Our web designer friend Josh Berkowitz just finished a lovely site for a rental condominium in Lake Tahoe. We think the photography on the site is just beautiful, and Josh put together a site that really makes you want to vacation in Lake Tahoe.
Archive for October, 2005
We’re still working on the finishing touches, but we’re excited by our recent site launch for Inked Up, a firm that sells printer cartridges for up to 50% less than retail prices. This fledging company contacted us to help develop not only their web site, but their entire brand identity and marketing message. We think they’ve got a great business concept, and we’re thrilled to help them shape their ideas from Day One.
Net Elevation invented the tagline, “A Better Way to Print”, because we think it captures the philosophy behind Inked Up. Then we wrote Ten Reasons Why Inked Up is Better.
We’re still refining the site’s design, but we think it accomplishes our main goal—which was to explain Inked Up’s unique way of doing things, and convey the idea that is really is better than the inefficient and expensive way that most companies purchase their printing supplies.
Net Elevation is based on the idea that most small businesses have absolutely no idea how to use the Web as an effective marketing and lead-generation tool.
By now, most small companies–even those with fewer than ten employees–have their own Web sites. These Web sites were usually created with great anticipation. The companies’ owners hoped their new site would open a whole new world of potential customers, even outside their normal sphere of local or regional renown. The Web was viewed as a magical source of new business opportunities.
Always resourceful, many of these business owners found somebody who could produce their Web site cheaply–usually this was a family friend or their lead salesperson’s nephew who was interested in Web design. The resulting site, although inexpensive, rarely engaged their customers in a professional manner with a compelling marketing message. It almost never generated new business for the company, and because of its shoddy design, it became more of a liability than an asset.
Even worse, some of these small business owners hired high-priced graphic design firms to build a Web site with whiz-bang animations, beautiful imagery and cutting-edge technologies. The new site looked like a million bucks, but at the end of the day, it still didn’t generate new business opportunities. They had a great looking Web site, but their customers didn’t visit and didn’t care. The high-priced graphic design was money down the drain because the designers were trying to impress the business owner with pretty pictures, rather than engage his customers with a strong value proposition.
This is the sad state that most small business owners are currently in. They’ve invested time, money and energy into Web sites that just don’t live up to their companies’ visions of online success. At this point, most of them give up on the idea, and face the choice of either keeping their non-effective site or having no site at all. Often, the information on their sites falls badly out-of-date or incorrect, which further confuses the few customers who actually trickle onto their site.
A few business owners remain dedicated to the idea that their site can generate business opportunities. They learn a few key ideas by studying business magazines or the Web sites of larger competitors. Unfortunately, they return to the same high-priced graphic design firms to implement their new ideas. Once again, they spend way too much cash for way too few business results.
Net Elevation believes the Web really can be a great source of new business opportunities, if the business owner adopts the correct mindset. Our Elevated Philosophy is based on three central tenets:
- The marketing strategy for most small businesses needs to be vastly different than the marketing strategy for a large consumer corporation.
- Every design decision on your site should be based on what your customer wants to see, not what you want to see.
- A Web site is an ongoing investment.
We will explore each tenet of our Elevated Philosophy in future posts.