I love the Red Bull web site. It’s what web sites ought to be. If good marketing makes you “feel something then do something” Red Bull gets ‘er done. Brian Solis and I agree on many things – and the sorry state of web sites as marketing tools is one of them. Web sites today are an odd admixture of corporate brochure, table of contents and, if lucky, three sliding pictures of product/service schmutz. But Red Bull cares about what customers care about and serves it up with breadth and gusto. The site doesn’t just offer lifestyle content, it delivers the Red Bull culture and experience. No “About Red Bull.” No “Tweetstream.” No cans of product.
I try to sell clients the notion that a web site is all about moving a customer closer to a sale or toward a tighter grip on loyalty. You don’t do this with wireframes and CMSs (content management systems). You do it by motivating people with interesting, customer-inspiring content and story. Magnetic, shareable story…aligned with your product or service. Hopefully, all organized under a brand strategy rubric: one idea, 3 proof planks. (E.g., Taco Bell’s “Live Mas” is an idea; I’m just not sure of its planks.) Taco Bell might borrow a page from the Red Bull playbook.
So let’s start to focus our web sites on the brand and customer story. Not SEO keywords, not the wireframe, not the 22 clickables above the fold. Find your idea, find your planks and custies will find you.