Is Your Website…Different?

Assume for a moment that your website is among the most (if not the most) visible representation of your company.  Are you confident that it is sending the right message to your audience?

It very well might be.  It might be clearly communicating your message and presenting your products and services.  It might be attractive to look at and function just as you hoped it would.  Perhaps it is attractive, engaging, and informative.  But there is something else to consider.  Is it different?

Your firm is likely very different from your competitors.  You might have a different culture, a different approach, a different methodology.  But if your website is not clearly drawing specific lines of distinction on your behalf, you are in danger of simply blending in with your competitors on a highly visible stage where everyone is watching.

There is a simple litmus test to see where you stand.  Pull up your own website and imagine that your logo and firm name were removed.  Assuming you can ignore the specifics of your firm’s employee names, services, and office addresses, imagine replacing your firm’s logo with that of a competitor.  Would anyone know the difference?  If not, you probably have some work to do.

Apple uses Miles Davis imagery as motivation to "think different."

Different is not new.  Apple had an entire ad campaign several years ago around the theme of thinking ‘different.’  Michael Porter, the Harvard Business School Professor widely considered the leading authority on competitive strategy boiled the concept down to the idea of being ‘different.’  Different is important.  And your website should celebrate the differences between your firm and its competitors.

There are numerous ways to differentiate your website as a reflection of your firm.  A few examples might include:

The trick to all of this is to not pursue “being different” simply for the sake of being different.  The result of that can be quirkiness or zaniness which comes across to the user as contrived.  After all, there are times when it is important to be the same, an example being website navigation.

In the end, differences should reinforce your firm’s identity.  A successful “re-take” of the aforementioned litmus test involving the inclusion of a competitor’s logo on your site should make it obvious that they are stealing from you!