Local Heroes is a web platform created in March 2020 by our team at Coteries, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. With an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) designed and developed voluntarily in one weekend, this project offers a simple and free solution for local shops who can showcase their activity, products and courses while continuing to develop their business. Visitors can search and find these local heroes around them all over Switzerland, and contact them directly to buy their products or participate in their proposed activities.

Local Heroes is a perfect example of a product that we created entirely at Coteries and where the whole team was heavily involved: conception, design, development, marketing., the whole team brought their skills to help local players!

Used skills:

  • Brainstorming
  • Conceptualisation of the user experience and the interface (UX/UI Design)
  • Content creation
  • Web development
  • Product and project management
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Tracking and traffic monitoring
  • Promotion with digital marketing


In March 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 health crisis, we quickly organised for remote work and thought we could bring our digital skills to farmers and shop owners who then had to rethink their way of working with health measures.

Just like a startup weekend, the whole team started to discuss on a Friday evening to imagine a concept that would provide daily support to the activities of local producers and shop owners.

The idea of a web application where everyone could find local market gardeners and shops around them quickly took shape. Putting these short circuit professionals in the spotlight, like local heroes, while allowing them to have a profile presented with an attractive interface became the project’s goal.

Local Heroes was born!

Conception of the User Experience and Interface (UX/UI Design)

The platform was initially based solely on user-generated content, in order to be able to quickly feed the platform with quality and quantity of content. Heroes could therefore be submitted by everyone and would be showcased consistently.

The web app is primarily designed to find local heroes around you by entering your postal code, with a map also available. The platform is optimised for mobile and can be accessed both on a phone and a desktop computer.

The marketing team works hand in hand with the design team to create an easy-to-use interface with a clean design. Content is developed to convey strong, clear and relevant messages.

The visual identity is also defined around a fresh visual theme, which evokes locality and sustainability, and aims to show this dynamic support for producers and traders.

Later on, Coteries’ UX specialists designed other features such as claiming profiles, subscribing to heroes’ news, presenting products or suggesting activities. At times, user-generated content may have posed some challenges in terms of user flow, but all paths were optimised to work ideally.

Web development

The platform is developed by our engineers, using React as javascript framework. Several developers work on the project to add various features. Collaboration on the code was easy, thanks to optimal internal coordination and complete project documentation.

A sub-domain was also created to integrate a blog with WordPress, which can be managed autonomously without asking the developers and to regularly publish content related to the platform.

Product and project management

Project management is a key component for the Local Heroes project as all teams are involved in its development. At the beginning, ideas were flowing and we had to quickly prioritise and organise tasks by team to be able to announce the launch of the web application after the weekend.

Once launched, the backlog, the list of features to be developed, was always full. We created “epics”, groups of important tasks, to be able to follow the evolution in a structured way and to organise the development on the long run.

Local Heroes is an internal project to which we can’t always allocate a lot of resources (yes, because customers always come first!), but we regularly set up specifications according to the designs and prioritise the features to be developed.

The synchronisation between the team members is always ideal: we analyse the needs, we make a design and then we implement it. Today we continue to develop the platform, notably with the recent addition of activities for heroes and visitors.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The most sustainable way to acquire traffic for Local Heroes is through organic acquisition, rather than advertising campaigns. Search engine optimization (SEO) is therefore a very important part of getting the platform listed, found, and promoted without major advertising investments.

Help robots

With the use of JavaScript frameworks (React), the task of analysing pages by search engine spiders is made more complex, as the rendering is generated on the client side (on the platform). This ensures an optimal experience for visitors, but bots usually have trouble reading the content, as the browser and the visitor’s computer (or phone) generate the content from JavaScript files.

To overcome this problem, we added dynamic rendering, generated server side, so that bots can read simplified HTML while ensuring an optimal user experience at all times.

Now robots can read the pages properly and list the content that will be displayed to visitors in search engines.

Help the marketing team

With its 2’500 heroes today, the platform has a large amount of qualitative content, but is impossible to optimise – quickly – by hand. That’s why our engineers had to find a way to automate:

  • the URL of each page, to present relevant information about the hero concerned directly in the address
  • the display of “meta” tags for each page, which are based on the content of the page and the characteristics of each hero
  • the way of updating and sending the sitemap to search engines, for a daily and regular indexation

In addition, we obviously made sure that the structure of the Hn tags was consistent.

Thanks to all this, Local Heroes’ organic acquisition now represents more than 50% of its traffic. But the work doesn’t stop there, we still have to automate the optimisation of images, the languages display for robots and… much more!

Tracking and traffic monitoring

In order to understand properly how Local Heroes is used, we needed to set up an optimal traffic monitoring.

We initially implemented Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics to follow user actions on the platform and to know which feature visitors would be more interested in.

We integrated, structured and optimised a complete event tracking directly into the code. Google Tag Manager now receives the events and sends them directly to Google Analytics. This gives us full anonymous tracking to understand how visitors use the platform, so we can improve it. Having a tag manager between the web application and Google Analytics gives us more flexibility and control over data management, and eventually helps for cookie management.

Everything is reported in an automatic Google Data Studio report to quickly visualise the data we need to understand.

Promotion with Digital Marketing campaigns

In addition to managing the content in collaboration with the design team, our marketing specialists carried out various actions and campaigns to promote the platform to different audiences at different stages of its development.


We have issued several press releases and were fortunate enough to conduct several interviews with journalists, who picked up news about Local Heroes in various media (in French):

Organic posting on social networks

At the launch we created and maintained the social media pages. Local Heroes is present on Instagram, Facebook and has a LinkedIn.

Facebook Ads campaigns

We have run various advertising campaigns using Facebook Ads: awareness campaigns or other more localised campaigns usually based on reach targets (e.g. targeted at holiday-makers during summer 2020 to encourage them to look for local heroes around their holiday destinations).

Ad Local Heroes Support
Ad Local Heroes Responsible
Ad Local Heroes Delivery

Emailing and newsletters

We ran several email campaigns to communicate news to subscribers and heroes: platform updates, new opportunities and features, surveys, etc.


Several competitions have been launched to stimulate the use of the platform, to involve the community and to highlight the heroes. A photo contest for Halloween, an advent calendar for Christmas in collaboration with our partner Vaudoise Assurances or a treasure hunt for our first anniversary. Any occasion is good to give gifts away!

Ad Local Heroes Contest


Blogging regularly gives the community a benchmark to stay up to date with the latest news. On the SEO side, we can refresh content and move up in the search networks.

Visit the blog
Screenshot Local Heroes Blog

Today we are proud to actively contribute to the development of the local economy with Local Heroes, by listening to our users and adding features that respond to their concrete needs, linked to their activity on the field.

Add or find your favourite local heroes on the platform and become, maybe, an ambassador!

Find my heroes on Local Heroes