Throughout 2012, we spent a lot of time here on the TribalVision blog talking about marketing in the “new normal” economy and how important it is to pay attention to your paid, owned, and earned media. Given that a great website pays for itself countless times over and that it’s a modern business’ most influential and important piece of owned media, we’re always on the lookout here at TV for great websites that really fulfill that ideal role of a successful, engaging, useful company website. To that end, here are some of our top picks from 2012. We’re looking forward to seeing what the web has in store for 2013!
First up, we have http://traveloregon.com/.
Of course, the first thing visitors notice here is the outstanding photography and screen-filling home-page image. While it’s unusual for a website to open this way, for this particular site, it really does work well, transporting the viewer right into the look and feel of Oregon, and inviting us to scroll down and read more about what we’re seeing.
Additionally, we really like the unique font choices throughout and particularly in the top navigation. Play around, and you’ll see how the top navigation responds just by mousing over it. The responsive design is exactly on-trend for last year, and we expect to see a lot more of it this year.
Next we have http://orcabayseafoods.com/.
This is another extremely interactive site. It’s just different. It has a distinct look and feel with truly solid branding built into an engaging, responsive design. Mouse around a bit and see how the site reacts to the movement, adds sound, and engages with visitors. Very well done.
Our third pick, and we should mention these are in no particular order, is http://www.boldchat.com/.
Again here, you’ll notice bold, strong photo imaging across the top of the home page, which goes far beyond the standard scrolling banner. We really like how this B2B uses its hero images in a powerful way with limited text, yet gets the message across loud and clear. It’s enjoyable to receive the message as opposed to feeling as though you have to slog through a ton of boring text. A great balance here. Additionally, the entire site is remarkably easy to navigate and has a clean look and feel many sites strive for but can’t quite achieve. In this case, however, a home run.
Who doesn’t love our next pick, http://www.oakley.com/?
Oakley has been around since long before websites, and this is one company that has turned its site into an invaluable piece of owned media that captures the “cool factor” the brand is so well known for without sacrificing the need to share information in a concise and palatable manner. That balance is hard to find, and Oakley does it well by making its site everything the product is: sleek, cool, edgy, modern
Last, and certainly not least, we have http://www.in-n-out.com/.
If you live on the west coast, In ‘N Out Burger is a household name. This family-owned fast food giant is truly a southern California institution. The website is fun and happy, which is the environment in the restaurants themselves. Each time a visitor refreshes the home page, a different restaurant location is featured in the main image, passively reminding viewers that In ‘N Out is just around the corner no matter where you are out west.
The site sports a fun, interactive timeline and even has downloadable desktop wallpapers visitors can download free. Sure, it’s a little cheesy, but it’s a burger joint. This is a great example of how a site can be fun and not take itself too seriously while still getting great info across while maintaining proper branding. We give it an A+…especially if they promise to open one in Rhode Island soon!