Tuesday, May 29, 2012

“About Us” Evaluation: Tempur-Pedic Gets a B

Tempur-Pedic makes mattresses, pillows, and other products based on pressure-absorbing material that was invented by NASA for astronauts in the 1970s and was refined by a team of Swedish and Danish scientists. Sale of Tempur-Pedic products  in the United States was initiated in the 1990s by Bob Trussell, who built factories and an R&D center in Virginia and New Mexico. The company’s main About Us page is here.

Products/Services: B
Tempur-Pedic’s main About Us page is simple but effective: five links (Our History, Our Passion, Recognition, Employment, Investor Information) with a teaser for each, for example, “Our History: Where we came from and where we’re headed.” The left-hand navigation bar offers all these plus a set of “Why Tempur-Pedic?” pages. In addition, the About Us pages also offer a useful feature that’s frequently overlooked: a horizontal menu at the top that allows us to choose among Tempur-Pedic products, at whatever point in our reading they become irresistible. Points to Tempur-Pedic for keeping the product in sight.
The layout of all the About Us pages is well designed, with numerous headings and short, digestible paragraphs. The pages could be even more effective if there were links among them. On the Our Passion page, the mention of Swedish scientists should have a link to the section on Our History that explains how the Swedes were involved with Tempur-Pedic. The warranties and tryout should have links to pages that explain them. The “legendary wine glass commercial” should have a link to the YouTube video of it. If the commercial was so effective that people remember it decades later, why not let new customers see it, too?
On the Recognition page, we commend the use of the logos of NASA, Good Housekeeping, Consumers Digest, and so on. Many visitors who are in a rush will probably see the logo here and not even feel the need to read the words.
 Personality: B
We are bored by Tempur-Pedic’s Board of Directors and Management pages, which don’t offer any sense of where the company’s going or who’s leading it there. But we are willing to ignore that because the About Us pages and the Why Tempur-Pedic pages use the magic word: “our history,” “our passion,” “our products.” “We,” “us,” and “our” are the easiest possible way to give a visitor to the site a sense that the company is run by actual human beings who care about their product and their customers.
 Accessibility: B
Across the top of every page is a navigation bar that includes a toll-free number and a link for retail store locations. At the foot of every page is a link to a Contact page that offers an online form, a mailing address, and several phone numbers, with notes about which to use. None of this is novel, but it’s adequate.

Tempur-Pedic’s content is well presented, but the site could be improved by having more links to its own material.
 Does your Web site’s “About Us” section accurately convey your organization’s history and capabilities? Every two weeks we evaluate one example, grading it in three areas that are key to potential customers: Personality (Who are you?), Products/Services (What can you do for us?), and Accessibility (How can we reach you?). Contact us if you’d like to have your site evaluated—there’s no charge and no obligation.
Today’s example was chosen at random; CorporateHistory.net has no ties to this company.