On the Web, Show Prospects You’re a Real Company; Not Simply a Fly-by-Night
Overall, I found it gratifying to see that unlike some pure-play marketers, who for whatever the reason prefer to remain somewhat anonymous with regard to who they are, most catalogers handle this pretty well. See if you agree…
Not Quite a Household Name
Blair (www.Blair.com), which sells apparel and domestics, is certainly a well established name in the industry. But it’s not quite a household name in the mainstream, being that it targets a mostly mature audience and that it doesn’t operate a retail chain (although it does operate a store at its Warren, Pa., headquarters and two factory outlets nearby).
So it’s a good thing Blair does the nice job it does to inform customers and prospects what it’s all about on its Web site. All I needed to do was to scroll to the bottom and click on “About Blair” (www.blair.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/LandingPageView?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&landingNavigation=true&landingPage=StaticPages/about_blair). There, I found a choice of links, including The Blair Story, which gives a thorough run-through of how John Blair first developed the company nearly 100 years ago; Career Opportunities; Visit Our Stores and Spotlight On Our Hometowns. The last link focuses on the towns in which Blair’s facilities are located, which is a little unusual, but certainly a nice piece of comfort food for consumers unsure they’re dealing with a reputable business.
In my book, the other key ingredient to letting consumers know they’re dealing with reputable companies — particularly online — is to clearly show your headquarters address and phone number. Show them you’re for real, that you have a physical address, that you’re established. Blair also handles this pretty well right on the bottom of its homepage, showing its full address.
As far as a contact phone number is concerned — and I don’t mean the toll-free order line or customer service line — you have to click on the stores link to find Blair’s headquarters store phone number. But all in all, it’s not difficult to see that this company has a soul. I give it an A.