Service provider BE radically changed the design of its website recently sparking controversy amongst users as to the appropriateness of the brand. The new look has been described as 'garish' by some and 'retro' by others, with some users' initial reaction being concern that the website had been hacked.
One BE customer we spoke to suggested that they liked the site as it was very clear on what was being sold, although they agreed the colours could do with a bit of toning down. This would however appear to be a minority view with 14% of those voting on our poll of over 900 users indicating they liked the new design. Almost a fifth of users believed that it was a marketing ploy, an experiment by a design agency into social media and viral marketing.
What we do know, is that the 26% non-BE customers who didn't know who BE was, probably now do.
|I like the retro look!||14% (130)||12% (37)||16% (93)|
|I prefer the old website/logo||48% (432)||71% (218)||36% (214)|
|Who is BeThere?||19% (168)||4% (11)||26% (157)|
|It's just a marketing ploy!||19% (174)||14% (43)||22% (131)|
It is worth pointing out that in this analysis, BE and O2 customers were bundled together and the analysis was based on the Internet connection used, so the small number of BE/O2 customers who didn't know who BeThere was would probably be from O2.
We asked comparison site Broadband Genie what effect this change had caused; they suggested that they didn't think this was a publicity stunt:
"For the couple of days following the rebrand, Broadband Genie saw a spike in people comparing BE products and a 100% increase (more or less) in people clicking through to the BE website. We also estimate an increase (approx. 25%) in the number of people searching on Google for "BE Broadband" in the aftermath of the announcement. Since then both measures have returned to roughly normal levels, but there's no doubt lots more people have now heard of BE Broadband.
We don't think it was a publicity stunt. Their marketing guys believed they were coming up with a graphic brand which suited their target market"Ciaron Dunne, Broadband Genie
"It is really interesting to see some empirical information that reflects what members and non-members have told us. In summary, lots of members loved the pink asterisk and a move to a new identity has been a shock but we are listening. One essential factor is that the broadband service we supply has not changed.
The new identity has been facilitated by a new backend to the website. The back end allows us to be more flexible and so we are already making steps to update the site. As an example, the site is very "bright" so we are in the process of running a poll on the BE site for members to select the brightest levels of the colours used.
This wasn't a marketing "stunt" and we are committed to improving the way we communicate to existing and future members and ensure they are engaged in this process."Oli White, Be Unlimited
BE was one of the early pioneers of ADSL broadband beyond the 8 meg threshold and scored very highly on our broadband customer service ratings. You can take part in BE's own website style poll (if you're a customer) by logging onto the BE forum via the login on the home page.
If you have not yet voted on our current poll on switching providers, please take part! You can find this on the right hand side of this page.