Monday, July 8, 2013

Avery Dennison: “About Us” Evaluation by Corporate

Avery was established in 1935 to sell self-adhesive labels for pricing merchandise in stores. Pressure-sensitive materials are still the bulk of its $6.7 billion sales, but it has also expanded to new technology such as RFID tags. The About Us page (“Our Company / The Big Picture”) is here.

Unfortunately most of the space above the fold on the Big Picture page is filled with a video – one that has no caption to entice us, little indication of content from the title (“Everywhere You Look”), and mostly glittering generalities when you view it. We suggest adding a caption and putting the video in a smaller box to one side, so that we can see the well-written descriptive text.

Products/Services: B
The text on the Big Picture page is a pithy summary of the company in four sections, each with an appropriate image (the founder, tape, labels, that unmistakable logo). The layout is simple and the sequence is easy to follow. A minor tweak that would be a major improvement: include links within this text to pages that offer further information. For example, the Business Summary page gives details on the company’s operations: why not put a link to it under the “What We Do” heading?

One other small fix: Eliminate the repetition on the Big Picture page. The fact that the company has 30,000 employees in more than 50 countries appears in the first section and again in the second, 5 paragraphs later. Repeating such information on separate pages would be fine, but here it seems like the company ran out of things to say.

Personality: C
 “Heritage” on the Big Picture page has an excellent summary of how Ray Stanton Avery founded the company. There’s even a photo of him! (We have grown weary of Faceless Founders.) Since Avery is still moving along the path mapped out by its founder, why not give him his own page? The long, successful business history is a testament to the quality and usefulness of its products.

Accessibility: D
Oops! Our Commandment Eight of About Us pages is, “Remember to make yourself and your organization easily accessible.” Avery’s Contact Us page (available via a link in the footer) opens with, “Get in touch with Avery Dennison by submitting a general contact request, or contact one of our worldwide offices.” But there’s no email or online form here, and no link to the Locations page, where worldwide offices can be searched. This is a serious oversight.

About Us pages should be part of the website, not in their own sealed-off ghetto. Help turn curious visitors into customers by adding links to other pages on the site.

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?). To talk about your About Us page, contact us!
Today’s example was chosen at random; has no ties to this company.