Not so much on the Innovation Forum today, dear readers. Let's talk Image and Women and Baby Boomers. But, check back tomorrow for a Fit by Five Follow Up, from the Forum.
Yesterday, as Jane was clicking about the net - doing a little bit of shopping, reading some favorite blogs, looking for real estate - we came across a new marketing to women website.
Imago Creative: Building Brand Relationships with Women Over 40 touts itself as "the only strategic marketing firm specializing exclusively in...the convergence between women and baby boomers."
Jane was intrigued enough to click around and even to register for their "Femail Focus" newsletter.
Now, let's look at what's working and what isn't...at Imago Creative.
What's Working: the site has an open, welcome look to it. The colors (on our monitor) are yellows and reds, with some pink. Looks like the good ladies (and gentlemen?) of Imago are paying attention to color. Nothing overpowering. But, still...strong, attention getting colors providing a professional but pleasant introduction to the site.
We were immediately drawn to the note in the upper left - See Us At - showing a dialogue box and a date, with The Boomer Market Summit, Spring 2006 noted. Jane clicked it...and found herself totally confused - on a page with a note citing last month's recent summit in Miami Beach. We were more interested in the spring 2006 conference as promised on their homepage...but, alas! We could not find anything else about it.
We did like the speakers presented for the summit - here was a forum for women by women!
But, then...we found out the cost and our heart dropped. For a site that purports to know about the boomer woman - Imago clearly doesn't count the boomer businesswoman or professional. Small businesses dominate that landscape and none that we know could afford the $1900 price tag associated with this conference. Jane doesn't dispute that the conference is probably well worth it - a night at the Ritz-Carlton is well worth it, also. But, who can afford it? Well, clearly, someone is affording it, or Imago wouldn't be asking.
Moving right along...the GenderVision(tm) page is a testament to the overall impressive content on this site. Jane likes the layout and navigation...and the focus on Her Portrait, Her Influence, Her Experience. The tagline, "Compelling Brands are Made not Born," hits a bullseye for us. The session at the Fortune Innovation Forum on Branding said much the same thing. The panelists there noted that brand building is an on-going task, one involving everyone in the organization. It's a process requiring input from everyone - managers, employees, and customers. [Thank you, Horst Schulze]
For the most part, we give this site a female-friendly checkmark. The site designers obviously took care with the navigation and the color/design. It's attractive without being condescending and it's functional. We especially like the alt-text. Mousing over images brings up a good description of what the image represents...for the search engines. Search engine spiders need that text to understand what a webpage is all about. With it, spiders can categorize the page properly. Without it, the spiders see nothing and catalog nothing.
What's Not Working: The Imago Team page. Cute images, but - we want to see the real folks, please. Plus, your bios are too corporate. Who are you, really? Women want to form relationships - something you should know well. We don't form relationships with PhDs or Masters degrees.
We also noticed some URLs in those about us descriptions of the team...URLs that were not links. Pray tell, why not??
We also must note that at one point we clicked in to read the "8 Things You Don't Know About Boomer Women (but should)" and were asked to register - which we had already done. Frustrating... but we will check back later and see if that's merely an Internet glitch or a true issue with the site.
Imago Creative has a lot going for it in design and layout. The content is compelling in certain sections- exactly what one would expect from a corporate site of experts. IOHO, though, it lacks the warm fuzzies. Jane would like to see something more approachable, more interesting, and more representative of women. Like...a blog.
Imago Creative: create your voice. Blog on!