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Websites with an idea

March 7, 2009

Quick, name a product or service website that you could tell had an idea. Not a good idea, or a bad idea, but an idea.

You might be able to name a lot, but I can’t. And I don’t mean the microsite, I mean the actual website.

Here’s my list:

Skittles — good or bad, at least you know what the idea is.
(I am sure there are more. I know there are a lot of people doing good sites for their clients, but I’m trying to make an overall point here, so I’m painting all sites with a broad brush)

KitKat Chunky and KitKat Chunky Peanut Butter,...
Image via Wikipedia

I recently came across this microsite for Kit Kat. There’s an idea here. The idea is that Kit Kat has been telling people to have a break, so they’ve built the first website where nothing happens.

Funny, they already had that at Nothing happens there either.

Except the delivery information like this (typo included):

“KIT KAT was first created and launched by Rowntree Limited of York, England and was later produced by Nestle which aquired Rowntree in 1988, (except in the USA, where is made under license by Hersheys).”

The brand quickly gained much popularity and spread to all corners of the globe, and is now available in over 70 countries in MANY different varieties.”

Really? It goes on to list things you might not have known about KitKat that almost no one in the planet cares about (Note: Zemanta links KitKat to Wikipedia). KitKat has a nice idea with the website that doesn’t do anything. I don’t understand why it doesn’t just replace the Kit Kat website. Because that website doesn’t do anything either.

When thinking about websites, we should think about why we’re doing it. Not only how does it fit the brand, but why does it? To often, we throw up these pretty looking things that do nothing. The web is filled with examples of sites where nothing happens.

Websites with ideas – a novel concept where the site has a goal, a plan, and a strategy. A site that talks to the people who will most-likely visit it, ie, the target market. To me, the web is filled with sites that have drank the worldwideness of the Internet. They think if they appear to be for everyone, then everyone will come.

But the fact is, trying to be something for everyone, ends up being nothing for someone. And usually that someone is a potential customer. Bounce rates are in the mid 50%. In a presentation that I watched about analytics, Avinash Kaushik, said that only porn sites get better than a 20% bounce rate.

In other words, on the web right now, if 4 out of 5 people stay, you’re wildly successful. And yet, for some reason they picked your site and 1 out of 5 still thought it sucked! People who decide to type in your address, or click on your link in Google, or follow a link from somewhere else still leave.

It’s rare that a site has a goal that includes the following: we want to attract this target market to do this. If this goal existed, there would not be an ABOUT US or COMPANY HISTORY link on any product website. When a client asked for it to be there, the team could point to the goal, which would most-definitely not be get them to read our company history, and explain that adding things like this weaken the potential to accomplish our goal.

This is what we say when the client wants to add information to all other forms of marketing. We say, you can’t add your company’s history to this print advertisement because it will distract people from the goal of the ad. We don’t say it on websites and we end up with high bounce rates.

Have a goal. If KitKat did, they would take down their site, and put the microsite in its place. At least it would be doing something.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2009 1:17 am

    Here is the astonishing thing, over a massively fast internet connection that microsite took 38 seconds to load!

    It has no clickable links, it has a couple small images and about ten words on it.

    Why do it in flash? Why make it so bloated?

    The concept might be nice, the execution is just DOA.

    Nice post Matt.


  2. March 9, 2009 8:42 am


    I think the idea here is to make you wait in order to force you to take a break. Again, I like the notion that there’s an idea here. It means we can debate the merits of the idea, agree that it’s good, or bad.

    But at least they were trying.

    And there isn’t enough of that.

    Thanks for commenting, I’m a big fan.


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