In order to have an effective online presence, websites need to be as modern as the world is. Companies can use their website as a marketing tool that builds connections between people and their products. These five websites use different strategies to do much more than simply provide a mission statement or sell a product: they sell ideas about their company and encourage customers to build a relationship with them. These companies are winning at being modern by making efficient use of the space of their website, by being direct, and by providing full access to information on their products and their company.
Once seen as the villain responsible for one of the worst corporate environmental disasters ever with the May 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill that dumped 4.9 billion barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP has worked nonstop to fix their image since then. Within days of the spill, they used their website as a repository for news about the spill and at one point beat out news companies like CNN for views. BP adopted an open and accessible model for their website that provides straightforward information and is constructed in a way that makes the site easy to navigate. There is still a tab on their main page for the Gulf of Mexico Restoration, which provides information and links to claims and even provides a Vietnamese language site for the Vietnamese fishermen whose business was damaged by the spill. BP’s site provides everything–even a map of gas stations near you.
Touch of Modern
Touch of Modern is a San Francisco-based company that provides their customers a “members only” online shopping experience to connect men with lifestyle products, fashion, and accessories. In order to view the items on their modern website, a potential customer has to become a member, which creates an inviting vibe that makes people feel accepted right away. Once signed on, customers simply scroll through to see the newest items provided. There is no searching for hidden tabs that separate items arbitrarily–anything can be found with a simple scroll of the screen. The black and white palette of the site further sets the professional and sophisticated tone that is matched by the items they sell.
Siemens, the largest engineering company in Europe makes this list because they are one of the few companies out there with a website that focuses on selling ideas about what their products actually do in the world. A few years ago, they hired professional filmmakers to produce a variety of four-minute videos in which Siemens equipment plays a small but powerful role in making the world a better place. Like BP, Siemens had a publicity issue and had to rebrand, but the move to create these heartwarming films has been a very successful effort to remake the brand and cast the company into a much more positive light.
According to its website, Revelator is “the only platform you need to run a music business.” The website, like their mission statement, is very straightforward and direct, with a few helpful links at the top to get information to their potential clients. The rest of the screen is taken up with a scrolling platform that explains how the site works and how it helps musicians, making use of diagrams and interactive graphics to show the potential for their services. The color palate is black with purple and white that again sets a minimalistic and professional tone, while adding a hip-factor with the overall design.
KFC might not seem the most modern company, with the Colonel making his first appearance in 1930, but the brand has experienced ups and down through the 85 years, but its latest reincarnation is sparkling. Their minimalistic website is evocative, with brief links to information about the food they serve at the top, including full nutritional information. The left side of the screen has an interactive map to help physically connect consumers with their products, while the right side showcases their ad campaign (now featuring SNL alum Norm MacDonald!) to emotionally connect consumers to their products. By acknowledging and appealing to the different needs of the consumer, KFC’s website instills instant-cravings for whomever looks at it.