Monday, March 16, 2015

Omaha Steaks: “About Us” Evaluation by Corporate

In 1898, the Simon brothers landed at Ellis Island after fleeing religious persecution in Eastern Europe. A transcontinental train took them to Nebraska, which looked like their native Latvia. There they resumed their profession as butchers, founding their own company in 1917 to provide high-quality beef to restaurants and grocers. In time they expanded to mail order, retail locations, and sales via telephone and Internet. Today the company – one of America’s largest marketers of beef – is privately held and run by the fourth and fifth generations of Simons. Its 1,800 employees are still based in Omaha. The main About Us page is Our Company, accessed via About / Company Info in the footer of every page.


Products/Services: A
Omaha Steaks has condensed most of their About Us material into one page, Our Company. It includes a pithy summary of the company: its business, location, divisions (with links to each), and employees. Sidebars left and right illustrate the company’s mouth-watering products, offer testimonials, and provide contact information. Our Commandment 7 of About Us pages is, “Keep navigation easy.” Omaha Steaks does that.

Unobtrusively positioned on the top right of Our Company is a link, “Read about our company’s heritage.” It takes visitors to a sequence of history pages: Our Beginnings, Customers Nationwide, Reputation, An Overview, and Tradition Continues. These pages make us giddy with delight.

First of all, they form a well-written narrative company history, laid out in a way that makes it easy to get through them all. (If all this information had been squashed onto one page, how many visitors would have made it to the end?) Second, the text covers all the bases: the who, why, and where of the company founders, the reason for the company name, the development of various forms of distribution (mail order, phone, Internet), notable awards, company divisions, and the current management. Each page is illustrated with an appropriate photo. High marks to Omaha Steaks for their corporate storytelling!

Our only quibble is that the teaser and link to the business history pages on the main About Us page should be made more enticing, perhaps by using one of the vintage images used on the history pages.

Personality: A
Our Commandment 3 of About Us pages is, “Reveal thy personality.” Surprisingly few companies do as good a job of this as Omaha Steaks. Its personality comes through very strongly in the History pages, which start by describing the founders and finish by stating that the fourth and fifth generations of the same family are now running the company.

Accessibility: A
Omaha Steaks does much of their business online or by phone, and they make it easy to order. The header has a toll-free number, store locations, and a live chat option. The footer has a link to a Customer Care page that offers all these options.

Let a well-written corporate history explain why your products are so good and make visitors to your site eager to deal with you.

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.