Thursday, March 22, 2007

No Stupid Fees, Just a Stupid Website

This post was going to be about Commerce Bank's advertising tag line that they're currently using. For those of you who don't know Commerce Bank, it's a small bank that mainly serves various locations on the east coast. I've seen their ads in passing before, but yesterday as I was riding the Metro home, I caught a glimpse of their tagline. It read:

"Commerce Bank. No more stupid fees."

This was going to be a great topic -- I was going to praise (or put down -- I hadn't decided yet) their ads on here and invite the readers to help me find other ads that really break through the norms of advertising. I was researching the bank before I started my post...

...and then I went to Commerce Bank's Website. Wow. I knew then that this post had to be about the sorry presence that they maintain online. Here, right now -- go check out commerceonline.com.

See what I mean? So the first thing that sticks out on this website is the fact that it looks like it was created in 1997. You remember websites back then -- full of javascript-enabled banners and "fun" elements that made the page completely overwhelming and distracting? You remember the use of a severely limited color palette?

Well this site has all of that going on. It's kind of sad, actually -- Wikipedia reports that Commerce Bank does more than $1 billion of annual revenue. This leads me to question if they realize that they're turning away vast amounts of people by having a website like this. I almost wonder if the marketing department over there in New Jersey has forgotten about their website while working on the *stellar* new ad campaign that I saw yesterday.

Once a website is online, it has to be maintained in order to continue to reflect your company warmly. Sticking with an antiquated design scheme or not searching for broken links can severely hurt your company's reputation with a website visitor -- which really is the whole reason you have a site in the first place.

1 comment:

John O'Leary said...

I agree their website needs a face lift. But the services they provide are HIGHLY unusual - for instance, they're open 7 days a week with extended hours. I see it as a remarkable "experiment" in retail banking - which has been amazingly successful so far. (Full disclosure: my company has done some work with them. But we were fans for years first.) Can’t wait till they open up in Massachusetts and I can dump my 17th century bank. Commerce appears to be laying waste to its rivals up and down the East Coast because of its emphasis on convenience. Rolling Stone critic Jon Landeau once said,"I have seen the future of rock & roll and its name is Bruce Springsteen." I have seen the future of banking and its name is Commerce.