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The Inn Whose Digital Brand Was Out

The S3 Agency serves as the marketing arm of the MSNBC Your Business “Makeover Team.” This week, MSNBC aired our latest makeover: for Abbey’s Lantern Hill Inn, a Connecticut B&B that needed some serious help with their digital brand.

Their website was sorely outdated, their Facebook interactions best described as rare, and their Twitter, well, non-existent. But before we could tackle those tactics, we had to determine who Abbey’s is and what positioning they should own.

Positioning: When doing positioning work, it’s just as important to look around as it is to look at yourself. In this case, the field of Abbey’s competitors are hotels and inns in the Ledyard / Mystic area of Connecticut. Fortunately, Abbey’s really is different – not that you’d know it by looking at their old website! Surround inns are big historic mansions, coastal / mariner themed b&bs and large casinos. Abbey’s is small, in the country yet close to the attractions, with a great outdoor entertainment area and a hip vibe. Perfect for NYC-dwellers looking to escape for a quick getaway. The inn is run by a hands-on mid-30s woman with a cool / quirky personality as well. Putting these facts together, a new positioning was born:

Abbey’s Lantern Hill Inn: A Boutique Bed & Breakfast

Branding: With the positioning work done, we moved onto the branding. Abbey’s needed to standout online as it does in person – after all, the web is where people go to make travel plans. Abbey’s site had to capture the right attention of the right consumer, with a funky style that invited them in to stay a while. Below are the before and after Abbey’s websites.



Social: Part of our digital brand strategy was to maximize ROI with minimal effort on the part of this small business owner. Yes, she needs to check Facebook daily and respond, as well as post at least weekly, but she also needs to be blogging. Unfortunately, she has no time to do so. The answer: Twitter, the microblog. We linked Twitter to the website so that her tweets will update the site daily with current content, killing two birds with one stone. It’s an easy solution, and with a smart content strategy, a really smart solution as well.

Take a look at how the rest of the team helped Abbey’s Inn to become, well, “in”: 

~ @AdvertGirl (Denise Blasevick), The S3 Agency


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