I’ve just been to Woot! How refreshing to find a company’s website that has a unique, memorable personality to it. It’s been months since I’ve bumped into a site like that. Last time was last year when I discovered Mailinator (and man, was that funny!). Here are a few highlights from Woot’s FAQ page:
We anticipate profitability by 2043 — by then we should be retired; someone smarter might take over and jack up the prices.
You should google for the manufacturer contact to get product answers â€“ we suggest a dating service, magic 8 ball, or ouija board for general life solutions.
If you buy something you donâ€™t end up liking or you have what marketing people call â€œbuyers remorse,â€? sell it on ebay.
I SEE SOME KIND OF WEIRD-LOOKING POPE HAT ON THE MAIN PAGE. WHAT’S THAT ABOUT? A Pope hat? Oh, that. It’s supposed to be a rocket ship. In any case, that’s our LAUNCH EVENT indicator! And boy, are you a lucky cuss. Spying the LAUNCH EVENT indicator is like catching sight of a leprechaun, or the elusive white whale.
Bloggers don’t seem to have trouble injecting personality into their blogs, so why are traditional websites almost always so flat? We just fall into the status quo trap. Here’s how to break out of it (and yes, I do suggest you read every book I’ve linked to below):
- Relate to your reader as a human being. People talk to people. Companies don’t talk to companies. “We are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers. We are human beings” – Levine, Locke, Searls & Weinberger
- “Say something worth talking about” – Nick Usborne
- Poke fun at yourself. Don’t take yourself/your company too seriously.
- Be happy. Happiness is contagious. “Many people don’t allow themselves the luxury of being enthusiastic, light-hearted, inspired, relaxed, or happy-especially at work” – Richard Carlson
- Learn improv. You’ll think better on your feet, and you’ll be more lucid when you talk or write.
- Be remarkable. “The opposite of remarkable is very good. Very good is boring.” – Seth Godin
- Start fires. “Markets are conversations; and conversations are fire. Therefore, marketing is arson.” – Doc Searls
Personality isn’t something you just add to your copy. It should come from your company’s DNA and flow through to your website.