Spotlight on: Storyware

What does Storyware do?
Storyware is in the business of crafting creative digital solutions for our clients. This includes designing websites, building web applications, providing digital platform consulting and strategy, and improving digital presence through SEO and other digital marketing tactics.

Why is it important that biotech companies have a digital presence and how important is the online presence to the overall story?
We have worked with several biotech companies at different stages of growth. For those companies at an early stage, it’s important to have a solid website and brand as a presentation tool for potential investors. Typically, that’s the only audience that your website needs to target at this stage.

When a biotech company becomes more mature, they will need to redesign their website so the target audience is no longer just potential investors. Their site needs to speak to their end customers whether they are a B2B or B2C company. In addition, hiring becomes more important at this stage. Therefore, your website should contain more content about your company culture and be simple for job seekers to find and apply for open positions. These changes don’t mean you have to completely scrap your existing brand and visual identity, but it does mean you have to expand and change your story online since your audience has grown.

What are some trends/data points you are seeing regarding the future for a company’s digital footprint?
Over the last ten years, we have seen a massive growth and improvement in digital platforms that help companies with communication (ie Slack, Zoom), sales and marketing (ie Salesforce, HubSpot), operations/HR (ie Google Workspace, Indeed), and productivity (ie Asana, Trello). While these platforms have made work easier in some cases, they’ve created a situation where many companies are now struggling with the number of platforms they have to use. In some cases, these platforms aren’t connected with each other. We’ve been able to help clients either eliminate the number of platforms that they have to use by finding better solutions or integrate their platforms to help automate processes.

When it comes to website trends, the importance of updating websites to meet accessibility standards, complying with online privacy guidelines, integrating with CRM platforms, and/or improving overall site speed has continued to increase.

But you’re not just about building websites. Tell us more about how you help companies.
At a high level, we help many of our clients become more skilled and efficient with their digital presence and platforms. We’ve been asked to serve as a fractional CIO for a company as they grow until they are ready for us to hire and train a full-time employee. We’ve worked on countless integration projects that could involve no-code solutions or complex API development to help clients automate the flow of data from their website to another platform like a CRM. We also help companies understand and get more out of their analytics platforms so they can clearly measure how their digital marketing efforts are performing.

We would love to help more organizations in the BioHub solve their digital problems, so we are offering a free digital consultation to companies during the months of June and July. Please schedule a time to sign up!

When you are not designing for clients, it sounds like you are developing apps and experiences to promote the craft brew industry here in Charlottesville. Can you share more about your passion project?
In 2018, my business partner (Page Wood) and I were fortunate enough to collaborate with the City of Charlottesville Office of Economic Development and the breweries within the city limits to create the Charlottesville Ale Trail. I still serve on their board today. Like many other food and beverage trails, the Ale Trail launched with a paper passport that incentivized tourists and locals to purchase food or drink at each location on the trail. Once the passport is complete, you can send in your passport for a prize.

During the pandemic, Storyware built a digital passport application to replace the paper version. It’s called LoyalBrew and it launched in March 2021. It’s been a huge success for the Charlottesville Ale Trail. Passport completions have increased three-fold with the digital version and over 10,000 stamps (brewery visits) have been claimed in the first 14 months of use.

Since launching for the Charlottesville Ale Trail, LoyalBrew is now being used by food and ale trails in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Oregon. Most recently, we’ve enhanced the app so that breweries and wineries can use it as a more engaging loyalty platform for their customers. South Street Brewery is our first brewery customer, and we are excited to see where this will take LoyalBrew in the future. Cheers!