The NFL was Trying to Look Retro: Your Web Site is Too

October 12, 2009 | Branding

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broncos-retrouniformSunday afternoon I came home and my husband was watching football. I’m not a huge football fan, but I generally watch a little bit every weekend. I don’t follow one team or the entire league particularly closely, but the Patriots and the Bears are who we usually watch because of where we live and where we used to live.

Yesterday, my husband was watching the New England Patriots play the Denver Broncos. I started watching and immediately asked about Denver’s uniform. I thought I just hadn’t seen them play this season, and that they had very strange uniforms. Then, I realized the Patriots’ apparel was looking different as well.

Retro Uniforms

After hearing my banter and remarks about their weird socks, my husband finally told me that this was the 50th season for the eight original American Football League teams. In this game, the Pats and the Broncos were wearing uniforms like the ones from 50 years ago.

It all made sense now. Anyone following the league or watching the game in person or on TV would have quickly received this information and understood why the players were dressed the way they were.

Unfortunately, when someone goes to your web site, there is not a broadcast team relaying information to your viewers about why your site looks the way it does. Each visitor to your site makes their own decision about it.

Retro Web Site?

The design, the typography, the colors, the use of flash, javascript or frames, all tell a story about you and your business. You may not be trying to look retro, but your web site may look out of date anyway.

Considering how short the history of the web is, the changes continue to come incredibly fast. To think you can develop your site once and forget about it, is ridiculous. Even if you are updating content regularly, you need to also look at the design and technology that are part of your site.

If you follow my blog, you know that I preach the importance of consistency in branding. So I’m not suggesting you overhaul the look and feel of your site to keep up with every new trend. In fact, it’s critical as you make changes that you keep the core elements of your brand identity in tact.

On the other hand, you need to make sure that you are educating yourself about the changes on the Internet. You can do this by:

  • Browsing sites: Look not only at your competitors, but also leaders on the web, the innovative sites where trends start.
  • Reading: There are lots of blogs and magazines that cover web trends. Find authors who write in a manner that you can understand—some are very technical, others cater more to the everyday reader.
  • Keeping in touch with your web developer: Don’t let your site languish. Your web site is not a “once and done” type of project. Have an ongoing conversation with your web developers so you know the best technology and design changes to consider, and the best way to integrate them into your site.

When you built your web site, you probably had goals about what type of image you were trying to convey. To keep that positioning valid, you need to update your web presence as the surrounding Internet continues to change and evolve.

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