Alpro is one of the biggest plant-based product companies in Europe, making products from soy and almonds to hazelnuts and oats.
Its largest market is in the UK, and it needed a whole new renovation to build a website fit for the necessities of today. “If you are doing new product branding and you come out with a website a couple of months later, it’s a missed opportunity,” said Piet-Hein van Drie, the managing director for the agency with which Alpro worked on the project.
“We said, let’s be faster so when you go out in the market with your products, you can have your website rolled out at the same time.”
Alpro operates mostly in Europe but also has markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Each of these regions and countries needs to be tailored to with regard to the language of the content, while at the same time maintaining a consistent brand narrative.
Tied to the complexity of providing brand consistency across continents, regions, and languages, is another issue: the vast majority of Alpro’s online traffic comes from mobile. This meant that the plant-based brand needed a mobile-first approach to its new site.
They sought out a content architecture that would enable them with the flexibility and velocity to get quality content published faster, with an easy-to-use interface for marketers and other non-dev jobs.
That is why they decided to shift their digital content over to Contentful, which seemed like a natural fit for Alpro’s digital platform.
Just 6 months later, to coincide with Alpro’s newly released products, they had a whole new website that was optimized for both desktop and mobile. Following this was a rollout of all other localized websites.
“Training a content manager on Contentful can be done in half a day,” claimed Ralph Urmel, the international digital experience manager of Alpro. “With our old CMS, it would be weeks before you got the gist of it. Our market digital brand managers were able to quickly start managing their own product catalogs independently.”
They were able to integrate a whole bunch of tools and services that they were already using. For example “a product information management tool for catalogs, and Bynder for digital asset management,” added Ralph. “Stakeholders have been pleased by how fast we can get a local campaign up and running.”
In the past, Alpro would witness that the majority of its traffic would be unique visitors. But now, with the UK’s new desktop and mobile website, they are seeing an increasing proportion of the traffic consisting of return visitors, while the number of pages viewed is also going in the right direction.
The APIs of Contentful, in addition to its multi-language support, make it simpler for the brand’s creatives to manage and publish content themselves, without relying too much on the help of devs to push things live. And as they found out, launching regional sites can be done easier and quicker than before,
This is true as well for running ad campaigns. ““Alpro needed an event site for the campaign,” said Piet-Hein, “and using Contentful, we were able to roll it out.”
There was another site that they launched which was for a program for independent coffee shops in the UK who were suffering from a lack of business during the pandemic. How long did this take? From the initial brief to the end took 3 weeks! That’s a whole new site in 21 days.
“What was really surprising to me,” added Ralph, “was how powerful Contentful’s content modeling is. Once you know what content models you need for the specific website or digital outlet, building it is not at all hard.
“You can then repurpose it across different platforms. The coffee outreach program is basically an entirely new website, but we already had the entire library of models available, and with just a few content tweaks, it fits our brand, yet feels so distinct.”
Contentful speeds the content process up from idea to launch. The only real limits are essentially creative ones. “It’s quite ridiculous how fast we can get content out now,” added Ralph, “in comparison to how it was before.”
“The speed and performance have been consistent,” added Piet-Hein, “and haven’t failed at all over the past months… So this has proven to be a very good architecture integrated with Contentful.”