Dodgson and Bell Funeral Services Rebranding

Dodgson and Bell Funeral Services is a much-loved and longstanding local family business in Cheshire. Formed from the joining of Dodgson’s in Knutsford and George Bell in Northwich, this distinguished establishment is renowned for its bespoke funeral services, tailor-made arrangements and professional, caring attitude. As a significant presence within their communities for over a century, Dodgson’s and Bell Funeral Services have touched generation after generation. Key to their success has been a willingness to embrace change whilst retaining that all-important personal touch.

Keen to strengthen the connection between the brands and introduce innovative online features for grieving families and friends, they turned to Ultimate for guidance.

The Brief

Rebranding To Modernise A Traditional Family Business

Our main direction from Dodgson and Bell Funeral Services was to create a stunning new website that would feel fresh and modern. Excitingly, they wanted to introduce the opportunity for people to create individual profile pages where families and friends could share their special memories about their loved ones. It would contain pictures, as well as the ability to donate to a chosen charity in their memory. This would reduce the need for people to bring cash donations to the funeral itself, saving the Dodgson’s team valuable time that they can instead dedicate to other aspects of the funeral.  

Families were to be given the ability to share these individual tribute pages with other loved ones, particularly on social media. This should boost the visibility of those pages and so give more people the opportunity to reminisce and offer their own thoughts. By housing all of these recollections on a single page online, it will always be there for anyone to go back and take a look. That way, the memories truly can last forever.

Dodgson’s is relatively unique as it provides a full range of funeral services, rather than directing clients to third parties for certain elements. Whether it’s flowers or programmes, coffins or music, they can arrange it all. Such breadth of service needed to be reflected on the site itself. For example, clients should be able to find poems and browse music options.  

To successfully revitalise the website, we needed to get to grips with the brand itself. Dodgson and Bell Funeral Services was founded in the 1980s when the Dodgson family took over the Northwich business from the retiring George Bell. Since then, the two brands have remained somewhat disconnected and separate. Our new website needed to reinforce the link whilst retaining that family business feel. This brand should never feel like the corporate giants.

Three Challenges

1

Being Sympathetic

Anyone visiting a funeral services site is likely to be emotional and our design needed to be sensitive to that. We wanted it to feel modern but certainly not clinical.

2

Suitable For All Ages

A significant proportion of visitors are likely to be elderly and so the website and tribute pages should be easy to use and navigate.

3

Introducing Harmony

We had to bring together two businesses which the general public are unlikely to have previously connected.

The Solution

Rebranding A Website To Be User-Friendly

As ever, our designers produced two brilliant creative concepts that answered every element of the brief. The client was thrilled with both options but decided to go with the ‘Hear For You And Yours’ concept.

At the centre of this rebrand is a gorgeously elegant and intricate logo mark, shaped to look like a tree. On the previous website there was a tree header image on every page. We were quite taken with the symbolism of a tree representing ageing, rebirth and new growth- all highly relevant to a funeral service business. Our concept simply moved this idea on further to give it a sleeker and more sophisticated feel. Look closely and you’ll notice the two entwined lines of the trunk. These represent the joining of Dodgson and Bell.

Colour palette wise, we wanted to instill this brand with a sense of establishment, luxury and quality. To do this we chose a rich green, to tie in with the tree motif, and an opulent gold. Together, they give a real feeling of heritage.

Looking at the website itself, our design focused on making it more user-friendly. All the vital information is still there but now displayed in a more easily digestible manner. To help reduce the stress of grieving family and friends, the tribute pages containing funeral details can be easily shared via social media.

We were particularly keen to make better use of imagery on the site. As well as showing off the impressive fleet of cars, we wanted to highlight some of the real life people working hard to deliver exceptional service. The personal touch is so important within this industry and it’s an area in which Dodgson’s excel. As much as details can be arranged online, this remains a very face-to-face business. To truly capture this, we avoided stock imagery and carried out a full photoshoot.     

All in all, the new site is a true reflection of the high quality service and care that Dodgson and Bell Funeral Services provide.

 

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At Ultimate we believe new projects should be undertaken with great amount of consideration and vigilant planning and research. You can be assured everything we do, will be the best for you and your brand and not what is best for us!