Transferring a brand on to the web is about delivering the right
content in the right way.
Sounds easy, but it's a really tough thing to do. Brand exposure via the
web is based more on having a satisfying, successful visit and less on
the right look, than we tend to think.
To pull it off, harveynichols.com has to say Harvey Nichols and feel
Harvey Nichols. It must fully act out the brand.
It does look the part. The visual style is well thought-out, clean and
contemporary. However, come to use it and it's just not Harvey Nichols.
There is quite a lot of content to be found. Probably too much. Harvey
Nichols isn't about busyness or quantity - it's about high fashion,
style, something special. So I'd expect the site to tease me, tempt me,
make me slaver to go and shop. The site should burst with exquisitely
presented products, but the words and pictures on show are small and
The Harvey Nicols shopping experience is about feeling fab - it's a
pleasure in itself. From what this brand means to me, I'd expect using
this site to be a breeze - window-shopping, sampling stuff and feeling
great. But it doesn't pleasure me, it makes me work and I resent that.
Some naff content costs me 15 seconds and five clicks with no reward
other than watching the navigation rearrange itself, nearly every
section navigates differently and screen fonts are tiring to read. The
experience fails to live up to expectations.
The benchmark in this sector is barneys.com, which shows just enough
content with loads of personality to get your interest going.
Harveynichols.com is a miss, but it's the first try and many clients
don't know what to ask initially. For my money, it should do less, but
exquisitely and with attitude.
Owner: Harvey Nichols
Site positioning: Online branding for the store
Launched: 14 December 2000
Developed by: Reflex New Media.