Skip to content

Is That a Brochure, or a Website?

2009 April 27
by Steve Lawson

Today, just about every company big and small has a website.  I bet your company has one. 

What purpose does it serve? 

Is it an exciting, ever changing, vibrant experience that provides new engaging content that’s relevant to your customer?  Or is it simply a static brochure that describes your product offerings. 

When business first discovered the internet, printed brochures moved online.  The thought was, “wow, we don’t need to pay for printing anymore, cool!”  At that time, moving from print to the internet was a major leap.  And the online brochure was highly effective.  But that was then, and now is . . . now.

For a moment, I’m going to ask you to take off your business hat and put on your consumer hat.  Now as a consumer take a look at your website and answer this question, “What’s in it for me?”  If the answer is “nothing” in the eyes of the consumer, it’s time to retool that website.

Here’s an example.  Say you make the best food blender in the world and right now your site is full of data about your blender.  About how you have patented the blending process, how your motors are stronger than the competition, how your blade design has won numerous design awards and that your company CEO sits on numerous non profit boards.  That’s all great information; information that should be on your website. But it’s only relevant information for those who are actually ready to buy a blender today. 

If your blender is priced correctly and your patents and the motor strength and awards etc are appreciably different than the claims made by your competitors (who also have patents, and unique designs and giving leaders) you might just get the sale.

But let’s say I’m just beginning to learn about blenders.  I’m just starting to think about thinking about thinking about blenders.  Would I care?  Nope!  What would I care about?  I’d want to know how your blender would change my life.  How my life would be appreciably better because I bought and owned your blender. 

Your blender will solve different problems for different consumers. It could be a need to eat healthier, or the need for speed and convenience.  Maybe the need is to replicate the amazing blended drink someone had at a party the night before.  The problems that your blender will solve should be the focus of your web efforts. 

You could start by posting articles touting the benefits of eating fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables.  Add tips to help your buyer save time in the kitchen.  Post recipes that use your product to make healthy or fast or healthy and fast meals.  And ask your current customers to participate, by posting their success stories with your product, their recipes, even videos.

Does your website need to be slick?  Not necessarily.  But it needs to look professional.  It needs to be easy to navigate and most importantly, it needs to be relevant to your customer.


This short video by Dr Dave Chaffey, author of E-consultancy’s Best Practice Guides, offers useful web design tips and discusses some common pitfalls to avoid.



No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS