The Power of not having a Website

RainmakerThe following article written by Tim Klabunde was published in the September edition A/E Rainmaker, a PSMJ Resources publication.

I received a message the other day from a friend telling me that I needed to visit Skittles.com. It wasn’t that Skittles had an incredible website and they were not giving away free candy samples, instead it was that the Skittles website isn’t a website!

I have been enjoying watching the evolution of the web for years, so you can only imagine then that a message about a non-website was well worth a trip to the world-wide-web. Here is what I found:

Skittles.com home page is a Twitter page with a little box in the corner of your browser window that has links to each of their other “pages.” If you click on “Products” you will be taken to Wikipedia to learn more about each of the different types of Skittles. If you want to see videos or pictures, you are directed to YouTube and flickr. If you want to know what people think about Skittles, you’ll end up at Twitter. Actually, the only time you end up on a Skittles webpage is when you click “contact.”

Web 3.0

Could it be that a candy company was the first to Web 3.0, where customers create content rather than owners? Skittles has captured something incredible by creating a non-website: they have shifted the focal point of the content to the customer! We often focus on creating fresh and new websites that provide great information, yet to often the content of a website is designed more to make an owner feel good than to benefit the customer. Skittles turned the tables by reaching to their customers and giving them a voice. In doing so they turned over the ownership of the Skittles website to the people the site was created to reach in the first place.

Your non-webpage

What would a potential customer learn about you and your company if your corporate website was suddenly down for a day? Are others writing good things about your service and your capabilities? Do you have a blog, a Wikipedia page, a LinkedIn group, or a twitter group that gives an active voice to your company? Take a couple of minutes today to Google yourself and your company, and take special note of the information on page two and three of your search. Is your web presence painting a picture of your company that you want to see?

The future of the web

We truly don’t know what will happen next on the World Wide Web, but one thing is certain: it is the people that are searching for information that will dictate the future of the web, not the website owners.

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4 Responses to “The Power of not having a Website”


  1. 1 Collier Ward December 13, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Fascinating concept: “Web 3.0, where customers create content rather than owners.”

  2. 2 Terran January 10, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Wow. That’s pretty wild. I just found this blog, and I’ll definitely be subscribing after this post. I wonder how this could be used for local business with a smaller following?

    I think linking to google/yahoo local pages could be pretty powerful if you deliver outstanding service. Feedback left outside the control of your own site certainly has more impact.

  3. 3 Paul Lesieur February 25, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Good article and some of us have thought of this approach before. Social networking is about you (the member of the tribe) rather than the owner of the site. This is why some networking sites succeed and others fail.

  4. 4 Bill Kent August 13, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Good article; great concept by Skittles. The key is that they catered the experience to their audience and how they use the web. B2C is a different animal when it comes to customer experience and social media but there are some valuable take-aways about creating engaging content, regardless of your market.

    Too often in B2B, companies dedicate their website to explaining what services they provide. Devoting web space to what companies do is much less interesting to customers & prospects than the kinds of problems you solve. It’s important to think about how your website is helping them get what they’re looking for and moving them along in the purchase process.


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