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Our work

A sophisticated platform for a luxury brand

The Client

Ocean Independence really are a remarkable brand, with global reach and an enviable reputation for delivering the highest standards in customer service. Whether you wish to charter or purchase a luxury yacht, Ocean Independence have decades of experience, invaluable industry relationships and industry insight to ensure you get exactly what you are looking for. And you can see from the complexity of what they are selling that this is no mean feat. Hiring a luxury yacht is a technical business, and a highly emotive one. Each yacht has a unique spec in draught, births, tonnage, speed, operating area, facilities. And yet buying or chartering a yacht requires the purchaser to fall in love with a beautiful experience.

Ocean Independence destinations page design
Ocean independence screen shots

The Situation

If you are in the market to charter a luxury yacht, or maybe even buy one, you are going to expect a premium service, unparalleled expertise and inspirational content from your broker. You also expect imagination, empathy and a commitment to providing a breathtaking experience. 

Ocean Independence is in the business of meeting and exceeding very high expectations from its customers, and delivering superb customer service. So, you would expect the website to combine beauty, expertise and inspiration, with a sumptuous customer experience.

At the same time, an engaged and strategically driven marketing team needed a flexible and powerful CMS that would integrate with their CRM, their digital asset management system, and provide the tools they needed to A/B test, evolve messaging, rapidly deploy page take-overs and drive campaign activity. 

OI engaged us to help them build a next-generation CMS platform that would deliver a stunning brand and user experience, whilst providing a versatile and seamlessly integrated component in their marketing technology stack.


Ocean Independence search screenshot on mobile
Ocean Independence homepage on laptop

The Challenge

The website needs to attract, engage and inspire potential customers. While on the site they need to have total confidence that OI know every detail of their needs, and which destination and yacht can best fulfil them. OI brokers are experts in placing customers with charters that match the customer’s need for number births, catering, onboard facilities, ancillary services, sailing destination, and the all important ‘wow’ factor.

The goals of the site are to generate enthusiasm, remove doubt and motivate a potential customer to contact their broker. This is achieved by attentive and ongoing optimisation of content and user experience. A new content-design approach puts critical information and messaging at the heart of the site’s design and seeks to answer the customer’s questions at each stage of the journey, build understanding of the service offering and drive a desire to talk with the experts direct.

What do you want your customers to learn from your website, and then what do you want them to do? OI’s premium brand required the utmost respect, but we worked hard to bring an improved content design to the site. What’s content design? Think of user experience design for messaging. Content design puts the designer in the mind of the customer and asks them to imagine what knowledge they already bring to the website, what knowledge they are seeking to achieve and then what they want to do with this knowledge as a result. 

Getting improvements in results like the above only happens when your website provides a truly valuable exchange of value with the customer. Simply put, it has to give them what they need. Easy to say, harder to do.

The key challenge was to create a visually impactful brand experience while delivering real flexibility in the CMS to easily set up A/B tests, campaign pages, homepage takeovers and content optimisations without needing agency support for each activity.

The Solution

We used a design system approach to create a branded set of re-usable components. Using the Acquia Cohesion productivity suite, we implemented the design system into a Drupal 8 CMS platform. Cohesion allows development and design teams to create a library of re-usable components, provide them with branded visual design, and give them configuration options to provide a variety of alignment, asset population, padding, and interactive capabilities.

This gives OI’s marketing team the power and freedom to rapidly evolve their messaging, and publish content on their own timetable. 

Coherence works closely with Cohesion, being the first agency to adopt the technology and having experience of developing over 30 web platforms using the design system technique. Coherence collaborates with the Cohesion team to beta test new releases and provide real-world application requirements for the Cohesion roadmap. 

With Cohesion’s acquisition by Acquia, it is now a part of Acquia’s overall customer experience offering, with integration capabilities for personalisation, multi-site virtualisation and low-code content authoring.

The Results

And the results have been stunning. In their 3 months post-launch report OI reported conversion rate up 87%, organic visibility up 581%, enquiries increased by 25%. Site speed has improved from 7.8 seconds, down to 2.1 seconds. 


Conversion rate up 87%


Organic visibility up 581%


Enquiries increased by 25%

Ocean Independence uses a combination of brand-design, content-design, design-system thinking and marketing-technology integration to provide a highly effective and versatile marketing and sales tool. With marketers historically questioning Drupal’s suitability as a platform promoting stunning design and ease of use for the marketer, we can safely say Drupal now has the capability to be a tier-one marketing tool. is at the heart of a confident and vibrant international business.

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