One of most important parts of my job is to work with clients to make their designs simpler, cleaner and more intuitive. I take no greater pride than seeing the evolution of a print or web piece from a rough internal concept, riddled with arcane messages or esoteric ideas, to a clear, consistent promotion. I work with clients to meticulously hone down verbiage and copy to best communicate their offerings. Oftentimes, the back-and-forth discussion reveals even stronger concepts that prospective clients understand easier/faster and my clients marvel at the clarity of their image.
This is why I wonder what was going through NetworkSolutions’ minds when they recently redesigned their web site. It isn’t just the organization that suffers as they’ve transformed their image to look like every other registrar out there. They’ve also attempted to rebrand the products that each registrar sells (domains, sites , email accounts) with nsWebAddress™, nsSpace™ and nsMail™. Not only does this do nothing to increase customers’ understanding of their services, it also seems to be intentionally misleading. Hosting is commonly called “space” in the industry, however to NetworkSolutions, nsSpace™ is a web site, not web space. They’re no longer referring to SSL Certificates as the industry standard but rather nsProtect™. So when our clients go to manage their eCommerce accounts, and they want to buy or renew their certificates, they have no idea where to go or what to do. They may also, inadvertanly, let the renewal lapse because they’re not aware that nsProtect™ is a SSL Certificate. This is especially a problem when other registrars refer to private registration as Protection Services as it impedes Spambots from aggregating users’ private registration data.
The complete list of their changes (the “most obvious” ones, they say) are to the left, listed under the guise of doing it in the name of customer requests. As if attempting to brand the most generic of registrar services, while also creating a whole host of new miscommunication/renewal issues, can be attributed to any customer request.
I have to wonder who coerced NetworkSolutions, a company already losing ground to registrars with less expensive services (Such as GoDaddy.com), to make their online presence so obscure that new customers could feasibly leave them when they don’t see “SSL Certificates” or “Domains” as products they even offer. It’s scenarios like this when I really become happy to work within a company that respects clarity of offering and strong, consistent communication to target audiences.