Tuesday, January 17th 2023
How Vercel enables Wunderman Thompson to launch global brands
Wunderman Thompson unlocks the potential of international brands through strategic, digital-led growth. As Web technologies rapidly evolve, the agency looks to Vercel to lay a consistent foundation for dynamic websites.
“Normally, it’s not easy to sleep when you launch a website,” says Rodrigo Barona, Engineering and Design Manager at Wunderman Thompson. “But now, it’s not my business. It’s Vercel’s.”
By handling the intricacies of a global, edge-ready network, integrations for the most popular stacks, and even live on-page collaboration, Vercel lets Wunderman Thompson focus on what it does best: “moving at the speed of culture.”
Stack agnostic at the speed of Turbo
Wunderman Thompson juggles clients from all over the globe whose ideas already conform to different content, commerce, and data solutions. Building a site quickly can be the difference between keeping or losing a client, and the last thing the agency wants to do is start from scratch.
Barona’s boutique team sees this as an opportunity to combine Vercel and Turborepo to produce live sites within the same day a request arrives. It works like this:
- Wunderman Thompson gives the site its bones through mixing components from the monorepo’s UI kit, which contains all the agency’s ideas for brands. Thanks to Turborepo, the team can instantly share the UI kit with all developers and use remote caching to keep development cycles fast no matter the size of the monorepo.
- Within Vercel’s integrations ecosystem, the agency takes a headless approach, plugging in their clients’ data with little effort. At first, this may only be brand essentials from a CMS, like colors, logos, and fonts, but the foundation is already scalable for adding the rest of the client’s content at a later point.
- Vercel’s seamless Git push workflow lets the agency make just a few clicks to deploy a live site in seconds. With this speed, they’re able to bring in clients early to perfect tangible ideas. The site goes through three or four iterations from here, and the client always feels served.
- Vercel keeps the agency’s sites transparent, providing a dedicated toolset to maintain observability into key performance metrics. Vercel Analytics advises them on their site’s audience and core vitals. Additionally, they integrate many of their favorite testing tools within the same convenient dashboard as deploys.
Only for not maintaining any of our own servers, Vercel pays off. Then when we go inside the platform and know more about the previews, Git commits, and deploys and so on . . . it’s almost like magic.
Fluid collaboration on live sites
When Wunderman Thompson and their clients need to iterate on the website in front of them, how do they communicate their feedback clearly?
“Normally, we are trying to make a screenshot and send it through whatever platforms,” says Barona. “When Vercel launched the comments section, it was great. I installed the same day–about two hours after launch.”
Vercel Comments allow you to visually place feedback directly on a preview version of your website. Since the comments live within Vercel’s dashboard, they’re right next to all the other tools you need, and with Vercel’s new granular notification center, you’ll be able to choose exactly how to stay up-to-date.
Barona says that they’ve started using the feature with most of their clients. Week-long back-and-forths have transformed to same-day deploys.
Comments have greatly improved our feedback process both internally among our marketers and designers and externally with our global clients—everything happens in the Preview and nothing gets lost in screenshots being sent back and forth.
Globally serverless without the hassle
Imagine deploying the website of an ambitious global brand—the work of developing a worldwide network to deliver a website that reaches every target region at optimal speeds. Picture the route you might take to go from idea to architecture. Now, multiply that by 20.
“We don’t have $10k to develop every website,” says Barona, “but we still continue to develop 15, 20 websites at a time. We offer this only because of Vercel.”
Wunderman Thompson came to Vercel from the world of Wordpress and PHP deploys. They were used to renting servers and sweating out long build times in hopes that there would be no site-breaking errors.
Now, with Vercel, they push their code directly from Github and move to the next task, knowing that if there’s a site-breaking issue, Vercel Checks will catch it before the site goes live.
We can manage and run projects in the Vercel user interface like it’s a normal email or any other platform. This is the feel: new project, connect, choose a project, deploy, domain, check. I don’t need to have any skills, or any CLI concepts, or anything.
When a client asks how long until the next version of their site is online, Barona says he’s able to tell them, “It’s already up.”
Launch your brand with Vercel today.