In 1935, a young British entrepreneur by the name of Bill Lyons invited the UK press to the Mayfair Hotel in London to see The Swallow Sidecar Company’s latest attempt at automotive design. The car they were shown was similar to a Bentley and immediately caught the eye due to its sophisticated lines and elegant interior – its name was the SS Jaguar.
Decades later, the Jaguar brand is still an icon of success and has been driven by such celebrities as London’s infamous Kray twins, Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery. Now owned by the Ford Motor Company, the Jaguar is enjoying a renaissance and like the S-Type which was released to record sales, the company’s new compact saloon, the X-Type, has been acclaimed at motor shows all over the world. But what of Jaguar.com? Does it purr like its name suggests or is it just a lazy fat cat that’s content to reside in the cozy warm laps of its owners?
Many pundits argue that its difficult for luxury brands to do themselves justice in cyberspace, because companies find it difficult to digitally translate the culture and kudos that associate their products effectively to the web. Perhaps then they should take a look at this effort, which just oozes quality from the very first click.
The site can be segmented by country of origin (the UK site is not surprisingly the strongest), although most of the sections carry a similar theme. Enthusiasts of the car will just love the heritage section, which traces the history of Jaguar back to its birth in Blackpool, Northwest England, while any potential buyer can search a database of dealers to locate his nearest showroom. The Jaguar racing section is particularly strong and is launched with a flash movie complete with an audio stream of a Jag’s engine screaming around a racetrack at some ridiculous breakneck speed. There are screensavers to download and videos to watch, as well as an excellent "build your own Jaguar" section, which allows users of the site to configure their own Jag and then spin it around for a 360-degree view of their finished design.
Ian Cocoran is an Operations Director with one of the world's largest chemical distributors. He has an MBA in Marketing from the Buckinghamshire Business School and lives in Glasgow, Scotland, with his wife Kate and daughter Lucy.
*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.