Launching the new Octopus Group, re-imagined with Gutenberg

We are thrilled to have launched an initial four sites as part of a replatforming project for one of the UK’s fastest growing companies, Octopus Group.

Founded in 2000, Octopus Group operates in two key sectors – financial services and energy supply. With an array of businesses under the brand including Octopus Investments, Octopus Energy and Octopus Ventures, the company has a number of websites aimed at various audiences, each with different goals. 

Entrepreneurial values are at the core of the Octopus brand, and for two decades the business has been challenging convention and turning bright ideas into game-changing businesses through acquisitions, mergers and investment opportunities.

In 2019, the team at Octopus set out to find a new technology partner to share it’s entrepreneurial vision and replatform the company’s suite of websites to a new, scalable solution. With a vast portfolio of companies, each with its own website, and content published daily by the in-house marketing teams, the team at Octopus needed to implement a solution which would allow them to adapt easily to new requirements, be this a piece of content, campaign page or a new website. 

Following an in depth discovery phase which included stakeholder meetings, on-site workshops and desk research, we proposed a strategy which would allow each line of business within the Octopus Group brand to have full control over the production and management of each website.

Using a similar approach to our previous work for Amnesty International, and subsequently Benenson, we built a core Octopus theme on the WordPress platform as a multi-site network. The theme consists of a suite of styled components, known as blocks, which act as a tool kit to create websites, pages and content pages quickly and efficiently. To achieve brand consistency throughout each of the sites, the Gutenberg blocks were built in collaboration with the internal design team at Octopus using the extensive Octopus design system, Deep Sea. This process ensures that the delivery of the brand messaging and brand identity no longer contradicts the team’s brand building efforts, and marketing activities are much more productive and efficient. 

The first website on the new multisite network, octopusgroup.com, was successfully launched in January, followed by an additional three websites including octopusinvestments.com in the weeks following. With a further six sites set to be launched on the new theme in Q2 and Q3 2020, the scalability of the new WordPress solution is already proving to be a huge success in-house.

The new Octopus theme has changed the way that content, pages and websites are produced. The non-technical teams across the company now have the flexibility to react to news and support campaigns quickly and efficiently, and are able to produce new pages in just a few short days, compared to the drawn out process which would have previously taken a lot longer. The new website for Octopus Investments was launched shortly before the lockdown commenced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has allowed the team to keep their clients up to date in a very efficient way as the website was flexible and scalable like never before.

“The new Octopus WordPress theme has revolutionised the way our business functions on a daily basis, particularly our marketing and content teams. The Gutenberg editor allows us to react to new business needs very quickly, and productivity among our teams has increased massively. We set out with a number of goals for this project, with key aims to create a consistent digital visual brand as well as experience, and generate additional leads and sales through the websites. We have yet to see the commercial impact, but the new infrastructure has already helped us increase efficiencies and speed to market.” 

Mona Steininger, Head of Digital Marketing, Octopus Group

We continue to work closely with the team at Octopus Group on additional feature development, and we’re looking forward to seeing the remaining sites launched on the new WordPress Octopus theme.