Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Troemner: “About Us” Evaluation by Corporate History.net

In 1838, Henry Troemner, a German immigrant in Philadelphia, established a company for manufacturing precision weights. Today the company, headquartered in West Deptford, New Jersey, produces a variety of weights and precisely calibrated laboratory equipment. The main About Us page (“About Troemner”) is here.

The link to About Troemner is under “Reference Center” in the footer of each page – not necessarily the most logical place to look for it. The About page has a submenu of 19 items, the most important of which should also appear under “Reference Center”: e.g., Accreditations, FAQ, and Contact Us.

Products/Services: C
The Company Overview has 3 subheads: “The Troemner Advantage” (on what they produce and why they do it so well), “Troemner’s Beginning” (how the company achieved its eminent position), and “Troemner Today.” The third section is particularly good because it includes links to pages devoted to Troemner’s calibration services and equipment. Clicking a button expands the text of each section. If the button instead took visitors to a separate page, Troemner could incorporate more images and make the text more enticing.

As passionate historians, we have to ask: Why is there only one mention of the fact that the company was established in 1838? Few American companies boast such a long corporate history. A timeline focusing on Troemner’s company history and innovations, with archival illustrations, would be a great addition to the site. A company that had a part in the Gold Rush should boast about it! Did Troemner really let its 175th business anniversary go uncelebrated?

One issue that’s particularly noticeable on the Company Overview page is the disdain for the Humble Hyphen and the Common Comma. Many readers will trip over “The Troemner staff includes on premises, industry recognized metrologists”; “on-premises, industry-recognized metrologists” would have made the sentence easy to grasp. There’s also a lack of attention to word choice. The page says, “Troemner is capable of providing unmatched measurements.” “Is capable of” sounds as if they don’t always; “unmatched measurements” suggests not that the accuracy is unrivalled, but that the measurements can’t be replicated. Our Commandment 9 of About Us pages is, “Worship clarity.” These errors suggest inattention to detail—a regrettable first impression for a company renowned for precision.

Personality: E
Our Commandment 3 of About Us pages is, “Reveal thy personality.” We get no sense that Troemner has one. The only person mentioned by name on the company site is Henry Troemner, the company founder, and he gets only three sentences. If the current management doesn’t want to be front and center on the site, then the About Us pages should play up the fact that Mr. Troemner’s standards still rule the company. And surely its workers must have some interesting corporate stories to share. A company with Troemner’s longevity and specificity is likely to attract lifetime employees who love the art and science of what they do.

Accessibility: C
The foot of each page offers Troemner’s telephone, email, and mailing address. The Contact page offers the same, plus a Human Resources contact and contacts for direct sales offices, by region. Nothing innovative here, but this is adequate.

Even a company whose focus is on mechanical perfection can benefit from some human stories: give your company personality through its business history.

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; CorporateHistory.net has no ties to this company.