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A Savannah Small Business Success Story: The Making of New GreenPalmInn.com

SAVANNAH Georgia (May 10, 2013) — The core challenge to change and emerge improved is a mammoth undertaking for big business. For a small tourism business on a 4- or 5-digit budget that challenge is bigger, with higher risks when in the midst of America’s economic woes.

Bed and Breakfast web site design Savannah Georgia USA

New Web site design | Green Palm Inn, Savannah Georgia USA

The owners of the top-rated Green Palm Inn, a 4-bedroom cottage inn in Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District, are smartly braving the USA tough economy. They chose to jump confidently into strategic change and creative processes.

Happily, there is success!

“Our cozy cottage is more popular than ever,” shares co-owner and innkeeper Diane McCray. “How do I know that?  Wonderful travelers are changing vacation dates, saying ‘We want to stay with you!’  And, USA and international guests are staying longer — 4 or 5 days instead of 2 or 3.  I am so thankful!”

The top-rated inn’s The Softer Side of Savannah personality has melded with substantially bolder brand content. It evolves with the addition of more experiential taglines, Savannah Your Way, and “I [heart] Savannah” introduced on GreenPalmInn.com.

Owners Diane McCray and Gary Crews tapped Savannah-based strategist Sandy Traub to lead their strategic positioning shift.  “For Green Palm Inn, the question was never “Will we make a marketing upgrade or shift?”.  The questions were “when?” and “how?”.

In a discussion of “Why change?” Sandy points to Albert Einstein’s definition of Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  “The change process is a landscape of land mines dotted with important decisions and logistics. Yet selective, methodical change is good business, really necessary for competitive business development,” Sandy adds.

For Green Palm Inn, where were the new business opportunities?  “That’s where critical research and having a strategy first pay off,” Sandy insists.

Guest reviews on the mammoth travel site TripAdvisor.com were the first stop to find initial answers. “Green Palm Inn was and is doing many things right.  The challenge was to carefully pair the popular inn with up-trending travel segments,” Sandy concludes.

Nicasio Design LLC was selected to produce the new web site. Leading the development team, Chris Underwood took visual cues from the inn’s new logo designed by Savannah-based Kelly Applegate Design.  Travis Sawyer at Creative Approach brought in Earth-tone paper to emphasize the inn’s palm influence in printed pieces. Then, Chris combined the new branding, infused creative elements, and lead the Nicasio team in building the WordPress framework.

With new photos and content added, the end result delivers a feeling of familiarity in the cottage-cozy inn’s new, robust web site.

Experiential photo assets were produced by Guy Smith, Popcorn Octane LLC in Hilton Head Island, SC. That firm had produced the inn’s popular video, The Softer Side of Historic Savannah.  For inspiring, out-and-about city photos, the beautiful work of James Byous Photography captured innovative angles and fresh subjects that help to expand the inn’s storyline. Interior photography is by the award-winning Adam Kuehl. Palm photos are by Savannah native Nancy Heffernan, known most recently for Tybee Island photography.

“Our little inn’s web site is the inn’s go-to marketing core. I can now quickly and easily orchestrate our integrated marketing, including social media and my blog,” says Diane McCray. The inn is active in Google’s G+ and YouTube.com, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and FoodSpotting.

Diane’s advice? “Know what problems you want your marketing to help solve. Wrap your head around what you like. Be concise about what you want, not only in look and feel, but business results.  Then, tap the best talent and professionals you can afford.”

This optimistic and happy innkeeper believes the old adage is true: first impressions matter.  “I wanted to convey sweet efficiency and a gentle welcome — the inn’s local charm, which complements the tourism story of destination Savannah, Georgia. Then, of course, I love a tad of that ‘walk around hooray spirit’ of Dixie.  Surely, I got all that was on my wish list!”

Copyright (c) 2013 Green Palm Inn / Sandy Traub

For more information, contact Diane McCray at Green Palm Inn — telephone 912-447-8901 or toll free 888-606-9510.

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