What’s left for websites?
Once upon a time websites had a huge range of functionalities embedded — galleries showing the company office environment, happy clients testimonials, blogs, news sections, team pages. Some websites even supported an annoying little jingle that started playing automatically when you load the website. To set the tone, they said.
With time, it all spread across different channels. Instagram covered the photos sections, Vimeo — the videos, Medium — the writing, tweets spread the company updates more quickly and more efficiently than their news page, LinkedIn replaced the need to present each team member’s resume. Visitor posts on the Facebook page left by real people spoke more of the real experience working with this brand than reading a sugarcoated (maybe even written by a talented copywriter) testimonial on the website.
With more and more services, each reliant on its own specified feed, the question is: what’s left for the websites? The navigation links are becoming less an less. There used to be a dozen links in the header, now it seems a bit strange to see more than 3. Content for the old school website is shrinking.
The main reason for this being that people simply prefer to consume different types of content on separate platforms. Not because your website interface is poorly designed, but because the other mediums give them the opportunity to compare. To see what else is there for them in the same industry — how do other offices look, what others are writing, how much other products cost, are there more experienced teams around?
We’re all familiar with the concept of relativity. We know people don’t make judgments or decisions in a vacuum. They know how much they like your brand’s work/team/product by comparing against all other available options. Humans are simply programmed without the ability to judge the value of something in isolation, we determine it by contrast.
So if the websites are a place for a single brand , what is it that they can present the users with that is simply non-comparable? What’s neither bad, nor good, is their story. It just who they are, what made them unique. The websites are the only place you can tell why your brand exists, what it represents, what’s your purpose.
I recently landed on a page I immediately loved: http://www.meetthegreek.com.au/. Without even browsing the menu, I was relating to this honest visual story, told by the amazing studio ED. The man on the video is non-comparable. He is who he is, he does what he does. There may be dozens of Greek restaurants in the area, but non of them will have this unique figure in their crew. I have to admit, I even regretted not having audio autoplayed at loading.
Don’t be shy to tell your story. It’s what makes your brand special. And it deserves its place on your website. Actually nothing else does.