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34 of the Best Website Designs to Inspire You in 2022

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34 of the Best Website Designs to Inspire You in 2022

Your website inspiration journey starts here.

Deciding to create a web presence is a big decision, but the best websites are a culmination of many small decisions. But one major decision that takes time, diligence, and a great deal of inspiration is the design of your website.

In this article, we’re sharing a few dozen of the best website designs we’ve seen. Click the links below to jump to explore website designs that crushed it in the last several years. We’ve also included a bonus section of designs that are just plain cool — so check them out, too!

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Where to Get Your Design Inspiration

If you want some design inspo, the good news is that you can find it just about everywhere.

One of the best ways to get inspiration for design is through travel. When you visit new places, you’re forced to get out of your comfort zone and experience something foreign.

What makes design so interesting is that everyone sees it differently and so, there’s always more to discover.

Another way to get design inspiration IRL is through the media. Every day, we are inundated with visual content. We make decisions about what we like, what we don’t like, and continue on our day.

But what if you were more intentional about how you viewed those interactions? You could come out of it with valuable insights.

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You also can’t forget to leverage design communities. From design conferences to Reddit forums, there are hundreds of groups out there that can offer inspiration as well as advice.

Now that we’ve covered some IRL design inspiration sources, let’s cover the digital ones.

Website Design Inspiration Sources

1. HubSpot’s Asset Marketplace

HubSpot’s Asset Marketplace houses hundreds of website templates that you can sift through to get inspired for your own website.

website design inspiration sources

The best part of the marketplace is that you can narrow down by industry and feature, allowing you to see the templates that are most relevant.

Once you find a template you like, you can view a live preview of the site to get a full experience then download it if you decide to use it.

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2. Dribble

Dribble is where designers go to get inspired and to share their work. The website has everything from animation and branding to illustration and mobile.

website design inspiration sources dribble

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Once you navigate to the “Web Design” tab on the homepage, you can filter results by color scheme, editing software, timeframe, and tags.

Furthermore, if you find a designer whose work you like, you can save the design for future reference and follow their work to see other designs on their profile.

This is an incredible resource to use whether you’re starting from scratch or already have a solid plan in mind.

3. Bēhance

This is another digital platform full of creative inspiration to leverage ahead of your website design project.

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website design inspiration sources behance

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One of the best features on this site is the ability to filter by location. This allows you to see how designers in different regions differ in technique and style.

This can be particularly helpful if you are designing a website for a foreign, unfamiliar market. You can gain interesting insights by evaluating the decisions made by Behance designers.

4. Pttrns

Want to focus on mobile web design? Pttrns is the place to go.

This subscription-based platform allows you to gain access to thousands of mobile design templates and get advice from top designers all over the world.

mobile website design inspiration pttrns

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Additional features on this platform include:

From familiar corporations to small businesses, to international organizations, the following sites push the status quo on the web. Whether it’s the design aesthetic, usability, interactivity, sound design, or value that the site provides, each one is a masterpiece in its respective industry and something to aspire to.

Not surprisingly, many organizations exist to highlight these sites and the contributions they make to the web. To help surface some of the most inspirational designs, I gathered several award-winners that have made their way through several key awards organizations — including Red Dot, Awwwards, UX Awards, The Webby Awards, SiteInspire, Best Website Gallery, and FWA.

As you browse through the list, know that each site excels in its own way and seeks to serve a unique purpose. While one site may be an excellent example of visual design, another may be an excellent example of interactivity.

This means that not all of these sites may be “conversion machines” or blueprint ideas that you can easily copy over to your site. Rather, they’re great ways to gain some website design inspiration and see the cutting-edge marketing that’s happening in the different corners of the web.

Keep in mind that web designs are fluid and change often. Some of the designs in this list have changed since they were awarded, but we do our best to keep them up-to-date. We’re confident you’ll find a design here that sparks your creativity.

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Read More: 77 Examples of Incredible Website Design

77 Examples of Incredible Website Design

Download this free guide to see even more examples of website blog, homepage, and landing page designs.

Beautiful Award-Winning Websites

Best Website Designs from 2021

IBM’s The Harmonic State

Award: Site of the Month (July 2021), Awwwards

When you land on this IBM web page, it’s clear to see why the design won an award.

best website designs from 2021: IBM

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The best way to describe the website is as an immersive experience. In fact, IBM uses both visual and auditory elements to draw the visitor in and keep them engaged.

When you first land on the web page, you’re prompted to put on headphones to get the full experience. Even if you skip this step, you’re drawn in by the interactive background that reacts as your mouse navigates on the page.

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In addition, the page is well balanced with a large title that grabs your attention across from a small description with a bold blue CTA.

With a topic as complex as AI, IBM then uses visual storytelling to explain how its Watson tool works in the real world. Visitors can explore three stories through video game-like functions and learn more about the tool.

It’s a fun and effective way to get users engaged in a topic that can be complicated and dry.

Superlist

Award: Site of the Month (April 2021), Awwwards

Superlist is a productivity app that helps teams and individuals change the way they work.

Too often, you land on a website and have to figure out what the brand is about. With Superlist, you know exactly what to expect as soon as you get to the homepage.

best website designs from 2021: superlist

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The interactive homepage shows common work accessories, like headphones and keyboard with clear, to-the-point copy.

Superlist effectively uses white space to keep the focus on its copy. However, to facilitate navigation, they include a small button with an arrow icon to indicate that there’s more to see on the page once you scroll.

From there, the fun visuals continue – keeping you engaged as you learn more about the brand.

Hyer

Award: Website of the Month (2022), CSS Design Awards

Want to make a strong impression on your website visitors? Take a page out of Hyer’s book.

best website designs from 2021: hyer

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This striking illustration of the airplane, as it slowly moves across the screen, is sure to grab website visitors’ attention.

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This page has everything you need in an effective homepage: An image that tells a story but isn’t too distracting, use of white space, easy nav bar, a tagline or slogan, and a clear CTA.

It’s a clean design that’s free of any distractions and invites visitors to learn more about the brand.

Best Website Designs from 2020

Swab the World

Award: Site of the Day (2020), Awwwards

Parallax, bold colors, and negative space shape the design and experience of Swab the World’s website. The organization brings awareness to stem cell donations. Their mission is to “Make sure every single patient finds their match. Period.” Photos of couples exhibiting love and emotions bring a human element to a historically complex and scientific process.

From a technical perspective, the design makes moving down the page feel natural, ensuring the readers reach each point of copy and every CTA on the homepage.

best website designs from 2020

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Newest Americans

Award: Honorable Mention (2020), Awwwards

An organization with a responsibility as large as honoring past, present, and future migrating identities needs a beautiful and functional website to help spread the word. Newest Americans champion immigrant experiences in cities across the state of New Jersey. The website uses beautiful imagery of people, places, and items that represent this experience in a way that flows cohesively down the homepage, telling the story of this group of America’s newest citizens.

The website is both visually appealing and functional with a simple navigation menu, stories organized by photos, and a clean press page that puts the most recent articles front and center.

best website designs from 2020 newest americans

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Spotify Design

Award: Honorable Mention (2020), Awwwards

Spotify is known for accomplishing its fair share of amazing feats, and its latest iteration of Spotify.Design is no different. Serving as the hub for all things visual and creative for Spotify, the music and podcast giant gives listeners a look into the who, what, why, and how of what makes the app so sensational.

Bright colors, drop shadows, and smooth animations give this website character and depth. The flat geometric designs with abstract accents make albums and artists practically jump off of the screen.

best website designs from 2020 spotify design

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Andy Warhol

Award: Honorable Mention (2020), Awwwards

Artist, film director, and producer Andy Warhol’s life will forever be encapsulated in a splendidly designed website that captures his art style in a digital format. As you peruse the page, your cursor becomes a spotlight that converts every image you hover over into a negative image or inverses the colors of the text you’re reading.

The big, bold text makes a statement and emphasizes just how important copy is to website design. Subtle animations help pace the site and set the tone for each section as you peruse the home page.

best website designs from 2020 andy warhol

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Human Interaction Company

Award: Corporate Website (2020), Red Dot

To see video done right on a website, look no further than the Human Interaction Company. From the moment you click on the site, the experience is lightning fast. You’re dropped directly into the action — the why, what, and how of Human Interaction and exactly what the team does.

This Red Dot Design Award winner aims to bring the study of human interaction to the masses, and in the process, show us just how engaging it can be to learn about it. Don’t get discouraged by their award status though — none of the photos on this site are photoshopped, so it’s a practical example of building quality with the resources you have available.

human interaction company best website design award winner 2020

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Garoa Skincare

Award: Site of the Day (2020), Awwwards

How do you transform the feeling of luxury and practicality into a website? Garoa Skincare provides a blueprint. Whether your product costs half the price of your closest competitor or twice the price, your site can bring a sense of extravagance to just about any product you sell.

High-quality visuals, typefaces that complement each other, and a balance of negative space with useful copy can bring a simplistic elegance to your website.

garoa skincare best website design award winner 2020

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Best Website Designs from 2019

1917: In the Trenches

Award: Awwwards’ Best Website of the Day (2019)

This website, made to promote the film 1917, allows you to walk around the trenches and perform the same mission that the characters did in the film. You can also see their maps or access other tools.

This is a great example of a site that went above and beyond with interactivity as well as a site that leverages its content and prewritten storyline to market its film. This website won Site of the Day by Awwwards, which allows designers to vote and nominate great websites they see daily.

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1917: In the trenches best website design award winner 2019

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The Octopus: A design blog by IDEO

Award: Business Blog/Website 2019 Webby award

IDEO, a global design company, won the Business Blog/Website 2019 Webby award for its Octopus blog, and for good reason. The blog features a sleek, black-and-white Octopus drawing as its homepage design, and uses yellow, black, and white to create a cohesive theme as you scroll.

If you hover over a blog post, the title is highlighted in yellow. If you hover over an image, the image is pulled towards you — two small features that make a big difference in terms of creating a unique and engaging user experience.

The Octopus best website design award winner 2019

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Nomadic Tribe

Award: Awwwards’ Site of the Year nomination (2019)

This site, which was nominated for Awwards’ Site of the Year, is one of the more engaging sites I’ve seen.

The homepage immediately begins playing a stunning video featuring a man walking across a desert, followed by gorgeous landscape scenes and text like, “Are you lucky enough to call yourself an adventurer?”

The text throughout the website is playful, with colorful pinks and oranges and yellows, and the homepage is logically designed, with CTAs placed throughout that range in commitment-level from “Read More” to “Watch Now” and, finally, “Download the App”.

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Ultimately, the website is beautifully designed with strong attention to detail, and tells a compelling story throughout.

website design inspiration nomadic tribe

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Diana Danieli

Award: Webby 2019

This 2019 Webby-winning site shows off imagery of art and architecture with either high contrast or heavy exposure. As a website visitor, you can click and drag your mouse to change the photos and variations. Each image shows a piece of work that highlights the artist who owns the website.

A cool plus about this website is its incorporation of audio and music. Clicking on certain buttons on the screenplays a piano note and truly immerses you in the Diana Danieli experience.

website design inspiration

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George Nakashima Woodworkers

Award: Webby 2019

This woodworking website emphasizes nature and care for the woodworking trade. It’s essentially a slideshow of beautiful forestry and farming images. As a new image comes on the screen, a new quote related to wood or trees also comes up.

This is incredibly relaxing to the visitor and shows that the woodworkers recognize the beauty of trees and the environment. This website also won a Webbie in 2019.

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george nakashima woordworkers best website design award winner 2019

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Best Website Designs from 2018

crypton.trading

Award: Site of the Day (4/3/2018), Awwwards

Meet crypton.trading, your robot accountant.

Crypton.trading is a trading hub for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, using artificial intelligence to predict changes in a currency’s value and identify key buying and selling opportunities. The website was rated high for its development and design, as it gradually explains more of the developer’s methods the further down visitors scroll.

This award-winning website makes tech-savvy visitors feel right at home the moment Crypton’s greeting appears across the homepage, one letter at a time.

crypton.trading best website design award winner 2018Image Source

Southwest: Heart of Travel

Award: Best Visual Design – Aesthetic, 2018 Webby Awards

When Southwest Airlines wanted to prove that its customers were “more than just a dollar sign,” the company created a website where the design was assembled using the shapes of their customers’ flight paths.

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The website, called Heart of Travel, even allows visitors to create their own artwork out of a trip they might plan on taking. In this way, Southwest’s website is a product of their most loyal passengers.

Southwest best website design award winner 2018Image Source

Overflow

Award: Site of the Day (3/20/2018), Best Website Gallery

Overflow is a design tool that allows people and businesses to create story-like flow diagrams of their ideas so they’re easier for others to understand. Aside from this being just a good service, the Overflow website practices what it preaches: Along with vibrant red call-to-action buttons for downloading the tool, this website promotes its product the best way it knows how — using a flow diagram.

The website delivers this flow diagram in the form of a video. While embedded videos can look rather clunky sitting in the middle of a website’s other design elements, Overflow’s is perfectly placed and exactly what you’d want to see when landing on the site for the first time.

overflow best website design award winner 2018

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Frans Hals Museum

Award: Site of the Year (2018), Awwwards

It can be tough for a museum to present all of its artwork together on a cohesive website. That’s what makes the website of the Frans Hals Museum so impressive.

Located in the Netherlands, this museum has created a website that uses a combination of digital design elements and its own exhibits. This mixture helps visitors understand what they’ll see, when they can see it, and where else they can get a taste of what this museum has to offer.

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website design inspiration frans hal museum

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Best Website Designs from 2017

Simply Chocolate

Award: Site of the Year (2017), Awwwards

You’ll get a craving for chocolate just looking at this website — and in a way, that’s Simply Chocolate‘s website working as designed.

This appetizing website is that of a Denmark chocolate maker Simply Chocolate. Its website uses a variety of colors (and creative product names) to promote each chocolate bar. And as you scroll from one product to the next, they all seem to remain consistent in brand.

The three-dimensional appearance of each chocolate bar makes you feel like you can grab it off of your computer screen, while the “Add to Box” CTA to the top-left is ideally placed for users to select the products they want while browsing.

Simply Chocolate best website design award winner 2017

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NOWNESS

Award: Best Cultural Blog/Website, 2017 Webby Awards

NOWNESS is perhaps the coolest crowdsourced video blog on the internet. That was a mouthful…what does it all mean?

NOWNESS‘ crowdsourcing is part of what makes it an award-winner. This means most of its content comes from independent creatives — an increasingly popular way for businesses to publish content.

NOWNESS is also a video channel, meaning all of its blog content is in video format. Together, these qualities help make Nowness a captivating hub for the stories that brands everywhere strive to tell.

website design inspiration nownessImage Source

Best Website Designs from 2016

Rainforest Guardians

Award: Best Activism Website, 2016 Webby Awards

Rainforest Guardians became one of the most immersive nonprofit websites of 2016. Seeking to build awareness around deforestation, the site allows users to “visit” the various villages, natives, and waterways that make up the Amazon Rainforest.

The site puts interactivity at the center of its user experience — a wise choice if your goal is to get people to connect with your cause and convert into volunteers.

website design inspiration rainforest guardians

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Protest Sportswear

Award: Site of the Year (2016), Awwwards

The Awwwards calls Protest Sportswear a “shoppable lookbook,” and that’s exactly what this site is. As a clothing outfitter, this company has reinvented the way they market its product: Rather than promoting garments of clothing, Protest Sportswear promotes “looks.”

This makes the company’s product the most appealing part of the website itself, using a collage of styles to design a homepage that changes as often as its customer’s styles do.

website design inspiration protest sportswear

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The Teacher’s Guild

Award: Best Association Website, 2016 Webby Awards

The Teacher’s Guild is a professional community of educators that addresses some of the most critical challenges in education. What makes this website award-winning is how it balances diverse content types — programs, solutions, approaches, and collaborations — without overwhelming visitors.

Not only are the background visuals prominently placed, but they also use white space to emphasize the written calls to action at the center, as shown in the screenshot below.

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Teacher's Guild best website design award winner 2016

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Best Website Designs from 2015 – 2014

Virgin America

Award: Most Significant Industry Evolution, 2014 UX Awards

In a world where airline websites are known to be riddled with major usability issues, Virgin America has one of the best websites that pushes usability, accessibility, and responsive design forward.

Virgin America UX Award winner 2014Image Source

Feed

Award: Site of the Day (6/6/2015), Awwwards

Not only is Feed an interesting concept, but it also has a stunning execution that challenges our understanding of what is possible on the web. Through a creative blend of animation and video, the site immerses the user in an engaging experience.

As an atypical site, it contains several unique usability elements, including navigation that doubles as a scroll progress bar.

website design inspiration feedImage Source

ETQ

Award: Site of the Day (5/19/2015), Awwwards

ETQ takes a minimalistic approach to ecommerce with a stripped-down site. Big, compelling visuals of their product lay against simple, flat backgrounds accompanied by strong typography that keeps the focus on exactly what the user came there to see: shoes.

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ETQ best website design award winner 2015Image Source

Mikiya Kobayashi

Award: Site of the Day (7/4/2015), Awwwards

Mikiya is a Product Designer with a minimalistic portfolio that showcases his work through strong photography and subtle animations. His full site was originally created in Japanese and then translated into English, helping demonstrate the international scalability of his design.

Mikiya best website design award winner 2015Image Source

Woven Magazine

Award: Site of the Day (4/4/2015), Best Website Gallery

Woven is an online publication that celebrates artists, crafters, and creators alike. They confirm that publications can (and should) have beautiful, engaging sites with easy-to-read content. Free of distractions like pop-ups and intrusive ads, this site is all about the experience of the content itself.

website design inspiration woven

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JOHO’s Bean

Award: FWA of the Day (8/7/2015), Favorite Website Awards

The website for JOHO’s Bean has incredible imagery, interactivity, storytelling, visual design, and most of all, sound engineering. These all come together to create a compelling, emotional, and engaging site that tells the story of a coffee bean’s journey.

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World of SWISS

Award: Best User Interface, 2015 Webby Awards

Another airline? Yep. SWISS airlines built an incredibly immersive site that tells the story of what it’s like to fly with them — and they did too great of a job to be ignored. Strong visuals and animations introduce the user to different sections of the site that are packed with information beyond the usual sales and marketing pitch.

World of SWISS best website design award winner 2015Image Source

Other Cool Website Designs

Guillaume Tomasi

As a Photographer in Montreal, Guillaume Tomasi has built a portfolio that’s truly fit to house his unique and awe-inspiring photography. His surreal photo style is juxtaposed by his simple, flat, empty, and minimalistic portfolio design that places all of the focus on the work itself.

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His unique series navigation coupled with art-gallery-inspired work introductions and perfect scrolling interactions yield an experience reminiscent of that of a real gallery.guillaume tomasi best website design award winner

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The District

This branding agency takes its imagery seriously, and it should — it handles all channels of media for its clients. The District’s website alone is a journey through some of the most beautiful artwork and photography you’ve ever seen.

These provocative tiles change rapidly as you explore the website, and the wackier they seem, the more interested you become in learning about their past work.

website design inspiration the district

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Tej Chauhan

Tej Chauhan has turned impressionist artwork into a business model with this intriguing website. Each image on this product developer’s homepage slides out to cover the previous image, offering little context around the object you now see in front of you. But it’s that lack of context that makes you want to learn more.

Plus, the tagline, “Souvenirs of The Near Future,” suggests these objects are a part of their product line — and an opportunity for you to bring these innovative objects into your life.

tej chauhan best website design award winner

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Want a similar look for your website? Check out the new CMS Hub theme collection on the Envato marketplace.

Amanda Martocchio Architecture

An architecture firm might not specialize in web development, but its website should still demonstrate its commitment to visually pleasing design. Amanda Martocchio took that to heart with this gorgeous website.

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It’s no secret that Amanda Martocchio Architecture loves its work — each picture on the homepage of its website is an enchanting shot of the houses the company designs. The website labels every house you scroll through with the type of design that was intended, along with numerous angles to each building.

amanda martpcchio best website design award winner

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Website Design Ideas

Now that you’ve seen a number of beautifully designed and award-winning platforms, keep these potential ideas in mind as you create your own.

Build a Beautiful Website for your Business

Designing a website can be simple once you have a look and feel in mind. Use these examples as a springboard to develop the layout, color palette, imagery, and animations on your website.

Once you’re ready to start coding or dragging and dropping, you’ll have a beautiful website that your visitors will enjoy.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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examples of brilliant homepage, blog, and landing page design


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Lessons From Air Canada’s Chatbot Fail

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Lessons From Air Canada’s Chatbot Fail

Air Canada tried to throw its chatbot under the AI bus.

It didn’t work.

A Canadian court recently ruled Air Canada must compensate a customer who bought a full-price ticket after receiving inaccurate information from the airline’s chatbot.

Air Canada had argued its chatbot made up the answer, so it shouldn’t be liable. As Pepper Brooks from the movie Dodgeball might say, “That’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.” 

But what does that chatbot mistake mean for you as your brands add these conversational tools to their websites? What does it mean for the future of search and the impact on you when consumers use tools like Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s ChatGPT to research your brand?

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AI disrupts Air Canada

AI seems like the only topic of conversation these days. Clients expect their agencies to use it as long as they accompany that use with a big discount on their services. “It’s so easy,” they say. “You must be so happy.”

Boards at startup companies pressure their management teams about it. “Where are we on an AI strategy,” they ask. “It’s so easy. Everybody is doing it.” Even Hollywood artists are hedging their bets by looking at the newest generative AI developments and saying, “Hmmm … Do we really want to invest more in humans?  

Let’s all take a breath. Humans are not going anywhere. Let me be super clear, “AI is NOT a strategy. It’s an innovation looking for a strategy.” Last week’s Air Canada decision may be the first real-world distinction of that.

The story starts with a man asking Air Canada’s chatbot if he could get a retroactive refund for a bereavement fare as long as he provided the proper paperwork. The chatbot encouraged him to book his flight to his grandmother’s funeral and then request a refund for the difference between the full-price and bereavement fair within 90 days. The passenger did what the chatbot suggested.

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Air Canada refused to give a refund, citing its policy that explicitly states it will not provide refunds for travel after the flight is booked.

When the passenger sued, Air Canada’s refusal to pay got more interesting. It argued it should not be responsible because the chatbot was a “separate legal entity” and, therefore, Air Canada shouldn’t be responsible for its actions.

I remember a similar defense in childhood: “I’m not responsible. My friends made me do it.” To which my mom would respond, “Well, if they told you to jump off a bridge, would you?”

My favorite part of the case was when a member of the tribunal said what my mom would have said, “Air Canada does not explain why it believes …. why its webpage titled ‘bereavement travel’ was inherently more trustworthy than its chatbot.”

The BIG mistake in human thinking about AI

That is the interesting thing as you deal with this AI challenge of the moment. Companies mistake AI as a strategy to deploy rather than an innovation to a strategy that should be deployed. AI is not the answer for your content strategy. AI is simply a way to help an existing strategy be better.

Generative AI is only as good as the content — the data and the training — fed to it.  Generative AI is a fantastic recognizer of patterns and understanding of the probable next word choice. But it’s not doing any critical thinking. It cannot discern what is real and what is fiction.

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Think for a moment about your website as a learning model, a brain of sorts. How well could it accurately answer questions about the current state of your company? Think about all the help documents, manuals, and educational and training content. If you put all of that — and only that — into an artificial brain, only then could you trust the answers.

Your chatbot likely would deliver some great results and some bad answers. Air Canada’s case involved a minuscule challenge. But imagine when it’s not a small mistake. And what about the impact of unintended content? Imagine if the AI tool picked up that stray folder in your customer help repository — the one with all the snarky answers and idiotic responses? Or what if it finds the archive that details everything wrong with your product or safety? AI might not know you don’t want it to use that content.

ChatGPT, Gemini, and others present brand challenges, too

Publicly available generative AI solutions may create the biggest challenges.

I tested the problematic potential. I asked ChatGPT to give me the pricing for two of the best-known CRM systems. (I’ll let you guess which two.) I asked it to compare the pricing and features of the two similar packages and tell me which one might be more appropriate.

First, it told me it couldn’t provide pricing for either of them but included the pricing page for each in a footnote. I pressed the citation and asked it to compare the two named packages. For one of them, it proceeded to give me a price 30% too high, failing to note it was now discounted. And it still couldn’t provide the price for the other, saying the company did not disclose pricing but again footnoted the pricing page where the cost is clearly shown.

In another test, I asked ChatGPT, “What’s so great about the digital asset management (DAM) solution from [name of tech company]?” I know this company doesn’t offer a DAM system, but ChatGPT didn’t.

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It returned with an answer explaining this company’s DAM solution was a wonderful, single source of truth for digital assets and a great system. It didn’t tell me it paraphrased the answer from content on the company’s webpage that highlighted its ability to integrate into a third-party provider’s DAM system.

Now, these differences are small. I get it. I also should be clear that I got good answers for some of my harder questions in my brief testing. But that’s what’s so insidious. If users expected answers that were always a little wrong, they would check their veracity. But when the answers seem right and impressive, even though they are completely wrong or unintentionally accurate, users trust the whole system.

That’s the lesson from Air Canada and the subsequent challenges coming down the road.

AI is a tool, not a strategy

Remember, AI is not your content strategy. You still need to audit it. Just as you’ve done for over 20 years, you must ensure the entirety of your digital properties reflect the current values, integrity, accuracy, and trust you want to instill.

AI will not do this for you. It cannot know the value of those things unless you give it the value of those things. Think of AI as a way to innovate your human-centered content strategy. It can express your human story in different and possibly faster ways to all your stakeholders.

But only you can know if it’s your story. You have to create it, value it, and manage it, and then perhaps AI can help you tell it well. 

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Only 6% of global marketers apply customer insights to product and brand

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Only 6% of global marketers apply customer insights to product and brand

While many brands talk about focusing on the customer, few do it. Less than a quarter (24%) of global brands are mapping customer behavior and sentiment, according to Braze’s 2024 Customer Engagement Review. What’s worse, only 6% apply customer insights to their product and brand approach.

“At the end of the day, a lot of companies operate based on their structure and not how the consumer interacts with them,” Mariam Asmar, VP of strategic consulting, told MarTech. “And while some companies have done a great job of reorienting that, with roles like the chief customer officer, there are many more that still don’t. Cross-channel doesn’t exist because there are still all these silos. But the customer doesn’t care about your silos. The customer doesn’t see silos. They see a brand.”

Half of all marketers report either depending on multiple, siloed point solutions to cobble together a multi-channel experience manually (33%); or primarily relying on single-channel solutions (17%).  Only 30% have access to a single customer engagement platform capable of creating personalized, seamless experiences across channels. This is a huge problem when it comes to cross-channel, personalization.

The persistence of silos

The persistence of data silos despite decades of explanation about the problems they cause, surprised Asmar the most.

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Source: Braze 2024 Global Customer Engagement Review

“Why are we still talking about this?” she said to MarTech. “One of the themes I see in the report is we’re still getting caught up on some of the same stumbling blocks as before.”

She said silos are indicative of teams working on different goals and “the only way that gets unsolved is if a leader comes in and aligns people towards some of those goals.”

These silos also hinder the use of AI, something 99% of respondents said they were already doing. The top uses of AI by marketers are:

  • Generating creative ideas (48%).
  • Automating repetitive tasks (47%).
  • Optimizing strategies in real-time (47%).
  • Enhancing data analysis (47%).
  • Powering predictive analytics (45%).
  • Personalizing campaigns (44%). 

Despite the high usage numbers, less than half of marketers have any interest in exploring AI’s potential to enhance customer engagement. Asmar believes there are two main reasons for this. First is that many people like the systems they know and understand. The other reason is a lack of training on the part of companies.

Dig deeper: 5 ways CRMs are leveraging AI to automate marketing today

“I think about when I was in advertising and everybody switched to social media,” she told MarTech. “Companies acted like ‘Well, all the marketers will just figure out social media.’ You can’t do that because whenever you’re teaching somebody how to do something new there’s always a level of training them up, even though they’re apps that we use every day, as people using them as a business and how they apply, how we get impact from them.”

The good news is that brands are setting the stage for the data agility they need.

  • 50% export performance feedback to business intelligence platforms to generate advanced analytics.
  • 48% sync performance with insights generated by other platforms in the business.

Also worth noting: Marketers say these are the four main obstacles to creativity and strategy:  

  • Emphasis on KPIs inherently inhibits a focus on creativity (42%).
  • Too much time spent on business-as-usual execution and tasks (42%).
  • Lack of technology to execute creative ideas, (41%).
  • Hard to demonstrate ROI impact of creativity (40%).
Screenshot 2024 02 27 135952Screenshot 2024 02 27 135952

Methodology

The 2024 Global Customer Engagement Review (registration required) is based on insights from 1,900 VP+ marketing decision-makers across 14 countries in three global regions: The Americas (Brazil, Mexico, and the US), APAC (Australia, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea), and EMEA (France, Germany, Spain, the UAE, and the UK).

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Crafting Effortless Sales Through ‘Wow’ Moments in Experience Marketing

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Crafting Effortless Sales Through 'Wow' Moments in Experience Marketing

Crafting Effortless Sales Through Wow Moments in Experience Marketing

In an era where consumers are bombarded with endless choices and digital noise, standing out as a brand is more challenging than ever. Enter experience marketing – a strategy that transcends traditional advertising by focusing on creating immersive, memorable interactions. This innovative approach leverages the elements of surprise, delight, and reciprocity to forge strong emotional connections with customers, making the sale of your core product feel effortless. But how can businesses implement this strategy effectively? This guide delves into the art of crafting ‘wow’ moments that captivate audiences and transform customer engagement.

The Basics of Experience Marketing

Experience marketing is an evolved form of marketing that focuses on creating meaningful interactions with customers, aiming to elicit strong emotional responses that lead to brand loyalty and advocacy. Unlike conventional marketing, which often prioritizes product promotion, experience marketing centers on the customer’s holistic journey with the brand, creating a narrative that resonates on a personal level.

In today’s competitive market, experience marketing is not just beneficial; it’s essential. It differentiates your brand in a crowded marketplace, elevating your offerings beyond mere commodities to become integral parts of your customers’ lives. Through memorable experiences, you not only attract attention but also foster a community of loyal customers who are more likely to return and recommend your brand to others.

Principles of Experience Marketing

At the heart of experience marketing lie several key principles:

  • Emotional Connection: Crafting campaigns that touch on human emotions, from joy to surprise, creating memorable moments that customers are eager to share.
  • Customer-Centricity: Putting the customer’s needs and desires at the forefront of every marketing strategy, ensuring that each interaction adds value and enhances their experience with the brand.
  • Immersive Experiences: Utilizing technology and storytelling to create immersive experiences that captivate customers, making your brand a living part of their world.
  • Engagement Across Touchpoints: Ensuring consistent, engaging experiences across all customer touchpoints, from digital platforms to physical stores.

Understanding Your Audience

Before diving into the intricacies of crafting ‘wow’ moments, it’s crucial to understand who you’re creating these moments for. Identifying your audience’s pain points and desires is the first step in tailoring experiences that truly resonate.

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This involves deep market research, customer interviews, and leveraging data analytics to paint a comprehensive picture of your target demographic. By understanding the journey your customers are on, you can design touchpoints that not only meet but exceed their expectations.

  • Identifying Pain Points and Desires: Use surveys, social media listening, and customer feedback to gather insights. What frustrates your customers about your industry? What do they wish for more than anything else? These insights will guide your efforts to create experiences that truly resonate.
  • Mapping the Customer Journey: Visualize every step a customer takes from discovering your brand to making a purchase and beyond. This map will highlight critical touchpoints where you can introduce ‘wow’ moments that transform the customer experience.

Developing Your Experience Marketing Strategy

With a clear understanding of your audience, it’s time to build the framework of your experience marketing strategy. This involves setting clear objectives, identifying key customer touchpoints, and conceptualizing the experiences you want to create.

  • Setting Objectives: Define what you aim to achieve with your experience marketing efforts. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, boosting sales, or improving customer retention, having clear goals will shape your approach and help measure success.
  • Strategic Touchpoint Identification: List all the potential touchpoints where customers interact with your brand, from social media to in-store experiences. Consider every stage of the customer journey and look for opportunities to enhance these interactions.

Enhancing Customer Experiences with Surprise, Delight, and Reciprocity

This section is where the magic happens. By integrating the elements of surprise, delight, and reciprocity, you can elevate ordinary customer interactions into unforgettable experiences.

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  • Incorporating Surprise and Delight: Go beyond what’s expected. This could be as simple as a personalized thank-you note with each purchase or as elaborate as a surprise gift for loyal customers. The key is to create moments that feel special and unexpected.
  • Applying the Principle of Reciprocity: When customers receive something of value, they’re naturally inclined to give something back. This can be leveraged by offering helpful resources, exceptional service, or customer appreciation events. Such gestures encourage loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.
  • Examples and Case Studies: Highlight real-world examples of brands that have successfully implemented these strategies. Analyze what they did, why it worked, and how it impacted their relationship with customers.

Best Practices for Experience Marketing

To ensure your experience marketing strategy is as effective as possible, it’s important to adhere to some best practices.

  • Personalization at Scale: Leverage data and technology to personalize experiences without losing efficiency. Tailored experiences make customers feel valued and understood.
  • Using Technology to Enhance Experiences: From augmented reality (AR) to mobile apps, technology offers myriad ways to create immersive experiences that surprise and engage customers.
  • Measuring Success: Utilize analytics tools to track the success of your experience marketing initiatives. Key performance indicators (KPIs) could include engagement rates, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction scores.

Section 5: Overcoming Common Challenges

Even the best-laid plans can encounter obstacles. This section addresses common challenges in experience marketing and how to overcome them.

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  • Budget Constraints: Learn how to create impactful experiences without breaking the bank. It’s about creativity, not just expenditure.
  • Maintaining Consistency: Ensuring a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints can be daunting. Develop a comprehensive brand guideline and train your team accordingly.
  • Staying Ahead of Trends: The digital landscape is ever-changing. Stay informed about the latest trends in experience marketing and be ready to adapt your strategy as necessary.

The Path to Effortless Sales

By creating memorable experiences that resonate on a personal level, you make the path to purchase not just easy but natural. When customers feel connected to your brand, appreciated, and valued, making a sale becomes a byproduct of your relationship with them. Experience marketing, when done right, transforms transactions into interactions, customers into advocates, and products into passions.

Now is the time to reassess your marketing strategy. Are you just selling a product, or are you providing an unforgettable experience? Dive into the world of experience marketing and start creating those ‘wow’ moments that will not only distinguish your brand but also make sales feel effortless.


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