Review - Join2Grow.biz (Fortis)
Review - Join2Grow.biz (Part 2): Registration, Profile, Contacts
Review - Join2Grow.biz (Part 3): RSS, Channels, Podcasts and Polls
Review - Join2Grow.biz (Part 4): Conclusion
I wonder why banks in Benelux seem to lead the way in the european banking industry in terms of innovation and web 2.0.
If we already met, you know how passionate I am about social/business networking and web 2.0! I am extremely pleased to see banks like Fortis or ING overcome the concerns about brand damage that usually prevent banks for implementing web 2.0 technologies!
I will review Join2Grow.biz, the social network for European entrepreneurs launched by Fortis in February 2007, from a user point of view and from the view of an expert in social networking.
I am curious to understand how Fortis plan to fully utilize and leverage this network in the future... But first, they need to market it, significantly grow the number of members, and make sure their members are using it! Now, they need to MAKE IT HAPPEN!
It is an excellent, and clever, way for Fortis Merchant Bank to gather info and statistics about entrepreneurs. They can profile their members, and better understand what their expectations and concerns are.
Their key goal is probably to build credibility, trust, and position themselves as the favourite financial partner for entrepreneurs in Europe. If they do it well, they could use the input from members to enhance their marketing campaigns, or launch new offers/financial products.
From the website.
Join2Grow.biz is an on-line networking community for European entrepreneurs.
Initiated by Fortis Merchant & Private banking, and conducted in partnership with TNS Sofres and McKinsey, it is the first survey to focus specifically on entrepreneurs in order to develop a complete and accurate picture of who they are and what drives them.
Their survey is one of the reasons for the launch of this network: Fortis wants entrepreneurs to access the results, start discussions & share comments, and respond to new surveys on a regular basis. Very clever... If it works.
The homepage is clear and very pleasant. There is a good mix of flash animation (insisting on Fortis survey) and text.
Moreover, you understand fairly quickly that the website is divided into three main sections:
* Entrepreneur survey
* Entrepreneur magazine
* Entrepreneur network
The emphasis is on the registration: Fortis wants you to register! (and I am not blaming them)
This homepage really "feels" web 2.0, it is dynamic: you see a Flash animation, several RSS Feeds, and more importantly some Tags (called "Interests" on this platform). When you scroll down, you also see some articles/posts with comments.
On the negative side, I admit that I am not a huge fan of long web pages where you need to scroll down to find extra features or options (like the Entrepreneur magazine's Channels or the "most active entrepreneurs")
NEXT: Review - Join2Grow.biz (Part 2)