When Relaunching a New Web Site Actually IS News




  • by Arik Hanson June 6, 2016
    June 6, 2016

    By now, most of us have been in the following situation.


    “We’re revamping our web site–this is big news! Shouldn’t we write up a news release and alert the media?”


    “Yeah, I mean, we now have a more ‘mobile-friendly’ site–that’s news, right?”


    “And we completely changed our navigation and added bigger, splashier photos, too!”


    Strib Target


    And what has our answer been (especially the last 5-6 years in this age of “what have you done for me in the last 3 seconds?”): Re-launching a new web site is NOT news. Not in this environment. Not anymore. Not really, ever.


    Except, if you’re Target.


    When you’re Target, and you’re one of the biggest companies in town, everything is news. Even when you relaunch a “mobile” web site.


    Because that seems to be what Target did this weekend. My “proof”: The front page of Saturday’s Star Tribune business section (see above).


    This is a little comical for a few reasons (with quotes right from the story):



    • “Target Corp. has long had different websites for smartphones, tablets and desktops. Now, it’s cut them down to just one site that can be viewed from any device.” Now, I’m no “web expert”, but isn’t that called “responsive design”? And, hasn’t that concept been around for like 4-5 years?
    • “For consumers, the most apparent changes are less text on the home-page and more pictures and a more visual experience.” Breaking news, folks. Customers respond to visuals!
    • “So many guests shop in different platforms. Having an experience that looks similar across those things is more intuitive. We know that’s what guests want.” Is that quote from 2013?

    I don’t mean to rail on Target. And I’m not even saying this was the wrong thing to do. After all, when you’re Target, and you’re one of the biggest companies in town and you’re a huge employer in downtown Minneapolis, ANYTHING you do is news. Including launching a new web site. I don’t fault them for that at all (Note: the real story here is how Target is trying to make advancements on the tech side, an area of their business where they are really trying to focus at the moment and make up ground vs. the Amazons of the world).


    But, I do think this is a continued cautionary tale for all other brands who have names that don’t start with “Target” or “Walmart” or “Amazon.” Despite the story here, re-launching a new web site ISN’T news. Very few people care about your new mobile app. No one even knows that you just adopted responsive design. It’s just not newsworthy (again, unless you’re one of the biggest companies in town).


    Save your pitches folks.

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