Tag Archives: websites

Brandemix Bonus Reel: Authentic Employer Branding

How can a company offer an authentic employer brand even during negative publicity? Director of Interactive Branding Jason Ginsburg shows how it’s done.

Brandemix Website Makeover Contest!

As Brandemix looks forward to the launch of our own new website (coming soon), it’s time to recognize and celebrate great website makeovers!

We’re holding a contest to reward the best refresh, revamp, and relaunch of websites (Click here for contest rules). Any organization, any size, profit or nonprofit.

Simply submit “before and after” images to website@brandemix.com and we’ll post it the top ten judged entries on our Pinterest board during the voting period. Feel free to post as a web designer or a fan, even if you weren’t responsible for the change. Don’t have the “before”? Use the Wayback Machine. 

The redesign with the most total likes, comments, and repins will win a free press release, distributed to hundreds of outlets, announcing both the design achievement and the victory. 

We’ll also capture the success and and those responsible for it on video, and post it here on our blog and our Facebook page. The whole world will learn all about the website and the brand.

What kind of things are we looking for? Here’s the Lindal Group, a manufacturing company, before their website refresh:

Not bad, but heavy on text, and with no real branding. Navigation is on the left, the top, and the right, making for a confusing interface. Now look at the current site:

Much more visually interesting! Plenty of images of the products that Lindal actually makes. Clearer navigation and a search function to make browsing easier. And you’ve got to love the branding: “Your Innovation Partner.” The previous website didn’t have a tagline.

This and other website makeovers are on our contest pinboard on Pinterest. Vote by commenting, repinning, liking — or all three! The website with the most total votes by Monday, September 17 wins the free press release, video interview, and eternal internet fame.

Submit your site, or any other, by emailing website@brandemix.com. Remember to include both a before and after shot.

 Good luck!

The Business of Design

60 Seconds - Things That Happen On Internet Every Sixty Seconds
Infographic by- Shanghai Web Designers

If you’ve seen my presentation on Social Media Marketing, you already know what’s happening every 20 minutes on Facebook. Today, have a look at what’s going on every 60 seconds on the web. Integrate that with real life and the more than 5,000 marketing messages consumers receive each day and you can understand why design disruption is the holy grail of the digital world.

In my homage to Steve Jobs, who the New York Times called a Designer first and a C.E.O second, lets look at some web design trends and how his genius has sparked them.

No Flash. Since Jobs banished it from the iPods, iPads and iPhones, HTML5 has replaced Flash as the simplest way to code interactivity and motion. According to Jobs: “Flash was created during the PC era — for PCs and mice… the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards — all areas where Flash falls short.”

No Fold. Speaking of falling short, remember when important web content used to be placed above the fold- the imaginary bottom of your 19′ computer screen, before you had to start scrolling down? Again, thanks to Jobs’ tablets and mobile screens, single page sites and massive images are a better way to make impressions that disrupt.

Beyond Arial. If you’ve been following the accolades and anecdotes this week, you might have learned that Jobs took calligraphy class during his brief stint at college. As such, the Mac brought fonts to the masses. Thankfully we are moving away from the handful of fonts that web browsers support into more glorious, custom typography that adds style and grace to a digital brand effort.

Just as you can’t move forward with an interactive strategy before having a business strategy, you need to capture attention to create buy-in. In today’s fragmented digital world, that gets harder and harder to do. Kudos to Jobs who through zealous attention to the details in design,  put the emotional connection into interactive.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”Steve Jobs

This Week in Social Media

– Mobile marketing took a big step forward when American Express announced a new partnership with Foursquare. The social networking app allows cardholders to link their Foursquare profiles to their cards, giving them access to specials without the need for coupons. When a cardholder sees a special they want, they check in to the location and “load” the discount onto their card, and their credit card statement confirm it. While only available at three merchants so far, I predict this innovative partnership will spread to other credit card companies and to other social networks, including Facebook.

The takeaway: Mobile is the next great frontier in shopping, socializing, and job searching. Is it part of your social media strategy?

– UP2U, a new stick gum from the makers of Mentos, launched an aggressive social media campaign ahead of its product launch. Though the gum isn’t yet sold anywhere in the US, the UP2U Facebook page neared 100,000 likes this week. Mentos offered free gum to the first 1,000 people who liked the page, but even after that milestone was hit, the promotion continued to go viral. The campaign should hit a whole new level next month when Mentos asks its Facebook fans to provide the name of friends who would like free samples.

The takeaway: Even without a product, UP2U has created fun, opinionated community by asking questions on its Facebook wall, all of which include the phrase “it’s up to you.” Chew on this smart blend of branding and engagement.

– Jason Valdez, an ex-convict in Salt Lake City, found time during a 16-hour police standoff to update his Facebook status. Friends and family members responded to him in real time, offering everything from pleas to “do the right thing” to, in one case, alerting Valdez to a SWAT officer hiding in the bushes. The standoff is over and the hostage is safe, but SLC police are still trying to determine if anyone who commented on Valdez’s Facebook wall should be charged with obstruction of justice or hampering a police investigation. Authorities are also debating whether Valdez’s posts themselves are a crime.

The takeaway: Social media is changing every type of interaction, and no one is totally certain what the new rules are. We’re all pioneers, so don’t be afraid to try.

– Lastly, this week my company BRANDEMiX partnered with the US Open to promote their July 7 job fair, where the National Tennis Center and all its hiring partners will be accepting resumes and conducting interviews to fill thousands of positions at this year’s tennis tournament. For this project, we created a microsite, a Twitter account and a Facebook Page.

The takeaway: Check out our Team US Open sites and tell me what you think!

Going Trendy on the Web

Today’s trends continue to strut their virtual stuff on the web. Keeping up with the social, mobile, and design trends that are taking the world by storm could actually reel in more potential clients and better employees than you’d think. If you’re thinking of redesigning, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. DESIGN TO YOUR DEMO: For the younger demographic (ages 18-30), minimalism is in; for the “older” ones (ages 30+) simple eases the hassle of finding exactly what they’re looking for without having to be redirected to different places.

2. HI, MY NAME IS: If simple is too simple for your company, there is an alternative; make it personal! First impressions are the most important so why not make one as soon as surfers see your site? Now, this doesn’t mean you need a full page biography about you or your company. Separate microsites that speak to a demographic, geographic or psychographic is a great way to engage your audience.

3. ROY G. BIV: Color is very important to a website. According to Pamil-Visions.net, color can really influence an audience. “Brands should choose their corporate color carefully. (To read the whole article click here!)

4. APPLY YOURSELF: Almost all cell phones today have the option of buying and downloading apps. Creating your own app is a great way to keep your company “hip to the jive”. If you design it, they will download. (If you need help, click here!)

Don’t be scared to get out there and get trendy. It’s easier than you think.

.Mobi not Moby

If you’re not Linked In to me, or following my tweets (I don’t judge), you wouldn’t know about my perfect day last Thursday. I was having lunch with best-selling business book author Marc Effron at the Tribeca Grill. It was beautiful weather, and also the day of the Tribeca Film Festival Judges Luncheon. Marc and I were discussing plans for BRANDEMiX to revamp his website.

“Marc”, I said, the trend is .mobi and iPhone doesn’t support flash. Just to add more context, I was telling him that his website (and BRANDEMiX’s too) was built in flash- the cutting edge of technology last year but that was then and this is now. The new iPhone G4 will be released this summer and according to the recent buzz, they still won’t support flash technology.

As it turned out, Marc has an Android phone and immediately checked to see if he could access his website. No luck.

With 90%+ of all resumes coming to you via online, the internet may well be the first touchpoint in your relationship building process with candidates-of-choice. That’s why it’s critical for you to stay ahead of the technology as you build your digital Employer Brand.

For the bean counters:

  • Over 95% of new phones sold today have web browsers and over 70 million US consumers/ employees use them regularly.
  • Cell phone penetration in the US has surpassed cable TV, web
    access and Home PCs
  • 11/9/09 Facebook announced that 1/4 of their monthly worldwide visits or 65 million visits, are via mobile.

Designing for .mobi is different from designing for flash. It’s a new world where content is king and less is more (think 140 characters.) Easy navigation is critical for engagement and download speed will drive the experience. (This will be paramount once we begin the era of pay-for-play when cell phone carriers start charging us for our time online.)

What is your takeaway?
Take a look at your current website and start thinking of it in terms of a horizontal spreadsheet-
6 rows down and 6 across. Work with a digital architect to create a great experience for the digital natives. (Note: you can sidestep your internal IT department because you’re only creating a mirror-site- something that will work in tandem with, and not in lieu of your current site.)

Start thinking in terms of the Twitter standard 140 characters, or 1.4 clicks to content. (I made that up.) Build out one pillar of your employer brand as tech geek and show your audience that you want to participate in the dialogue on any technology platform.

OK. I’m done with .mobi– and moving onto Moby.

Back to lunch at the Tribeca Grill. As we were watching the famous procession of Tribeca Festival Judges pass our table: everyone from Jessica Alba, Zach Braff and Whoopie Goldberg, Moby wasn’t there.

Best from BRANDEland.

Do Your Windows Need Washing?

I like to think of an organization’s Careers Site as a way to engage prospective talent and offer a window into their culture and business practices. So it doesn’t surprise me to read in today’s WSJ that more companies are reducing their reliance on job boards. Instead, they have enhanced their own career website as part of a larger strategy to boost brand awareness and compete for the best employees.

Social networking is featuring big in the redesign.

Sodexo this year added a page to its career site called Network With Us that links to the company’s Twitter and YouTube pages and to its LinkedIn groups to interact with potential job applicants. The page has helped build a database of 137,000 people who have shown interest in working at Sodexo, the company says.

“Our strategy has been to build this targeted talent pool and to reduce our reliance on job boards and advertising,” says Arie Ball, vice president of talent acquisition at Sodexo. She says cutting advertising at job boards, and seeking out applicants directly, saves the company hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and has improved the efficiency of the job-hiring process. The company says its career site had about 161,000 page views in May, more than twice as many as when it revamped the site about a year earlier.

Adobe’s new career site features a professionally produced video chronicling a day in the life of several Adobe employees. One shows a designer in San Francisco beginning his day surfing in the ocean at 6 a.m. and then follows him through his work day.

Intuit last month launched a new interactive portion of its career site where visitors can see a short virtual representation of what the Intuit offices are like along with pop-up videos and photos.

“Part of it is letting people know who we are as a company,” says Melissa Rutledge, an employment-branding manager at Intuit. “We are getting away from the job boards a little bit,” she adds.

Selling the Culture

In a competitive job market, “all things being equal, our key differentiator is the culture and our core values,” says Jeff Vijungco, senior director of talent acquisition. “Adobe does only a small amount of advertising on traditional job boards but we find more success on our own job board.”

A time of low recruiting (recession + summer) is the perfect time to do some redesign on your site. BRANDEMiX can help.