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Illumine8 wins silver W³ award for web design

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Silver W³ Award

Illumine8 has been presented with a second international award for the design of Kenwood Management’s website. 

The W³ awards accept thousands of entries from all over the world, from international agencies and Fortune 500 companies to small creative marketing firms. Their mission is to “celebrate digital excellence by honoring outstanding Websites, Web Marketing, Video, Mobile Sites/Apps & Social content created by some of the best interactive agencies, designers, and creators worldwide.” 

The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AVIA) is the organization responsible for sanctioning and judging the W³ Awards. The AVIA is comprised of an “invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, interactive, advertising, and marketing firms. AIVA members include executives from organizations such as AgencyNet, AvatarLabs, Big Spaceship, Block Media, Conde Nast, Disney, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Fry Hammond Barr, Microsoft, MTV Networks, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Wired, Yahoo! and many others.”

Website entries in the W³ are judged by the following factors:

  • Creativity
  • Usability
  • Navigation
  • Functionality
  • Visual Design
  • Ease of use 

Kenwood Management Company 

Hank Bowis and Phil Ackley founded Kenwood Management Company in 1997 with the goal of attracting private equity from long-term investors to be used in the investment of commercial properties in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas. However, Bowis and Ackley didn’t just want to be another commercial real estate investment firm. Kenwood had a secondary vision to administer the property management services for the tenants of their buildings so that they could ensure high-quality customer service was always delivered.

In 2019, with over two decades of success in building an expansive portfolio of commercial properties, Kenwood was ready to take the next step in the evolution of its business. Kenwood approached Illumine8 with several requests to improve their brand’s positioning—and addressing Kenwood’s outdated web presence was at the top of the list.

Kenwood’s web design and redevelopment were carried out by Illumine8’s creative director, Erik Pitzer, and web developer, RJ Hallin. In addition to the silver W³ award, the newly redesigned Kenwood website won a gold MarCom award as well.

“Kenwood needed a website that matched the status of their company,” said David Boudjeda, account manager at Illumine8. “Their outdated online presence didn’t speak to the quality and professionalism of Kenwood’s operations.”

One unique challenge of the website redesign was tailoring it to the three separate Kenwood stakeholders: investors, tenants, and brokers. All of these stakeholders conduct business with Kenwood, but each in a significantly different way. Having all of the key information that each stakeholder needed, in a digestible and easy to navigate manner was key to the success of the project. 

As part of a strategic approach to improve the brand’s positioning, Illumine8 and Kenwood agreed to begin creating original thought leadership content to drive organic traffic and establish Kenwood’s expertise in the industry. Kenwood’s previous website did not have the capacity to store content, nor did it have the backend technological support to implement the strategy. Kenwood’s new website was redesigned with this functionality and purpose in mind. 

Another element of the content strategy that Kenwood wanted to implement for better brand positioning was videography. Illumine8 produced a series of testimonial interviews with Kenwood’s stakeholders, in which the individuals spoke about their positive experiences with the company. Once the videos were produced, they were designed seamlessly into the web copy to strengthen the messaging and improve the overall user experience (UX). 

“The website redesign for Kenwood did exactly what we wanted it to—it repositioned their brand to speak for the company’s prestige and success,” said Pitzer. “Now anyone who visits the Kenwood website will leave with an understanding of who the company is, what they stand for, and the level of business they conduct.”

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