How we brought GS1 UK’s bold new strategy to life with a full web redesign

How we brought GS1 UK’s bold new strategy to life with a full web redesign

When GS1 UK launched a new brand and an exciting new three-year strategy, they chose Cohaesus to translate them into a best-in-class online experience.

The challenge

Many people know GS1 UK as the barcode business. And while the barcode has been credited as being the most important supply chain standard in history, GS1 UK’s purpose reaches far beyond – harnessing the power of standards to transform the way people work and live.

This purpose is reflected in GS1 UK’s three-year strategy and refreshed brand, which we were tasked with bringing to life on their website.

Not simply a redesign, the objectives for this project included:

  • Improving the user experience across the site to make it simpler to navigate
  • Updating the core messaging and content to communicate and reflect the new brand positioning and business strategy
  • Increasing conversion rates for the critical membership enrolment journey
  • Making the site more relevant for more of GS1 UK’s audiences

As well as promoting the benefits of membership, the site also needed to elevate the vital role standards play in supporting UK businesses. And the important work they’re doing with regulators and legislators to keep consumers protected and informed.

Why Cohaesus?

We built a good relationship with GS1 UK when we migrated their site to a more flexible and cost-effective platform. Since then, we’ve been supporting them on their digital transformation journey, which has involved making some key changes to the site and running optimisation tests, as well as launching a chatbot. But it was becoming increasingly clear that the site and its content was not keeping pace with the rapid growth of membership and the need for continuous engagement.

GS1 UK asked us to take the lead on the site redesign project based on the insights we’d gathered through previous projects, as well as our track record in driving meaningful change through best-in-class digital experiences.

Our approach

With such an extensive reach and remit comes a broad range of sometimes disparate audiences. As one of our key objectives was to attract audiences beyond those looking to become members of GS1 UK, a user-centric approach was critical. The project scope covered:

  • Discovery: comprehensive documentation review, surveys with stakeholders, staff and users and requirements-gathering workshops to get a clear understanding of audiences, content and context. We also refined their digital audiences to be very specific about their needs
  • Content Strategy: development of a content narrative, principles and pillars, a detailed content audit and gap analysis, and creation of audience-specific ontologies to show how content is meeting user needs, questions and tasks
  • User Experience: journey mapping, site mapping, navigation and user testing to improve the usability of the site and make sure audiences can find the content they need at each stage of their journeys
  • Design and delivery: refreshed and more visually impactful design in line with new digital guideline, development of a suite of components for flexible use across the site, new page templates, and improved CMS functionality to improve internal processes
  • Copywriting: support for the GS1 UK team in recrafting page copy to meet the narrative and principles set out in the content strategy, and effectively communicate the organisation’s positioning

The launch of the new site is a significant milestone for GS1 UK and our new strategy. It plays an essential role in supporting our members and UK businesses more broadly, and the improvements we’ve made are designed to make their experience even better.


It’s been a truly collaborative process between the GS1 UK and Cohaesus teams. And with their help we’re proud to have created a site that’s ruthlessly focused on the needs of our members and stakeholders, as well as a platform for the campaign work we’re so passionate about.

Alex Smith, Head of Marketing GS1 UK

The outcome

GS1 UK’s redesigned website went live on 30th November 2021.

The new site is easier to navigate and centred more fully on users’ needs. Content is served up to users in context, based on where they are in their journey and their mindsets. And the stage is set for more active community engagement in the future.

In short, it has met its objective to deliver a best-in-class, impactful end-user experience that clearly presents the brand’s proposition and elevates relevant content to the right audiences.

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