Yamaha has a variety of web properties, most of which are dedicated to a specific line of instruments, audio components or music technology. What they didn’t have was a place to share the depth and breadth of the Yamaha suite or the related insights, information and user experiences. Like many global companies, each division had been focused on successfully meeting their targeted consumers’ needs. But how do you cross-market, inform, and educate from one product line to another easily? And how do you do it while keeping a wide variety of divisions’ requirements in mind – and overall branding? Ultimately, the biggest challenge: How do you keep the site content fresh and useful for advertising, social media, future marketing – and the visitors returning often for more? They needed help to establish the foundation and create the processes that allow them to bring the stories from those separate entities under one roof.
Yamaha MusicUSA was conceived. This singular home for sharing information about all things Yamaha Music invites their wide variety of music lovers to enjoy great stories and learning experiences. Whether they are a guitarist who wants to learn about recording their work, a homeowner evaluating sound options for enjoying movies, a singer-songwriter looking for inspiration from an artist or a synthesizer enthusiast gaining insights from masters of FM synthesis – there is something for everyone. More importantly, the framework was structured to make it easy to load, publish and feature new content dynamically. Behind the scenes, a new content publishing process was instituted to enable the Yamaha team to rollout and release articles often.
With the digital infrastructure established – with content elements being highly structured – new pages, sections can be created quickly and on-the-fly. This allows for an content engine that’s adaptable, agile and inexpensive to maintain.
Working through our Discovery process, and in concert with the Yamaha stakeholders, MLY identified where the divisions’ needs were similar and where they differed. We performed deep content and competitive analyses, to understand what’s needed to truly standout in a noisy and competitive market. Through SEO analysis, we were able to focus on what users want, and also content that drives SEO authority. Both are incredibly important.
With the strategy and requirements in mind, major elements were wireframed and then developed with a UX framework to allow the site to be flexible, yet maintain brand requirements/consistencies.
Over the first few years of the YamahaUSA site, there were additional insights gained about who/how the site content was used. Thanks to the flexibility planned for in the initial development of the site structures, when Yamaha wanted us to update the menu/content structures, it was a straightforward update that provided a fresh approach to navigation and themed dynamic pages without a complete rebuild.
Subsequently, to provide their editorial and publishing process more transparency and rigor, we leveraged a process automation platform for collaboration and transparency, making the editorial process a breeze.