented new shopping utilities and usability considerations to make purchasing frictionless.
Bringing the charm of the physical facilities to the digital space.
Visiting a Silver Oak facility is an experience like no other, and we wanted the digital experience to be the same. To ensure a proper introduction for new customers, we’ve implemented modules and utilities that mimic facility operations and encourage visitation to unlock brand and revenue-building opportunities.
Overhauling the booking experience for tours and tastings.
From tasting tours to walk-ins, customers can now learn more about the programs as well as schedule and coordinate their visits through a streamlined and engaging booking flow.
The brand only carries Cabernet, and its blending process happens twice a year. Much of its business model relies on its famous release-day cycle and on-site events. To build a deeper connection with the audience, the new site creates a higher frequency of behind the scenes interactions with the craft of winemaking.
Delivering value through utility and branded content.
Their signature Cabernet is made to be enjoyed with food, so we upgraded its recipe section to improve discoverability and selection through improved structure, filtration, and user experience. The result is a content hub that encourages repeat visits and builds loyalty.
When visiting the wineries, one thing became abundantly clear: there is so much more to show and tell about the winery, culture, and brand’s approach through every step of the process. The story is simply too compelling to tell with a standard about page. We wanted to build a framework that highlights every single detail.
Taking users on a journey from grape to glass.
To showcase the process of winemaking, we built an editorial and heavily visual experience that takes users behind the scenes for a closer look at the Silver Oak-crafted Cabernet.
Telling a story of sustainability and heritage.
Our partners’ sustainability practice and process are key differentiators and we’ve brought them front and center with the new experience. Users can now immerse themselves in the stories, practices, and processes that come with being California's most eco-conscious winery.
From a new shared cart feature to architecting a headless CMS on its existing custom framework, we partnered with the integration team to deploy a new technology solution for their future. The new site is faster, provides operational efficiency, and is brought to life through functional and modular React components that are built to scale.
The Silver Oak family of brands required a unified checkout.
The brand manages product and customer data in a custom system, maintained by an external development team. We collaborated heavily with its development team on key updates to product models and on key eCommerce components like the cart and checkout.
The final vision for the site included a shared cart across all Silver Oak brands, which meant the commerce platform needed to manage cross-site cookies and provide cross-origin APIs for cart services. These two implementations were crucial in supporting the broader vision for the brand.
To manage all aspects of the experience, a new CMS needed to be implemented on a proprietary eCommerce system.
We implemented a headless CMS that allows the content management aspect of the experience to operate seamlessly with the commerce platform.
We used the WordPress rest API and a React front end to power the user experience on the front end. React allowed us to collaborate directly with the brand’s commerce development team and share code with little to no conflict in our approaches.