And today, I have decided to kick start this process with a brand that needs no introduction. By this I mean it is a fashion brand that is known by most Africans and non Africans alike that are into fashion. If you say you are into African fashion especially, you must definitely be in the know/have heard of this power house.
This brand has built up a hard reputation as a brand to be reckoned with. It’s branding speaks elegance, exclusivity and elite-ness (does this word exist even?! It does now!) as seen in their product pricing (how about spending £1,696 on a dress?), their product quality, the attitude of the designer/brand (you don’t see them everywhere and they don’t just feature in any type of event/publication!) and also their point of sale. Their flagship store in Ajose Adeogun Street in Victoria Island, Lagos is a very airy and light clutter free contemporary space.
So let’s check out their website and see what it says and if it fits with the overall branding of exclusivity, elegance and elite-ness.
I go online and type their name into Google and 2 websites pop up! So here goes my analysis of the first site (.net site) based on these aspects:
Look: On first impression, I expected a more exclusive, elegant and new image to welcome me rather than the outdated image that is presently on here. After entering the site, I was then not sure about where to click next as I was bombarded with different mish-mashed images representing different aspects of the website. Where is the exclusive brand continuity I begin to ask myself? Surely this is misleading to their clientele. (See images below)
Relevancy: Does the site have what its customers are looking for? What would a Deola Sagoe customer be looking for? Information on new collection (look book), designer bio, progress report on what the brand is doing behind the scenes/a way to keep your brand constant in the minds of your audience (blog), point of sale address (plus any stockists addresses) plus contact details for the store and the team at Deola Sagoe. What is presented? A badly presented lookbook/collection section which is clearly not easy at all to locate, too many pictures of the designer with no clear relevancy on the bio page, the address of the store which is very difficult to view (is it my browser?) because it overlaps with the images presented of the store and to top it up, no contact information for the Deaola Sagoe team! The blog is outdated with a post on “Clan” (Deola Sagoe’s daughters’ new label) written in October 4th. Does Deola Sagoe now want to be hip and hop or exclusive and elite? I was confused why they would feature "Clan" on their blog albeit I understand the label is founded by her daughters. Anyway, moving on! So how would a would be customer get in touch? Is this information left out because they are trying to be exclusive? Plus is nothing going on at house of Deola Sagoe worth reporting to us about? Too many confusing messages sent out to customers!!
Usability: Will their customers be able to find what they need to know quickly? No! With the above in mind, I would rate the usability of this site as FAIL. All the information is presented like a maze and a business website should definitely be easy to manoeuvre and surf.
Currency: Is the information on this site up to date? The website has been stuffed with so much information that I am not sure what is new and what is old. This lack of clarity and the mixed brand messages sent out is definitely not good for the branding of Deola Sagoe. Looking at this website, one would definitely not associate the words “elegance”, “exclusivity” and “elite-ness” with this top fashion brand that commands £1,696 for a dress!
My advice to the Deola Sagoe team is to:
· Rebrand the website to ensure that it is the ONLY website representing their brand and it is easy to use and the info is easily accessible. Also ensure it is inkeeping with the overall branding/stratgey of the brand.
· Ensure that all the info provided is relevant, clear and concise.
· Ensure that the images displayed tell a story and are consistent with the overall branding of the company.
· Ensure your contact info is clearly displayed and correct to ensure that you are receiving and dealing with your customers’ queries.
First impressions are paramount on the web than in person. You know what your company offers. You know that you are a solid business with an outstanding track record. But, does your homepage communicate this to the rest of the world?
It only takes 3-7 seconds for a potential client to scan the site and get a first impression of your business. If your website is unable to impress and inform the potential client of what they need within that time frame, chances of them ever coming back are very unlikely. Your website should be parallel with the personality of your brand, displaying your top qualities.
Take a few seconds and evaluate your own web site.
The other website http://www.deolasagoedesign.com/ could not be accessed. I am wondering why there are 2 sites for this exclusive design brand?
All images from www.deolasagoe.net
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