Jaguar Car’s online presence has been rated as the best for the consumer goods manufacturing sector according to strategic interactive agency Blast Radius’ Best UK Online Experience survey 2007.
Jaguar beats runners up including Magnet, Reebok, Burberry and Durex brand owner, SSL, to the title. Meanwhile, the UK websites of major manufacturer brands including French Connection, Avon Cosmetics, Cisco Systems, Clarks and IBM performed the least well in this analysis of twenty of the UK’s top consumer brands.
For the past two years Blast Radius has reported in its Best Online Experience survey on retail sites that are leading the `social shopping` revolution. The top sites in retail offer enhancements such as tagging, product wikis, social networking and intelligent merchandising mechanisms that would match, for instance, a choice of shoes to a handbag.
Engage directly with customers and their passions online
According to Blast Radius CEO, Gurval Caer, “This year we wanted to look closely at something we’d started to believe strongly - that the consumer goods industry could learn a lot from the retail channel that often serves them. In particular, that they could invigorate brand image, counter commoditisation and build loyalty by connecting and engaging directly with their customers and their passions online.”
“To do this involves making the manufacturing `mother ship` so evocative and compelling that customers come back again and again for an experience like no other,” he emphasises.
The survey examined sites from (in order of their ultimate ranking in the survey): Jaguar Cars Ltd; Magnet Limited; Reebok International (UK); Burberry Group plc; SSL International plc; SAAB Great Britain Limited; Volkswagen Group (UK) Limited; Colgate-Palmolive Limited (UK); Reckitt Benckiser (UK); Peugeot Motor Co. plc; Philips Electronics (UK) Ltd; Ideal Standard (UK) Ltd.; LG Electronics (UK) Ltd; Ricoh (UK) Products Ltd.; Samsung Electronics Ltd. (UK); French Connection Group plc; Avon Cosmetics Ltd.(UK); Cisco Systems (UK) Ltd.; C&J Clark International and IBM (UK) Ltd.
Best Online Experience results
Both independent mystery customers and Blast Radius’ internal panelists rated Jaguar Cars a top performer across all categories—gaining almost perfect scores in awareness, navigation, brand recognition, use of language and product categories. Jaguar’s sleek design, innovation and photography grabs the eye of the customer and keeps them intrigued from start to finish.
With such high performance for brand awareness and overall experience, Blast Radius believes the site injects palpable value into the Jaguar brand. The site features highly intuitive navigation, clear language and easily browseable product categories that enable customers to make quick decisions when purchasing an automobile.
“In particular,” according to chief creative officer and one of Blast Radius’ panel members, Lee Feldman, “Jaguar showed a flair that is unlike most automotive sites - clean, consistent design across the entire site with strong, compelling imagery on every page.”
One feature that was highlighted by every one on Blast Radius’ panel was that the “Design Your Jaguar” tool is simple to use but very clear and well laid out.
Jaguar’s potential weak spot was that despite high marks across most categories, there’s still room for Jaguar to improve its appeal. Jaguar’s lowest rated performance was in the Appeal category, where customers felt, it was comparable to most other automotive websites, and was an aesthetic shortcoming easily fixed, believes Blast Radius.
When the consumer goods market was segmented the top brand in consumer durables was: Magnet; in automotive, Jaguar Cars; in apparel; Reebok International; in household and personal products, SSL International (Durex) and in Computer Electronics & Office Equipment, Ricoh (UK) Products.
Best UK Online Experience Methodology
Rather than risk introducing bias by selecting candidate sites for analysis Blast Radius focused its attention on the top 20 sites as identified by business information supplier Hoover’s Inc of listings of UK companies with at least a £125 million turnover.
Initially Blast Radius’ expert panelists conducted a short investigation of each site looking in particular at overall experience, navigation, and path to purchase. The sites shortlisted for further investigation were then submitted to Informa Research Services, a premier independent provider of market research and mystery customer services, for objective analysis and a run-through of typical interaction scenarios.
Informa then undertook the task of browsing, buying and returning random products from each of the 20 websites—and graded the experience every step of the way.
This effort brought another layer of quantitative assessment to Blast Radius’ analysis, helping the company grade the overall contagiousness, interaction appeal and level of engagement of the brands.
Then, to complement the quantitative data, Blast Radius’ expert panelists rated the top sites subjectively, judging the relative impact of the experience on each brand— assessing each site’s appeal, message clarity, quality of product information and marketing effectiveness.
An averaged overall score determined which brand took the top place across all categories, and which brands earned leader status within each category.
An interpretive guide to eyes, hearts and minds
“As such these results are not a who’s-who scorecard, but an interpretive guide to capturing the eyes, hearts and minds of today’s web-savvy customers,” emphasises Caer.
“Manufacturers such as Samsung, Volkswagen and Avon who scored comparatively poorly have much to gain by truly linking their customers to their brand—by inviting people to engage around a passion or mission beyond what they ever expected from a website.”
“Overall, while it’s true that some consumer websites are restricted from actually selling direct due to contracts with retailers and distributors, hosting, cultivating and enabling brand loyalty as close to the `mother ship` as possible is an increasingly profound source of brand value that can deliver benefits throughout the value chain. For websites, this means innovating to make connections between customers and the brand and between customers and each other—even if that means a more organic, open-to-the-unexpected way of thinking about brand evolution.”
About Blast Radius
Founded in 1997, Blast Radius (blastradius.com) is a strategic interactive agency that builds long term relationships with major consumer-facing brands to deliver innovative and profitable customer experiences that realize the promise of the connected world. It does this by combining business savvy, experience design, and industry-leading technologies, including its on-demand Customer Experience Platform.
Headquartered in Vancouver and with offices worldwide, Blast Radius works with companies such asAOL, BMW, Electronic Arts, Heineken, Nike, Nintendo, Philips and Vodafone.
Blast Radius is a member of The WundermanNetwork: The original and most diverse marketing service in the world.
Submitted by Allan Edwards - Chameleonpr.com on behalf of Blastradius.