When we first discovered Rob Frankel, we were a little puzzled. Having never heard of the Los Angeles marketing consultant, we wanted to find out how he had earned the title of “the best branding expert on the planet,” as he claims to be. We spent hours trying to find out who Frankel is and what he does, but his website kept getting in the way.
Frankel’s website is a clumsy mess of unprofessional layout and design. We’re unsure if he’s employing his expertise in brand strategy to prove a point that we just aren’t getting, or if he’s simply oblivious to the latest technology available in web design and development.
The first thing you encounter on RobFrankel.com is the copyright date. It’s right at the very top, and it says 1992. That date sets the tone for the rest of the website, as every element on the page feels as if it were designed over 15 years ago. An animated, bobbling Frankel-head button greets us as the first graphic on the page. This button defines the website: it’s somewhere between a cute inside joke and a gloriously tacky relic from the days of GeoCities homepages.
Navigating the website is a downright challenge. The main navigation consists of texturized icons zig-zagging down the sidebar. Almost every link opens a new window by default. It’s not just poorly organized, it is not organized at all.
On his index page, Frankel states: “I mainly do consulting, usually for companies who sink zillions of dollars into a website or a business and then scratch their heads wondering why it just sits there like a lox.”
It doesn’t take zillions of dollars to create a professionally designed website. All it takes is about $3000, and a good sense of organization. We give Rob Frankel ten points for offering smart tips about branding, but minus ten points for hiding it all within an impossible-to-navigate website. We might consider raising the score if somebody can tell us what a “lox” is.