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Does it work?

When I first clicked onto Dunhill’s new website, I was dreading another pedestrian ecommerce site from a heritage brand totally missing its point as a brand in today’s world.

Thankfully, this wasn’t the case – Dunhill has clearly thought about its narrative and it has created and is curating lots of interesting and relevant stories to share with its audience.

First, a look at the design – the site has a very modern structure – it is clean, crisp and engaging. The use of space on the home page is well thought out – there are a lot of choices to be made about where to go and what to see, but it never feels cluttered or confusing. The grid structure is flexible and allows the balance between simplicity and interest, which is key to storytelling digital – we are no longer prescribing to visitors what they need to see and do on a website. As such, the site offers lots of points of interest and opportunities to engage with the brand.

Second, the content is well crafted and offers stories that go beyond the product to sell the lifestyle. The photography is crisp and has an editorial style that reflects the brand as a high-end publisher, which means I am inclined to linger and discover more about a brand that previously I perhaps would have skipped over.

I really like the ‘Day 8’ section – the fusion of film, photography, copy and social to tell brand stories works well to establish this heritage brand as one that understands its relevance in the modern world.

The shop is elegant and refined – large images and zero clutter with a bold move to hide much of the content until you click to reveal it. I love this minimal approach – Dunhill knows users will click to find things that they need to know.

I would like to see a more engaging way for Dunhill to help its customers find the right size as I do think this is a big barrier for men to purchase online. However, I don’t think many retailers have nailed this challenge yet, so we can forgive the brand for this.

Overall, I think this is a great site for Dunhill to tell its story and I think its curation style is one that consumers will be expecting from brands in the future.

The challenge is keeping the elegance and sophistication of a luxury heritage brand while offering lots of engaging content. Dunhill has definitely mastered this challenge and has successfully stated who it is and why it is relevant today. A story well told and one I look forward to following in the future.

  • Joanna Cruickshanks, Creative director at digital agency Folk

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