Wells Fargo : Delivering the past
Smart exploitation of a web feature gives fresh dynamic to relationship building.
Wells Fargo, the US’s first national bank, has made a subscription feature of its rich history.
Wells Fargo maintains a multi-strand history sub-section in its corporate information section, About Wells Fargo. Among the features is This Date in History, which each day reproduces a short historical news item about a company related event from the equivalent date in its past.
There is no archive of the stories used in the feature. However, visitors can subscribe to a daily update via an RSS feed panel to the right of the This Date in History page. The panel includes a link (New to RSS?) to advice on how to set up a feed that is specific to the feature.
Wells Fargo has taken a staple of newspaper content – the backward glance at ‘the way we were’ – and turned it into a web feature that enhances as well as exploits its proven popularity.
It helps, of course, that the bank has 160 years of its own history on which to draw, but unlike many of its peers it is clearly looking for ways to engage its customers and site visitors with and through that asset rather than simply tickle their curiosity. It could have settled for an online archive that would encourage people to linger longer on the site, but instead has thought about how the medium can add an extra dimension to the feature. Tying it to an RSS subscription service extends the interest beyond the immediate visit and sets up an ongoing relationship initiated by the visitor. Like most of the best ideas it looks so simple once you see it the wonder is that no one seems to have thought of it before – however may years they have been around.https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/this_date
First published on 28 April, 2011