I know this will not go over well with many readers of this blog, but I think someone’s got to say it – Hublot’s new website is a disappointment.
It really does pain me to say this, because of all the watch brands out there, Hublot is probably in my Top 3 when it comes to Internet-savvy watch brands. Unlike some brands (Rolex, for one) Hublot does not fear the Internet – it embraces it. Team Hublot uses the Internet to their great advantage. They leverage it for all its worth. Facebook page. Twitter. Their own web TV productions. A CEO who is known to drop in on online discussion forums and say hi and maybe even extend the warranty of a few lucky Hublot owners (yes, we love you for this, Jean-Claude Biver). When it comes to a digital media strategy and Internet-savvy, Hublot has been giving lessons that I wish other watch brands were taking notes on.
But now, after several weeks of “teasing” the new site – building the hype – Hublot stumbles out of the gates with this:
The homepage has nothing to offer! What is the message this homepage conveys except emptiness and confusion? It certainly is not inviting. And from here on in the experience is a struggle to maintain. The navigation is poor and hard to follow. The images are out of proportion (too big, mostly). Flash-laden pages load slow. The whole experience is quite unfriendly, really. And the “watches on sticks” concept just does not work for me (I guess they are supposed to be watch hands):
And to think that I now miss the prior Hublot website! It was actually quite good – very engaging, inviting and exciting – right from the homepage! And very press/media friendly, too. I know its not easy, and sure all websites have their shortcomings. But then again, if anyone has the resources to create a phenomenal website, surely it is Hublot! Perhaps Hublot aimed to high. Perhaps my own expectations were too high. Whatever the case, the aim did not hit the target on this one.
According to Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver in the site’s inaugural Newsletter, Hublot’s website gets 300,000 to 500,000 visitors per month, with an average visit of 9 minutes. Pretty good engagement! I certainly don’t see the new site helping those numbers, though. But as always in this world…time will tell. Do you see it differently? If so, I’d love to know – leave a comment below, or catch up with us on Twitter or Facebook.