Virgin Media Pioneers
A social network to inspire and connect young entrepreneurs, while supporting them on their journey.www.virginmediapioneers.com
Virgin Media is one of the businesses under the Virgin brand and known for their phone, TV and internet services. They are also a business with a strong corporate social responsibility and have created numerous projects to empower communities across the nation. So when they came to us with the aim of creating a website to encourage more young people to become entrepreneurs we were more than happy to offer our expertise.
Virgin Media wanted to unlock young people’s full potential and help them with all the skills needed to succeed in enterprise. One of the challenges was that young people don’t know what opportunities they have in business, so we had to come up with a way that enabled Virgin Media to not only show young people that there are opportunities, but to also give them the skills to seize them.
Business isn’t just about learning things though, it’s also about networking and being able to communicate effectively with others. So that’s what we had to provide, a service that could help users connect and share their skills among one another. We wanted to set up a community.
To find out how to help young entrepreneurs, the most obvious solution would be to ask them. So we held a focus group with a group of young entrepreneurs, showing them the brand concepts that had already been formulated. We asked what we thought were the important questions and got some interesting answers. Then we let them loose with our prototype site. Using software to follow what they did on the site, and watch their reactions, we learnt how we could make the site the best it could be.
Through our testing we found that the three most important goals for the young people were seeing what others like them were doing, connecting with like-minded, but differently skilled individuals, and finding opportunities.
With the data from our testing we decided to make the three key goals of young entrepreneurs into the three main sections of our site – Get Inspired, Get Connected and Get Ahead.
Every person’s journey to entrepreneurship is different and as such, we needed to create a site that could adapt to users’ needs. We achieved this through a detailed registration system with which users can choose not only at what stage they are currently at, but also detail their interests, thus allowing content to be customised to their needs.
To facilitate a strong community we focused on making it easy for users to interact with one another. Pioneers can add each other as friends, can tag each other in comments and create discussions with each other. This has changed how users are interacting with the site and with other users. There is now a greater focus on peer-to-peer learning and users are more likely to ask each other for help.
The redesign was met by the site’s users with almost unanimous appraisal, with the new looks and the more easily accessible site structure being noted as major improvements from the previous site. The new features allows the Pioneers to connect in new ways and facilitates discussion and collaboration between people with different skills.
We continue to work with Virgin Media to evolve the design of the site and create new custom page templates for their on-going content needs, including interactive video series, On The Line – following the story of two young entrepreneurs and their global fashion brand.