The Company Who Won’t Tell You Who They Are

Friday, 20 February 2009 at 3:00 am Pacific USA Time.

Last week, someone called to hire us, even though his software company had recommended another company. He had called his TSAM to ask about that company, and the TSAM said to hire nobody but us. Thanks, TSAM! :)

I wanted to figure out who this other recommended company was since I'd never heard of them. I found their URL, and went right for their "Company Information" page. The page starts with, "Who are we?" but never answers the question. Right under "who are we" are paragraphs about what they do. Under that, more paragraphs about what they want to do for you.

I clicked around some more…

  • So many pages just keep saying they are THE (in all caps like that)
    leader, or the best, or the number one _____. OK, it's easy to say
    that. Show it to me. If you're that good, show me your stuff, and your
    greatness will be obvious.
  • The "customer testimonials" page is "coming soon."
  • The "learn more," "portfolio," and "get a free quote" things that look like linked aren't linked, and don't take you anywhere.
  • Their eBay design page has an eBay logo (against eBay
    rules), and two links. One link goes to someone's C drive. Not good for
    a company claiming to build professional websites. The other link goes
    to a design that looks like it tried to copy our MyShoeAddiction design but really failed.
  • Their page about web hosting goes to an "oops" file not found page.
  • Their website has no keyword or description meta tags. I heard those were still helpful. Why remove those?
  • Their pages say copyright 2007, but according to, their domain name wasn't registered until April 2008. The information about who owns their domain name is private. I can't even see what individual or company own this.

Why would who they are be such a secret both in their domain name and in the info around their website? Who the heck are these people!

And if this content is nearly 2 yrs old (copyright 2007), or this biz is nearly 2 yrs old, where is all the content? You'd think by now, they've have a portfolio and testimonials.

A lot of their website information is general stats about email usage, eCommerce
growth, and things like that. I think they should have more content
about why they're great, their track record, and why you should hire

This is the #1 company being recommended by a major software company? This is a company who wants to do you branding, marketing, and design? This reminds me of what I always say about how you wouldn't go to a dentist who had terrible teeth. :)

My theory on who these people are.

The company didn't exist before the people in it got laid off from their last job, which I think was weeks ago. They had to rush to put together some sort of business and website, but don't have any work or testimonials to show because all of their work was as their previous employer. Their last job might feel badly about laying off their in-house designers, and is still sending them work, but as an outside consulting company.

This theory is helping along by the fact that the #2 company now being recommended by this software company is a new design company formed by someone they just laid off. As in with his name on it. As in no guessing who this is. :)

We're not picking up any of the designers that just got laid off. Based on the design I have seen from them, they don't meet what we look for in creative and innovative artists.

I'm sorry for these people who got laid off. This can't be easy. They now have to start their own businesses with little or nothing to show because all of their work would be owned by their last employer. They're getting thrown the bone of some recommendations, but I'm still concerned. If these were the in-house designers, and they're good enough to be your top recommendations, why lay them off? Why not keep them, and keep making that revenue, plus keeping that work in-house and under your own name?

My advice

I wouldn't recommend this company considering how they show themselves to you and me. I think the company who recommended them should make recommendations based on who is going to do the best job for online sellers who need all the help they can get. Given our unmatched track record, I'm quite sure that my company as well as a few others are much better at this.

This company may someday be good at what they claim to do, but when I think about how much design, marketing, and branding can make or break an online seller's livelihood, I think now is not the time to experiment with a new website design company with a dodgy website.

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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

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