I just started work for Santander Consumer USA last month. It’s my first taste of the corporate world, having worked for a startup company right out of college and then several years as a freelancer. Wanting to become more acquainted with the possibilities and/or restrictions in the corporate world I figured I might take a look at what the Fortune 100 companies are doing.
We’re all fairly used to poorly designed, out of date corporate websites. Corporations tend to stay behind the trend in web design whether it’s because they move more slowly, don’t recognize the need to keep up, have leadership that thinks they already have a work of art, or any other number of reasons. The bottom line is that a smaller company is more nimble and not only react to business changes more quickly, but customer’s expectations as well.
Which corporations are innovating on the web? Which industries see the most innovation? Can any lessons be learned?
2012 Fortune 100 Websites
The standouts are mostly websites that customers would tend to interact with more (i.e. shopping, account administration) rather than holdings companies or business to business focused sites. This certainly makes sense, and there’s little need for some of the businesses listed here to spend much time on keeping their branding fresh and website modern (best exemplified by Berkshire Hathaway).
Auto websites like General Motors and Ford are visually stimulating and modern, likely because their product branding changes so regularly and because they’re designers at heart.
Communications companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast are playing it safe, but they’re admirably modern (in their design, at least … not so much in user experience) for companies that so rapidly change their products and services.
Home improvement competitors, Lowe’s and Home Depot, seem equally equipped to make your weekend shopping experience easy, with Lowe’s pull slightly ahead.
Technology behemoths HP, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Dell, Intel, Google should be a step ahead of the rest of the companies in this list because of their access to the right people. Some are clearly doing better than others.