How many business leaders plan on sacrificing so much of their life for a business that sticks around for a decade or two? Assuming the answer to this rhetorical question to be “few if any,” then another question is begged: Why is the shelf life of most companies so short?
The best place to look is on the opposite end of the spectrum, to those companies who have created a legacy. I’ve been fascinated by this topic especially since recently becoming an adoring fan of Fiskars, a company founded in 1649 and on the cutting edge today of customer evangelism marketing utilizing social media.
So maybe a better question to ask is, “Why are old companies are still around?” Starting with the extreme relics like Kongo Gumi, (the Japanese construction company who was in continual operation from the year 578 until January of 2006) there is a treasure of insight available that we can directly apply to the business environment today. I’m no business history expert, but I am smart enough to deduce that most of these companies are going to be found very strong in two important suits: 1)Exploiting environmental change, and 2)Exemplifying the marketing concept. Inversely we can deduce that most companies, the ones with short shelf lives, are probably vulnerable to environmental change and don’t adequately embrace the marketing concept.
Here’s what makes this topic so provocative today—as you may be aware we’ve just stepped into a period of radical revolution that will be destroying the status quo of how business interacts with society through social media and mobile devices.
So what’s the average business to do? Fight the trend? Stick to the old ways that have worked (or at least kept one’s head above water) and hope it all goes away? It all depends on how you answered the question of “How long do you want to be in business?” My brash prediction is that companies, large and small, who do not undergo an extreme
makeover and embrace the paradigm shifts of customer facing social media and mobile marketing platforms will cease to exist, sooner or later within the 21st century. For context to my position please see our perfect storm analogy.
As we continue to progress this new era, it’s a prudent tactic to take some time and study those organizations that have weathered and prospered from these storms of change time and time again—a truly fascinating and timely study. Here’s a list of the world’s oldest companies for those interested.
I wanted to share this phenomenal branding video from my friends at Infuze Marketing in Sacramento. While I have to admit I’m biased in my fondness for Infuze Marketing, this truly is one of the best branding videos I’ve ever seen especially considering the relatively small market. Great job Infuze!
A great example of the the principles of consistency and conformity is the email template we designed for Baker Tilly. Compare the email design with the graphic identity of their existing Website.
Seth Godin’s blog posts are always profound, but his most recent post Bypassing the Leap is especially relevant to the services we provide. The gist of his post is that most of the time creativity is the act of reinterpreting and reassembling elements that are already well accepted and proven to work.
Effective branding and design services are based from this same perspective. While it may sound contradictory, quality creative products are almost always intentionally designed to conform within well established boundaries.
No matter how unique of graphic identity a corporation has, you’ll find the logo almost always in the upper left and the main site navigation in one of two locations. This is staying within the proven boundaries of usability. When Fortune 500 corporations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop their branding and identity all marketing publications will almost always have identical colors, layout and typeface. This is adhering to the core principle of graphic design—consistency. Corporations conform to the principles of usability and consistency because they know they’re the most effective way to communicate a credible message and the most effective way to persuade their customers to action.
Embracing conformity to communicate uniqueness is really the secret of success when it comes to marketing communication and application design.
Many small and mid-sized companies don’t get this. Have you ever found a Website through Google that you thought might be a good solution for a need only to have second thoughts when their Website design looked dated, amateur or unclear? No matter how unique and appealing their solution may be, if their graphic design and usability do not establish unwavering credibility you’re likely to just head back to Google to search for an alternative.
Small and mid-sized companies have a great opportunity to level the playing field against even massive competitors by communicating their unique value message by conforming to already accepted and proven principles.
Does your marketing communication produce credibility or doubt? Ask ten people outside your organization that you can trust to give you honest opinions about their impressions of your Website, emails or other marketing material. If you need an objective professional opinion let us know. The one thing you’ll get is honesty and there’s no obligation. If you do decide for yourself that your identity needs a makeover we provide consulting as well as in-house development and design services. You can call us at 866.770.7967 or through our online form.
Have you just deployed a new Website that includes a significantly different site structure, file names, and/or file extensions? There are a few basic “housekeeping” tasks that should be performed to insure that indexed pages (in the case of search engines) and bookmarked pages (in the case of users) will not be returned with “Page not found” errors.
The digital Change of Address Notification
301 redirects are the best method for telling the world that a previous web page name and/or extension have been replaced by a different page. Think of a 301 redirect like digital equivalent of forwarding your USPS mail when moving to a new physical address. It instantly forwards an old URL to the newer replacement URL. With a 301 redirect, the server is configured so that when a search engine or user follows a link they have previously bookmarked, the server recognizes that URL as an old page and automatically redirects the user to the new page. For example we have the following URL set to redirect using this method: http://risingline.com/creative_samples.htm (notice the URL of the actual page you end up on is completely different).
301 Redirets are also useful for creating more descriptive and memorable URLs in marketing campaigns. For example, we found ourselves directing people to a particular page on our Website quite often during phone conversations. Rather than having to relay the page name with its dash and “.php” extension we just created a shorter 301 redirect; so now we just have to say or type “http://risingline.com/why” instead of “http://risingline.com/web-sites.php“. This URL is much more effective and memorable for verbal and written communication yet allows us to retain our file name “web-sites” which is more desirable for SEO purposes.
Tags: marketing, SEO Posted in SEO | Comments Off on Redirecting Users From Links to Old Webpages