OMSCo Case Study
OMSCo - The Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative
OMSCo - the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative - is the UK's leading organic milk marketing organisation. Formed in 1994 by a group of five like-minded farming operations in the West of England, including the Elm Farm Research Centre's farm, and The Prince of Wales' Duchy of Cornwall Home Farm in Tetbury, the members now number well over 300 farmers, and supply the majority of organic milk produced in this country.
OMSCo had a very old style web site and in January it was decided that the need to upgrade the site to a more attractive and functional presence was paramount to the future recognition of OMSCo’s new branding. Working with Grayling (Public Relations) and OMSCo, Crisp went about developing the site.
The initial brief was:
- To follow the new corporate branding
- To be unique in design
- To allow OMSCo / Grayling access to change content / images
- To educate the benefits of Organic milk / farming
- To attract a wide target audience, mothers, farmers, press etc
- To build up an on-line community
- To communicate more effectually with existing members
It was decided that the build should be split in to phases.
The site was a finalist for the Sage/Telegraph Business Awards - Web Site of the Year 2003 and the site (site of the week) was reviewed by Internet magazine, New Media Age, and scored a fantastic 81/100. This included a score of 25/25 for content and the magazine stated that the site offers an intelligent and convincing case for organic dairy farming.
Phase 1 - Consumer Site
The consumer site was designed with the branding clearly in mind and had to allow content management from OMSCo and their Public Relations company who had no previous experience of updating web sites.
There was also a requirement to make the site fun, moving and educational in the messages throughout the site. The delivery was to use a mixture of Flash with the back end run by a database. The site has had tweaks over the years based on visitor statistics, understanding and feed back.
Phase 2 - Farm Tour
The working team always thought that the best way to get a message across was to say it with pictures, however the many different areas of explaining organic farming proved to be one of our hardest challenges.
Our initial ideas were all based on an animated farm where the visitor could tour through the working day of an organic farm. After several months agonising over the look and feel because it was representative of an “ideal farm”, too animated, too American - not rural enough etc, we almost hit a brick wall and gave up.
It was a stroke of luck that Macromedia launched a new version of flash that allowed large photos to run within a time frame that was expectable for standard modem download times - the problem was solved and the farm now takes pride of place on the site.
Phase 3 - Members Area
One of the main aims was to communicate more effectively with the existing farming OMSCo members and the easiest way to create their own area where they can get the latest technical information, latest company newsletters, PR and marketing updates, chat on the forum about issues and get their milk calculation statistics.
We also introduced a small revenue stream by allowing some advertising from OMSCo suppliers.