The Qualities of Great Curb Appeal
Great design is branding that whispers. Like a house with fabulous curb appeal, a uniquely-inspired stained glass window, or the fine lines on a fabulous car, design is promotion that draws you nearer. It entices customers or readers to come closer–to see for themselves what’s being offered.
Don’t think for a minute that looks don’t count. First impressions tell customers that a business understands who their customers are and that the business knows what their customers are looking for. GAWKER understands curb appeal and uses it to deliver customers to their own front door.
Product is the what and the how. Product is the content and the quality that gets customers coming back. But whether it’s a blog, a bistro, or barometer, product is nothing if it never gets to a customer. If no one comes to read it, or dine there, or buy it. Then how can you say that the product is good?
That’s where design–curb appeal–comes in. Design is the why and the romance. Like quality product, good design starts with the customer. It tells the customer what this product is and who it’s for. Design done well makes the promise that the product keeps. It says, “Come here, and try this. You won’t be sorry.” If the product is quality, you’re not sorry. You’re delighted you tried it.
Gawker and the Curb Appeal Checklist
GAWKER passes a Curb Appeal checklist with flying colors.
- The name of the product, GAWKER, is big, bold, and colorful. GAWKER speaks to the audience that the product is made for. Cover all but that word–GAWKER–and you still know this blog is not meant for your grandmother’s golf team or your little brother’s playschool. GAWKER looks and sounds slightly irreverent and obviously self-content.
- All things on the page speak to 21-34 year old, mid-high to high income professionals. GAWKER shows their achieving, metro-readers an environment they’re comfortable with, one that says, “you belong here with us. We speak the same language. We do the same things.”
- Even the ads make readers feel cool. As the New Yorker pointed out, you won’t see pharmacutical ads in GAWKER, because all GAWKER readers are “young and beautiful.” At least, that’s how they want to see themselves.
- In other words, you can tell by looking, that GAWKER has one BIG IDEA–CELEBRITIES ONLY–Content and Customers. You’ll read about them and feel like one too. No confusion here. Customers know right away whether this is their gig or not. GAWKER doesn’t waste your time if you don’t want what GAWKWER”s got.
In terms of the curb appeal the closer a reader gets, the better GAWKER looks. GAWKER has mastered brand-niche marketing.
Promise and Product Perfectly Wed
As a reader, I find exactly what I expected–the jazzy, snarky, celebrity gossip that makes me feel like a slightly smarter, sharper celebrity than the folks being talked about. GAWKER passes the test because everything they do says they know who their customers are. That knowledge shows in every detail of their product. The promise and product are perfectly wed.
The key to GAWKER-level design is knowing your customers so well that your customers can see themselves in every detail of what you do. Top-notch design and product-driven packaging require complete attention and constant awareness of customervalues and customer needs.
When was the last time you checked in with your customers about the curb appeal of your blog or business? Are you sure your product and promise are perfectly wed?
–ME “Liz” Strauss