Case study

Setting Up Shop – Brand Overhaul

“I wasn’t happy with the work that I had been doing with a previous design agency”

CLIENT Setting Up Shop INDUSTRY Shop Fitout Project Management / Tenancy Coordination SERVICES Design
Brand Strategy
Website Design
Web Development
PROJECT Website + Capability Brochure

Our client came to us after a bad experience: she told us she’d paid for a website that didn’t serve her brand or her customers.

We knew just how to help Setting Up Shop stand out, be heard and grow.

CLIENT Setting Up Shop INDUSTRY Shop Fitout Project Management / Tenancy Coordination SERVICES Design
Brand Strategy
Website Design
Web Development
PROJECT Website + Capability Brochure

Setting Up Shop is a highly successful small business that helps shops, cafés and restaurants navigate stressful tenancy and fitout processes so they can open a new shop or food business – helping with everything from finding a premises to planning for a successful opening day.

The business’ founder, Karyn, came to us “depressed and disheartened”. She had recently paid another design studio for a website that she felt didn’t serve her brand.

Karyn said, “I wasn’t happy with the work that a previous design agency had done for me and felt they didn’t get me or my business at all. The end result wasn’t in line with my values and felt half-assed. It just looked awful! My offer wasn’t clear and the site confused potential clients. The site reflected poorly on me and my brand. But I couldn’t even articulate properly what was wrong with it, it just wasn’t right.”

At Lovehate Design+Brand we knew just how to help, starting with our motto “there’s no work without a ‘why’”.

We began with a brand workshop to discover Karyn and her business’ “why”. In a few hours, we had dug deep to find out her business’ unique strengths, her clients’ pain points, and the ways in which her business offered the solution to her clients’ needs.

We also discovered Karyn and her company’s expertise and rich and diverse track record of bringing shops across Brisbane to life – from many of the big-name brands you know to new endeavours by small-business owner-operators. We went on to hero and celebrate this track record in both her website and capability brochure design.

Lovehate Design+Brand are so lovely to deal with.

They made me realise that just as I am an expert in my field, they are experts in theirs, and I didn’t have to know it all. They pulled my brand identity out of me without me even realising that it was happening and showed me how great my brand could look. They also helped me see the amazing projects I have worked on – for some reason I had a bit of a block with that and found it hard to recognise the great results I had achieved. Leith and John were so enthusiastic about my business and offering that I felt re-energised, as well as getting a great new website!

Karyn O’Brien – Founder / Project Director Setting Up Shop


Some key issues with the previous site were that, despite it being pleasant to look at:

  1. there was no clear strategy behind the design or copy
  2. the site featured stock images of domestic interiors (irrelevant to Karyn’s business that helps commercial/food businesses open new shops)
  3. the content was too wordy and didn’t clarify the services offered
  4. the site was confusingly laid out (in a template site), and
  5. the site didn’t mention how Setting Up Shop can solve potential clients’ pain points.

Our strategy was not just to design something pretty but to also formulate a strategy for a completely new website to increase Setting Up Shop’s perceived credibility so that it matched Karyn and her company’s actual skills and experience.


BEFOREThe client’s previous website: a template site with irrelevant residential stock photography
AFTEROur redesigned site: a tailored site with custom photography of actual stores that Setting Up Shop brought to life

We sent our photographer out to capture some of the diverse and thriving restaurants and shops that Karyn and her team have helped set up shop across Brisbane.

We then used these images generously and in full colour on the website and in her capability brochure, demonstrating the business’ breadth of experience at a glance on every page.

We designed the website to best display its content (rather than placing content in to fit a preexisting template).

Plus by including the logos of 30 of the big-name clients Karyn and her team had set up shop for, we further highlighted the brand’s credibility and experience.

We also formulated a strategy for the content, layout and information architecture of the website.

We rewrote and judiciously trimmed the copy, added large, easy-to-navigate and engaging headings, and ensured we positioned the customer as the hero of the Setting Up Shop brand story at every touchpoint.

We defined the business’ services and strengths to help potential clients understand how central Karyn’s business could be to their success (and in saving them $$$).

All across the website, we talked about the customer’s pain points and how Setting Up Shop could solve them to instantly reassure clients that they’d come to the right business for help. Plus, we clearly explained the business’ offering, which is especially important in an industry that is not well known by its potential clients. And our strategy for every page included inspiring customers to action by adding compelling CTAs on every page.

And our strategy is working…

The site doesn’t just look fantastic it also does exactly what I wanted it to – it reassures potential clients that I have the experience and knowledge that they need.

Lots of my contacts mentioned how great my new site looked. Several asked me who had done it for me. While I don’t sell through my website and it is more for brand credibility, I saw an uptick in the number of people looking at the site, and people were looking at several of the pages instead of just one. So, the new site Lovehate Design+Brand wrote and designed for me was clearly more engaging and informative than my previous site. New prospects that I talk to have also looked at the site a lot more often than they used to, and they talk enthusiastically about the new site when we meet.

Karyn O’Brien – Founder / Project Director Setting Up Shop

We went on to design a custom capability brochure for Setting Up Shop as well, continuing the company’s brand story.

A capability brochure acts like a sales person that you leave behind in a client’s hands. So, you want it to be something they want to pick up and something that establishes your brand at a glance, no matter which page they open to.

For Setting Up Shop’s capability brochure, we wanted the photography to be the first thing that someone would notice, because Karyn and her team’s work speaks loudly of their talent and credibility.

Via lush, full-colour photographic spreads we demonstrated what this powerhouse small business is capable of. We ensured the copy was succinct and relevant, while being a pleasure to read. And we included case studies and testimonials, to further build credibility while telling the company’s story.

And our client is very happy…

Their patience and ability to understand what I was talking about was amazing –

I don’t have the design language they are used to using, so wasn’t confident that I could explain what I was thinking, but Lovehate Design+Brand spoke my language and always managed to get the info they needed out of me. And the results were fantastic. While I greatly value creativity, I find that some designers can be quite off-putting, and that is not the case with Lovehate Design+Brand at all. It was never just one solution – they are happy to provide options and discuss the merits of each. They are easy to talk to, and I laugh a lot during our meetings – they make it fun to work on my business instead of a chore. If you need help with communicating about your business, give them a call. They will look after you so well.

Karyn O’Brien – Founder / Project Director Setting Up Shop

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