The Long Center
They came in and really looked at the whole picture. They offered real solutions to our problems, instead of just slapping a Band-Aid on it.
Jamie Grant, President & CEO
As long-time Austinites, we had been to the Long Center back when it was the Palmer Auditorium—and we were huge fans of the beautifully redesigned building—but most of us hadn’t attended a show after the re-opening.
Ours was a typical experience for Austinites. And that’s why Jamie Grant, the Long Center’s new President & CEO, called us in to discuss their website needs. After talking with the leadership team, we soon realized that the Long Center needed more than just a website redesign.
- 27% increase in sales, year over year ($1M)
- 189% Increase in mobile visits
- 43% Increase in unique visitors
- 55% Increase in pageviews
- 270% Increase in Spanish-speaking visitors
If you do your research, people will usually tell you what they want. So we started there—gathering 2,000+ public survey responses and conducting interviews with nearly 40 stakeholders.
Ultimately, this produced a 68-page research report that revealed the heart of the problem: After their recent name change, people didn’t know which building HOUSED the Long Center.
And plenty of other challenges emerged:
- The people we surveyed thought the old Long Center logo was bland, dull, and forgettable:
- Their old website’s design made searching for, finding, and buying tickets to events confusing.
- The public viewed the Long Center as elitist with high ticket prices.
- Younger audiences were not interested in the programming.
- Due to poor SEO strategy, competing ticketing and event sites were out-ranking the Long Center on Google.
The bottom line? The Long Center was missing out on scores of new customers.
Our mission was clear: Turn brand perceptions around, tell the Long Center story, and engage a younger audience.
For the new logo, we recommended highlighting the Long Center’s most iconic feature—its ring—and its location on the shore of Lady Bird Lake. Research showed the public didn’t actually know which building was the Long Center, so we gave them the answer in the logo itself:
The new messaging platform outlined the Long Center’s mission, vision, key talking points, and elevator pitch. It provided consistency across all communication channels—including online, in the press, and on stage.
The messaging platform took the Long Center from a building no one knew the name of to “Austin’s gathering place,” an arts venue for the community.
The new brand and direction has changed the perception of the Long Center in the Austin community and has lead to increased awareness.
Jamie Grant, President & CEO
A Global, Mobile Audience
Most users visit the website on their phones/tablets on the way to a show or when purchasing tickets. The new website had to not only be mobile-responsive; it had to be mobile-friendly.
So we made buying tickets the easiest thing to do. Our team focused the site architecture and user experience on that highly specific goal.
Then we expanded the Events section—making it easier for users to search and buy. We added an elegant sorting system, allowing users to search events by price, genre, or theater company. This helped kill the perception that the Long Center’s tickets are expensive, while letting users both find what they want and discover new shows.
In order to reach a wider local audience, we also developed a Spanish version of the website that was translated word for word (not with robots), giving Spanish speakers an authentic experience that appropriately welcomes them to the Long Center.
Getting on Google’s Good Side
The gorgeous and useful new website wouldn’t help the Long Center if no one could find it via search engines. With our SEO team, we researched optimal keywords and provided copywriting to ensure the Long Center and its events would be easy for everyone to find—and to help ensure they ranked above third-party ticket sites.
We delivered to the Long Center a new identity, an iconic logo design, and a user-friendly, mobile-responsive website.