Top Marques Interview: Jiminy

30 September 2015
Top Marques Interview: Jiminy
Web design agency, Jiminy have been on the scene since 2008 and during that time have flown under the radar creating some of New Zealand's most impresive websites. Their latest website for Asona won them a silver award at the W3 International Awards.

Che and Sabine thanks for taking the time to have a chat, tell us a little about Jiminy. What do you guys do?

Anytime Kaleb, thanks for having us. Jiminy is a design-led web agency founded in 2008 by Web Developer, Ché Mearns and Advertising Art Director & Strategist, Sabine Hogguer. Our product is about creating beautifully designed websites that grow businesses and get results. In a nutshell we are digital marketers who create strategically sound websites designed to deliver on specific business objectives.

Results are good. So where’d the name ‘Jiminy’ come from?

Walt Disney’s Jiminy Cricket provides the moral compass to the other characters, shining his light to lead the way – while we don’t pretend to be quite that virtuous the basic premise appealed to us and it also met the brief in terms of sounding energetic, friendly and responsive. Another consideration was tapping into a word that people had heard before so it was easy to remember.

What are your backgrounds?

Sabine: I spent my formative years in ad land, as an Art Director later moving into more strategic roles and then into the branding and design space before starting Jiminy with Ché.

Che: I studied computer Science at Auckland Uni. I’ve spent my whole life in and around design and branding agencies so am used to the perfectionist nature of designers, you could even say I’m a designer in a coders body! It’s our different backgrounds and our unique combination of skills that form the foundation of Jiminy’s competitive advantage and the basis of our positioning which is all about following a methodology that puts strategy, design, brand thinking and business performance at the heart of what we do.

Ok cool, geeks with style then. What piece of work are you most proud of and why?

We’d probably still have to say Firstlighttravel, one of our earlier sites, but the results were just so exemplary that it still deserves to be rolled out. With a 35% increase in their bottom line, and 60% increase in conversions (enquiries generated directly off the site) directly attributable to the website redesign it’s an excellent example of the power of brand, design and the application of advertising & communication principles. We’re also pretty happy with the main and mobile sites that we created for Columbus Coffee.

How have clients opinions of digital and the web evolved over the past couple of years?

Sabine: That’s a good question! More clients have begun to understand the true potential of the online space and there has certainly been a trend to redirect more of their budgets from traditional media to digital. In the early days companies simply wanted an online presence but this has definitely changed now, especially as the digital platform is so measurable compared with traditional channels, so we are much more accountable for the efficacy of what we create.

Che: We’ve also seen a huge rise in demand for dedicated mobile sites and fully responsive sites over the last 12 months. There is no question in client’s minds anymore as to why its necessary to allow for hand held devices when latest stats show that between 20-50% of all websites are accessed via smart phone or tablet.

Tell us about a website that you really admire and what is it that you like about it?

It’s an open source encyclopaedia, and we’re huge fans of open source. To us it’s everything that is good about the internet. A huge body of knowledge compiled and edited by hundred of thousands of people around the planet and free to access. Articles are version controlled as are the discussions between editors about the content of articles. Some might complain that since anyone can edit any article it’s not to be trusted. On this we subscribe to the teachings of Socrates “I seek truth and wisdom…. It is true that I teach my students to question everything”. Yes, we should question everything on Wikipedia just as we should question everything else. If you look at the bottom of a Wikipedia article you’ll find a references section where you can start to do that.

Anyone remember what it was like to learn something new before the web and Wikipedia?

Is there any other area of the web that you’d like to move into?

The majority of our work is websites (mobile, brand-led, e-commerce and direct response sites) we also do a lot of e-newsletters and other EDM pieces, blogs and some online advertising – which is something we’d like to do more of – as there is natural alignment there due to Sabine’s background as an advertising creative and strategist. In the longer term we also have ambitions to develop digital products.

What are your goals for Jiminy in 2014?

We’d like to get our name out there a little more, we’ve largely flown below the radar but having made it through the start-up phase it’s time to start letting more people know about what we do and the results we achieved for our clients. We’d also like to work with more clients that have a reasonable budget set aside for digital – so that we can really maximise their potential and turn what is often a lack lustre digital performance into success stories. And lastly we’re working to develop more affiliate type relationships with brand and design agencies like yourselves and smaller advertising agencies, where what we bring can add value and often help to round out the offer.

Thanks for taking the time to chat guys – best of luck for 2014.

Any time!