Hearthside, the largest food co-manufacturer in North America, knew they needed to reorient their overall communications strategy around the customer perspective — particularly when it came to acquiring leads through their website. Within a landscape of analogous manufacturing sites, Hearthside wanted to differentiate on customer experience and their all-American core values that put food quality and employee safety first, always. To power organic growth through this shift to modern messaging, Hearthside turned to Green Stone for strategy, branding, and ultimately the design and build of the new dotcom.
North Star Vision
Voice & Tone Guide
A strategy exercise allowed Green Stone to dive deep into the industry and competition, as well as understand current pain points. The team rallied around the concept of “Modern Manufacturing,” as the core brand foundation, and identified key elements of message, storytelling and tone that the brand would incorporate. Focusing on bright, appetizing foods, real human stories, and modern capabilities was key to building a more cutting-edge brand that still felt like Hearthside to those who worked there. Armed with brand pillars, product strategy, a roadmap, and a new voice and tone guide, we set out to bring the brand to life visually.
We knew from the outset that Hearthside needed a cohesive and scalable design system to support the brand in the long term. Using Figma, Green Stone built out design elements, rules, and relationships to underpin our work across a series of design challenge sprints. These sprints were tied to each of the project’s goals, so that each part of the site would be driven by strategy and not internal or historical organization. Weekly demos using interactive Figma prototypes brought the Hearthside team directly into every part of the work.
Hearthside’s core differentiators, like operational efficiency and quality at scale, presented the challenge of being extremely important aspects of the brand story that are hard to convey through photography. We turned to animation as a way to convey these complex concepts in bright and engaging ways. These differentiator animations double as uniquely ownable assets for the brand, further conveying modernity and joy within the brand.
Knowing that launch was the starting line and not the finish line, we wanted our tech stack and content management system to be super intuitive, flexible, and scalable, in addition to all the table stakes of high-quality modern websites: fast, accessible, SEO-friendly, and modular. Importantly, we’ve balanced the need for customization with the need for non-technical users to be able to maintain and update high-touch parts of the website. Built on the Contentful CMS, Cloudfront, and AWS, we’re proud of our end product getting near-perfect scores on Google Lighthouse, and for the beta launch of the site to have provided over 230 Salesforce leads in the first month.
Through strategy, brand development, site design, and technical execution, we’ve held fast to the principle that modern brands win on better, customer-first experiences. Hearthside’s move to a clearer customer journey, paired with compelling storytelling and a stronger articulation of what makes them different, ultimately lays the foundation for stronger customer relationships in the future.