Corporate Eye

A Look at Cadbury’s Investor Page

Continuing my visits to the investor home pages of FTSE 100 companies, I recently visited the Cadbury site.  I think my decision to visit the site was subliminal – I’ve been on a diet lately, so perhaps I subconsciously thought that I could satisfy a craving for sweets by visiting their site.  I didn’t lick the screen however – you have to draw the line somewhere.

Overall, I thought the Cadbury investor page was quite well done in terms of layout and the information content on the page.  The left hand side of the page lays out the major sections within investor relations, enabling  investors to find what they are looking for easily.  My one quibble with the list of sections is the listing for RNS.  Not everyone will know that this stands for Regulatory News Service, but as I say, it’s a quibble.  

The center of the page presents important recent information to investors where they are most likely to look for it, while the right hand side of the page focuses on links to longer term information such as a half yearly trading update, management interviews and stock information.  The layout and information presentation worked quite well for me.

cadbury-s

Alas, I wish I could say as much for the graphic design elements of the page.  

The investor page, as it should, carries over the design element of the Cadbury web site, which I find less than attractive and distracting.  First, there’s the color – purple.  I know that this is a confectionery company and some designer probably chose purple to signify fun and to carry through Cadbury’s signature color scheme, but to me purple printing is just plain ugly.  And I say this an alumnus of Northwestern University, which has purple as one of its school colors.  Secondly, the graphic elements of the page – uneven lines, ragged edges and lime green color splashes behind the photos, are distracting.  

My overall impression on the design side is that Cadbury is trying too hard.  Just like candy, a little bit of that stuff goes a long way.

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John Palizza

John recently retired as a Lecturer in Management at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Management, where he taught investor relations. Prior to that, John was in charge of investor relations for Sysco Corporation and Walgreen Co. He holds a MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a law degree from Loyola University of Chicago. You can learn more about John’s thinking about investor relations at his blog, Investor Relations Musings.
 
Comments

…..but purple is the main colour of all of the brand identified packaging…. surely continuity is important? And no purple printing should be allowed? This is very bad news for the wineries!!!!!

i did like the post… thanks for your continued insight, it is much appreciated.

blanko.

Hello Blanko – thanks for commenting.

I definitely agree that there should be design consistency across the corporate website, and that this is important for branding. But design is very subjective; it’s very difficult for a site to please everyone! Personally, I enjoy the look of the Cadbury site, but then, Cadbury is a brand that is deeply embedded in the British psyche…

The Cadbury site is a very interesting one. It was redesigned fairly recently (within the last 12-18 months, I think), but has carried over much of the same look and feel from the earlier site, as far as I remember. It is unusual in that the corporate brand seems to be closely tied to the main product brands… hence the purple and the fun graphics, I suppose. Not all companies go this route – SABMiller, for instance, use a sophisticated beige/black, though their brands seem to use a lot of red/green/blue.

I haven’t spent much time looking at winerie websites, but perhaps I should. Do they use a lot of wine-coloured text?

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