The Cameron Village team wanted a modern brand to reflect their modern approach, while also capturing the rich history of the well-known shopping destination. New Kind brought together a diverse group including owners, merchants, and the internal team to update their brand and digital strategy.
Cameron Village was the first shopping center between Washington D.C. and Atlanta. Since opening in 1949 the village has played an important role in Raleigh’s economic development. And it’s a place where generations of Raleigh citizens have grown up.
By curating an ever-evolving collection of unique shops and restaurants, Cameron Village stays on the forefront of local life and style. We worked with the Cameron Village team to create a brand platform that captures the village’s unique style, while bringing its rich history to the forefront. Then we flowed the brand into an digital platform that communicates key brand messages to the community. And gives the Cameron Village team the flexibility to keep evolving.
First, we did research to understand the impact Cameron Village has had on the Raleigh community.
We started by reviewing materials from Cameron Village dating back to its founding. We did a competitive analysis of other shopping center brands in the area. And we surveyed both the merchants of the village and the larger North Carolina community to understand their current perceptions of Cameron Village, and what they would value in the future.
During the process we discovered that the community was full of amazing stories about their memories from Cameron Village. And were later inspired to create a space on the site to share them.
To end this phase we analyzed the data and tested what we found with the Cameron Village marketing team at our brand research and positioning workshop.
The Cameron Village Story grew out of the heartfelt stories and memories we heard from the Cameron Village community.
We uncovered four themes among hundreds of individual memories.
We heard that going to the village is a tradition that brings generations of people together. It’s a refreshing outdoor setting where people can conveniently shop and explore the best of Raleigh. It’s full of local, independent merchants. And it’s a progressive place that continues to reinvent itself.
bringing the brand to life
Next we built a website to share the new brand story and positioning.
Our main goals were twofold: to showcase individual merchants within the village community. And to make it simple for customers to navigate while experiencing the unique essence of Cameron Village.
We took a mobile-first approach to design to ensure a responsive experience across platforms.
The visual elements of Cameron Village’s evolved digital language position Cameron Village as a pioneer: a bridge between old and new. The typography evokes the modernist era but is met with a new modern style. The color scheme represents a vibrant collection—the independent spirit of the founders, merchants, and surrounding community.
In addition, we worked with local photographer Anna Routh to create a photographic style that depicted the energy of the village with consistency, but still showcased the individuality of each merchant.
Content and direct marketing strategy
Our digital marketing strategy included a newsletter redesigned to reflect the new brand, social media training for merchants, and a series of print and digital ads to promote Cameron Village during the holiday season.
We used the new brand story to guide all content we created for the website and for direct marketing materials. Beyond just showing weekly sales and offers, we broadened the website and newsletter to reflect the personality of the village. To connect with our community we chose a conversational tone with a touch of southern flair and sense of humor.
The “Our Story” section of the website is a place where the history of Cameron Village is juxtaposed with its current style. We created an exhibit format to share timeless content features like the brand pillars and a timeline of Cameron Village History.
The “News & Events” section is easy to update, and dedicated to the most up-to-date happenings in the village, as well as new blog posts.
Living history contest
In tandem with the website launch we hosted a contest to bring the community together around the new site, and gather more stories to showcase what makes Cameron Village so special.
We shared the contest in the newsletter, on social media, and through TV ads. We encouraged people to submit their memories, stories, and ideas about why they love Cameron Village. We received hundreds of entries for the chance to share their stories and be part of the ongoing history of Cameron Village. The most memorable stories are featured as part of a unique living history page on the website, and the contestant with the best story won a shopping spree for $2500 in Cameron Village.
the road ahead
The Cameron Village team and New Kind continue working together to maintain a strong digital presence for the shopping center.
We’ve seen increased traffic and user engagement on the site, and witnessed the highest newsletter open rates for the village since it started. We look forward to the future of this landmark that holds a special place in the heart of the community.