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Case Study

An online presence with real-world charm.

When it came time to translate the feel-good everybody-knows-your name aspects of their in-person service to an equally exceptional online experience, Citadel turned to Think Brownstone to redesign their marketing website and develop an accompanying Digital Engagement Plan.

In-Depth Research

We conducted comprehensive research to collect the data needed to make smart decisions. These activities included competitive analysis, observational research at a branch, brand analysis, visioning exercises, and audits of existing usability, content, and web analytics.

Our research resulted in several guiding principles:

  • Don’t make just another banking site.
  • Answer the question, “Why should I bank here?”
  • Address misconceptions of credit unions.
  • Make it easy.

A Friendly New Design


We hunkered down with Citadel for several weeks of sketching and wireframing, creating a content strategy, designing mockups, and writing copy. Out of these efforts grew a fresh, friendly site featuring hand-drawn illustrations and a clean visual design, conversational copy and calls to action, intuitive navigation and taxonomy, and clear page layouts with user-friendly product visualizations.

Before the final build, we created a prototype of the new website and tested it with some of Citadel’s current and prospective customers, to validate the design and make sure it was in alignment with the project’s guiding principles.

Finally, we built the website for Citadel, implementing a new Content Management System (CMS) so that Citadel’s non-technical staff members could make updates to their website quickly and easily.


Strategic Thinking

Our work with Citadel on this project also included the creation of a Digital Engagement Plan, encompassing recommendations for search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), customer relationship management (CRM), and social media engagement strategies.

“Citadel now has a website that is part of our seamless and frictionless customer experience. Furthermore the website is easy to maintain on a daily basis and is scalable for the foreseeable future. We are very proud of the elements that are visible as well as what the architecture behind the scenes allows us to do.”

Mike Schnably, Senior Vice President at Citadel