HANK TREFETHEN

Vitamix

Branding, Team Building, Creative Direction

www.vitamix.com
PROBLEM

Vitamix had two very important messages to convey across multiple digital properties, which, in the context of dialogue around food at the time were seemingly opposed: Health and Premium.

SOLUTION

Our research surfaced an equation that represented how Americans defined health and enabled us to package Health and Premium successfully: Artisan + Fresh + Natural = Healthy. This served as our platform and the rule by which we measured everything we created, from copy to video to design and photography.

RESULTS
  • 200% increase in online sales
  • 36% increase in overall traffic
  • 30% new visitors

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

When word finally got out that I was working on Vitamix people would pull me aside at weddings, funerals, baby blessings, and at the occasional party and tell me how much having a Vitamix machine had changed their life. They would credit the machine for bringing their drifting family together each morning to enjoy a healthy breakfast and family bonding. The details varied with each telling but the message was the same: "Vitamix made my life better." When approaching the layout and visual design for the site we looked to the machine itself to create a metaphor for bringing content to the people to make their lives better.

FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

We took care to present the foods you can make as proud and unapologetic proof that Vitamix machines produce the best. It does this with ease but is never out of reach; this satisfaction is available to any user.

PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY

The clean and confident approach I took with product photography was the first notion of the Artisan + Natural + Fresh = Health equation. People generally found it difficult to understand the several hundred dollar price range of our packages. I set out to present the product as confidently and clearly as possible by adding hierarchy to primary and secondary items. A happy side benefit is that it also afforded us efficiencies in production allowing us to easily update packages without the need to reshoot.

DESIGN

I used the act of creating with the Vitamix as a metaphor to guide the visual design and provide a strong and consistent foundation enabling the content of each page to shine and engage users.

Goldman Sachs

Design, Art Direction

www.goldmansachs.com/our-firm/progress
PROBLEM

On the heels of the latest financial crisis, Goldman Sachs received a sizable bailout and the nation reeled. Goldman Sachs needed to shed its label of Great Vampire Squid.

SOLUTION

Tell the story of progress achieved through Goldman Sach's focused efforts to not only create jobs but grow businesses.

RESULTS

"The great vampire squid has trimmed its tentacles." Yahoo Finance's Most Improved Brand of 2013

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

"Goldman Sachs is a master at making money. Lately it has become a master at giving it away." There are two sides to every story and these are helping make significant progress in squashing the "Great Vampire Squid" label and earning Yahoo Finance's Most Improved Brand of 2013. In a focused approach to telling an honest story, the digital experience is largely black and white with small hits of Goldman blue—beacons of progress leading users to the stories within.

Cardstore Card Builder

interaction design, corporate jiu-jitsu

Give it a whirl
PROBLEM

Users were frustrated—they bailed to the competition in droves. If they ended up finishing a card it was extremely likely that there were significant mistakes which lead to comped orders.

SOLUTION

There was a large body of research, so we holed up in a room to sort out what we had, do a little research of our own, and put forth a solution that would make it easy and satisfying for an average user to create high quality work. We separated utility from presentation, made the card hero, deleted all unnecessary obfuscation and built a builder that people love to use.

RESULTS
It launched last year on my birthday (YAY!) and warmed up all autumn long to successfully handle a 30 million card holiday season with significantly higher satisfaction and significantly lower overhead.

Power to the People

Design and Concepting

PROBLEM

The rub with vision is always physics. MailChimp was humming along just fine with 85K users but like most ambitious companies, they wanted more. To play with the big boys they needed at least 500K users, but they weren't trying to play, they were trying to leap frog.

SOLUTION

We introduced freemium pricing which meant that anyone with a list of under 500 recipients got free service, forever. We made a huge media buy and redesigned the site with corresponding ads declaring, POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

RESULTS
  • 85K users at launch
  • 450K after twelve months
  • 5M today and counting

HANK TREFETHEN

My mission is to make life better. As a designer focused on branding and user experience, I help organizations develop and execute strategic visions that have long lasting effect by surfacing harmony between their needs as an organization and people's needs as customers. I'm equally at home working solo as I am organizing teams to lead collaborative efforts with any combination of: executive teams, stake holders, marketers, writers, designers, and engineers to deliver experiences that people love.

Let's work together.

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