What can we learn from websites like Coca-Cola’s?

There’s been a lot of favourable comment in the online design world (don’t worry, I read this stuff so you don’t have to) about a new corporate site from Coca-Cola which has just launched. Now, I’m not suggesting that any of us should be trying to emulate websites like these, because obviously, we only have the tiniest fraction of the resources available to Coca-Cola. But it’s instructive to monitor the trends in web design, because our customers see these sites and expect us to “up our game” accordingly.

What you see on the Coca-Cola site instantly is a “magazine” look, and that reflects exactly what’s happening underneath. The company has embraced that it’s a publisher in its own right now, and no longer needs third parties to take its message to the world. It’s set up its website accordingly.

And we should all learn from this.

I’ve met a quite few people in industrial marketing who understand what’s going on (including some under-thirties who don’t even see what there is to “understand”). But many more people still don’t realise how important their website actually is. That lovely magazine article you spent so long preparing for the benefit of – what – a couple of hundred prospects who might see it? Sure, it deserved the care you took. But now have a look at how many people visit your website every week. Not only are there more, but these aren’t speculative prospects, they’re people who’ve come to find something. From you. Are you genuinely proud of what you’re showing them?

Making your website seem “active” and more compelling is easier than ever. Anyone with a content management system, who writes news and other articles, could have those stories automatically posted onto the front page. It’s a few hours’ work for your website designer. Coca-Cola gets this. Do you?

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