For this edition, I perused several catalog Web sites to see how good a job catalogers do in explaining who they are. Naturally, many consumers want to get a good idea of who they’re doing business with. If your company comes off in something of a faceless manner, some might be put off. On the other hand, consumers take heart in knowing where you’re located, what you’re all about, where you’re coming from and in some cases, who founded you.
It’s a fairly easy thing to do, especially on the Web. By in large, I found that most handle their “about this company” or “about us” quite well, and provide my two cents below on the job I feel they do.
L.L. Bean, the apparel and sporting goods cataloger with its folksy, 95-year heritage, makes the most of its company backgrounder by providing not just a story, but a video history, chapter by chapter (www.llbean.com/customerService/aboutLLBean/95thAnniversary.html?feat=hp). You feel like you’re in a museum in which you sit down and watch a brief series of film clips, and it’s impossible to come away not trusting this company.
Lands’ End handles its company info a little differently (www.landsend.com/cd/fp/help/0,,1_36877_36883_37026___,00.html?sid=6745177601044162070 ). And there’s good reason. Founded in the early ‘60s as a yacht store in Chicago, Lands’ End offers stories written by its late founder Gary Comer and other interesting literature to explain how the company evolved. Consistent with Lands’ End’s literary magalog format, there’s much to read here; no video. And that’s no problem. This is a solid job, and even though I could find no mention anywhere that the company is now owned by Sears (aside from a guide to Lands’ End shops at Sears stores). That’s probably a good thing, since, in my book, the Sears-Lands’ End marriage will always be a bit of an oddball one.