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eventbrandereventbrander subscriber Posts: 6
edited July 2007 in Website Critique
Hey All,
My promotional company has been in business for 4 years and I just launched it on the web. The site has been active for one week and I have some analytics to share.
Event Brander (see sig for link)

462 visits

2.76 pages/visit
44.37% bounce rate
1,276 pageviews

01:58 avg time on site
86.15% %new visits
(these hits are mostly generated by craigslist ad listings)
I designed the site myself and I`m going for a quick quote process vs the traditional large ecommerce store. My logic behind the process is to make it easy and fast.
I`ve recieved 7 requests via the website in the first week.
Currently I`m working on a portfolio link with case studies and tweaking the forms.
The ecrater hosted store addition is just a test for now and is under construction. I`d like to possibly eliminate it and develop the site further.
I`d like suggestions and comments. What additions would you like to see? How can I improve what I have? Do you feel this process can rival or be a successful alternative to large ecommerce?
I`m trying to stand out among traditional online promotional sites through branding and a unique customer experience.
Thank you for your time.
(Note: If you want to test the full process: In the "describe any additional details" question of your form type in "SUN Critique")eventbrander2007-6-17 3:13:40


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    eventbrandereventbrander subscriber Posts: 6
    Thanks for your opinion.
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    pkammpkamm subscriber Posts: 2
    EventBrander,I looked at the whole site and find it very clean, clear and easy-to-use navigation. Your shopping cart is well-done (I need to take a look at eCrater). It also has a nice aesthetic.Here`s the one observation I have, as ironic as it is. It seems that your branding is weak. It`s not clear on your home page what your name is. It seems that there are several other elements on the page that overpower your name and logo (is the cherry your logo?). So look at that.Otherwise, I think you`ve done a great job.
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    InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    Your site looks great ... but I`ll skip the aesthetics and try to address your questions/concerns about strategy. You wrote:
    "I`m trying to stand out among traditional online promotional sites through branding and a unique customer experience."
    This isn`t a bad strategy but it`s used by a lot of your competition. The value of any strategy is inversely proportional to the number of companies using the same or similar strategy. In this case, you have multiple levels of duplication throughout the industry: your strategy is already in wide use by your competition and so are your tactics. This makes it very difficult for you to actually differentiate your offering. In the mind of the prospect, the sea of similar companies is really a sea of commodity offerings.
    To achieve meaningful differentation, you`ll have to start with a unique strategy. Otherwise, you`ll just be a beautifully dressed version of the same thing. Furthermore, this model makes it easier for price based competitors to strip away unimportant attributes - such as web site aesthetics - in exchange for lower prices.
    If you are indeed offering a unique customer experience, I am not getting the message by visiting your site. The site is very corporate, very professional, very beautiful, but does not communicate uniqueness. A unique brand image is a component of differentiation but only if you can overcome the prospect`s perception that branded products are a commodity. Brand image doesn`t help when the customer doesn`t know the difference between Heinz and store-brand Ketchup.
    Sometimes you have to block against the competition. How does Heinz do this? By running advertisements that say things like "Doesn`t your family deserve Heinz?" and so forth. But this is a purely tactical block, it does nothing to really differentiate between Heinz and store brand. However an advertisement like "Heinz Ketchup has more tomatoes and less sugar than store brand." is an example of communicating an aspect of meaningful - real/fundamental - differentiation. Ideally you should find three hard-to-duplicate aspects of meaningful differentiation and then use your web site to communicate - or block - the competition and reinforce your offer.
    You could use a message like "Say thanks with an expensive gift." Your price-based competition is unlikely to want to move along this line and even if they do, you block again by saying "We sell exclusive products. Your customers will come to our website and see for themselves. They`ll know you spent the extra money to thank them for their business." So those are examples of using a different strategy - being expensive - to differentiate yourself meaningfully. I`m not sure if there are lots of companies offering expensive branded merchandise but this is just an example.
    On the other hand, if you want to offer low-cost branded merchandise then you have to differentiate but not on price alone. This will get you absolutely nowhere and there is no point to using a brand to justify high prices if price is an attribute on which you wish to compete. You could offer a selection of "cooler, trendier" merchandise and use an exclusive contract with your supplier in exchange for giving them your business [ and not their competition ]. You could also source really unique, low-cost items.
    Anyway... to wrap this up... if you`re using the same strategy to sell the same products, you can only achieve surface differentation, which leads to customers who shop for the best price. This might work in the short term but not in the long term unless you can design your operation to compete on price and do large volume with good/great margins. Most people won`t care if your website is "cool" or if your corporate image is "cool and abstract and fresh" unless you give them a reason to do so. CookieMonster2007-6-19 0:23:12
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    iouone2iouone2 subscriber Posts: 14

    ... Absolutely... I agree. You took the words from my mouth, and said them in a much clearer, succinct manner than I ever could have. I thought the site was a decent site too. The look is clean and "branded." I was able to navigate to my interests easily, even though I had never been there.I do think the brand color scheme isn`t quite right. Of course everyone`s monitor displays a little differently dependent on it`s setting and other things... If your logo is a cherry, I would say give me a few lightly embedded cherries do make it clear. I am not sure if cherries is your own logo. If you`re going to be handling my event branding, I think I should know exactly what you`re all about, at first glance.Another comment about site colors... IMHO would use a red that is slightly darker in shade. If that were to happen I might be more satisfied with the orange. I am not sure the orange is a good companion to the current red... but enough about colors...The writing style on your "the company" page, seems to lack luster. I am not motivated to find interest in who you are or why I should select you for doing my next project. Also, I believe you`re missing a comma (,) in that first paragraph.Thanks for letting me chime in too. Great looking site though.
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