Although it seems contrary to the counterculture feeling of the sport, skateboarding is one of the most branded youth activities in the United States. Skaters are aware, even hyper-aware, of the names and logos covering their boards, trucks, wheels, and clothing. In addition to the gear, skateboarders use stickers to show their brand affiliations and affinities. If a company wants to break into this image conscious market, they must have a brand that is created to appeal to them.
A website is a key part of this branding process. This is the place to display your logo design and other images that represent the brand. Because young people have grown up with computers and the internet, you can bet that they check out the websites of their favorite brands. The Vertigo Skateboards website is made to appeal to this market.
The Vertigo Skateboards website ties into the logo design in both color and style. Further, it is easy to see the industry that they are in from the photographs of products both in displays and in actual use. The brand claims to be for ‘the new skateboarding generation’, a message that will appeal to many of their target consumers.
Young people are tied into social media more than any other age group, and Vertigo Skateboards seems to know this well. The products themselves take up only one of the tabs at the top of the page—‘Collection’. The other tabs are pages filled with links to affiliated websites and to social networking sites. There is a contest to entice people to become Facebook fans and other promotional material. This website is about raising friends as raising funds, which is the most effective way to reach this market.
Creativity: 4 stars. This website is black and white with blue accents, tying into the logo. However, it maintains a distinctly urban, noncommercial feeling by creatively arranging elements and using unexpected fonts and images.
Ease of use: 4 stars. You’ll be able to find whatever you need easily, thanks to a navigation bar with links to the most accessed information. It should be noted that there aren’t a whole lot of products; this clearly is an up and coming brand. The pages are a little cluttered due to a lot of information and could use a little more attention to organization.
Functionality: 5 stars. This business is aware of the internet habits of their target consumers and has carved out a presence on just about every social networking website out there. In addition, contests and giveaways entice young consumers to begin a long term relationship with the brand.
Content: 5 stars. The content is correct and comes from a place of authority, but it is clearly written in an authentically youthful voice with language that a younger market will understand and appreciate.
Appropriateness: 5 stars. Every aspect of the Vertigo Skateboards website is designed with its product and its audience in mind.
Overall: 4.6 stars. This website will appeal immensely to its audience, and isn’t that the whole point?