The following case study is typical of what we do for service providers, often working in tandem with their traditional ad agency or marketing group.
The first complete re-design and re-branding for Henrietta Hudson since its founding in 1991. Create a new website and a new social media identity for New York’s premier lesbian bar and night spot.
Their existing website was designed in such a way that the staff @ Henrietta Hudson had to go back to their vendor every time they wanted to make a simple change, or add news about a special event at the bar. And it was poorly designed, with no main menu header on the homepage, and with several sections linking to empty pages that simply said, “Coming Soon.”
THE CYBER BRANDING SOLUTION:
To update and contemporize the brand identity of New York’s premier lesbian venue, we did not want to stray too far. The original logo was already an established fixture.
“We love our old logo. Many of our customers have been coming to us for years, some for decades, and it will forever be associated with our brand,” says co-owner Minnie Rivera. “We may be considered the Stonewall of lesbian bars, the iconic classic lesbian nightspot that’s been around longer than any other lesbian joint in town, but Henrietta Hudson is more than just a lesbian and gay-friendly watering hole in New York City. We’re a flourishing global brand.”
“You ask girls in Brazil, in Spain, in Denmark, in China, in Australia; you ask them what’s the quintessential lesbian brand and Henrietta Hudson always comes in within the top 5,” says co-owner Cannistraci. “We’re a Greenwich Village institution and an international brand. We were here long before lesbianism became trendy. Overseas, we’re known just as much for our political activities, our involvement in the same sex marriage issue, our push for social change and acceptance of the LGBT movement as we are with having a good time and partying. We’re also increasingly involved in fashion and design, and now offer a whole range of merchandise. Whether it’s politics or film, fashion or books, the media or equal rights, we at Henrietta Hudson have a point of view and something to say. We are the alternate lifestyle . . . with an emphasis on style! And our new website is one of the many channels through which we express our brand.”
To create and nurture the Henrietta Hudson CyberBrand, we moved the site to a new, cost-effective hosting facility.
We designed a new website built using customized CSS code within WordPress 3.9, running the Frame Photography theme. This provides Henrietta Hudson with a highly polished, liquid interface that works just as well with mobile devices as it does on the personal computer. Plus, by using a WordPress template, the folks at Henrietta Hudson can make routine updates and changes themselves without having to come back to us for every little thing.
An elegant interface that promotes the highly visual nature of their brand and club life; maximum flexibility when it comes to updates and control; and all this without the costs associated with using a fancy web design shop or digital agency. This is what Cyber Branding Solutions has come to stand for.
The new homepage features the new HH logotype, plus a huge video screen featuring an up-beat video selling the sex appeal and fun image of the bar.
The gallery page is much more liquid and responsive, and features the pictures in their original shapes, making for an interesting collage.
And we added a robust, easy-to-update events calendar section, plus a section featuring key links: (Lesbian) Groups and Associations; Media; Politics; and The Arts.
Henrietta Hudson is an iconic brand and an iconic company. We were thrilled to be chosen by them to steward their CyberBrand into the 21st century.
Black and white logos, designs and icons that work well in print don’t necessarily translate well to merchandise or to today’s LCD displays that demand greater color distinction and horizontality.
We resurrected the tagline, ‘Bar & Girl’ as a play on ‘Bar & Grill’, which could still be found on the bar’s window awnings but was unused elsewhere. We feel it sums up the brand’s key copy point—you’re going to find a girl at Henrietta Hudson tonight—and does so in a tongue-in-cheek, irreverent way. You may think we’re one thing; you may have a preconception . . . but we’re something quite different. There’s a playful surprise there.
Design treatments were developed not just for Henrietta Hudson’s web identity, but for their social media presence as well. For Facebook and Google+, we developed ID icons based on the new social media logo design, plus evocative banners/headers for each network. We also built sympathetic iconography for Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr, targeting younger and more female audiences.
Social Media Logo Variants
Main Social Media Logo
Social Media Variants — HH
Social Media Icons and Banners
For an investment of less than $15K, we helped create a new CyberBrand for Henrietta Hudson, one that will help them expand globally and across multiple service and product offerings.
“We love the work Cyber Branding Solutions did for us,” concludes Lisa Cannistraci. “We have not changed our brand presence since 1991 and we were more than ready to embark on this journey. The final product speaks for itself. Now, Henrietta Hudson is much more than just a local lesbian-centric lounge in Greenwich Village. We’re no longer trapped in one physical space, identified with one thing. We can now express all of the dimensions of our brand on a global level.”
Twenty-five years after they founded Henrietta Hudson, their iconic West Village bar is enjoying newfound success, even as lesbian establishments around the country are shuttering. It wasn’t an easy journey, and after struggling for a time, a total business makeover has launched beloved “Hen’s” to new heights. The secret to staying open during an era many have christened “the death of the lesbian bar?” Business savvy and a willingness to change with the times, the pair says.