Your About Us page is where you get to tell the story of your brand. In a competitive market, a story can set you apart, but you can’t rely on solely your product pages to showcase that story.
Price and feature comparisons are only so motivating. If you can sell customers on your brand values and philosophy, they’ll feel like they’re doing something more than just making a purchase. All you need to do is learn how to tell your brand story to your customers in a way that speaks to their unique wants and needs.
We’ve picked a few of our favorite examples of About Us pages that show how to build a narrative around your brand:
Honey is a software company offering a Chrome extension that automatically finds coupon codes for use in online shopping. Anyone who shops online is a potential customer for Honey. However, one of the challenges of selling software is convincing your users that you can be trusted to handle their data. Honey’s extension is free to download and use, which can be a double-edged sword, since it begs the question of how Honey actually makes money from their product.
Best elements of Honey’s about us page:
They’re transparent about their business model. Honey knows that one of the biggest questions their potential users will have is how they manage to make a profit when their product is free. Their About Us page confronts these nagging questions head-on.
Under a section titled “Our Business Model”, they explain: “We earn a commission from stores when you find savings. What we don’t do is sell or share your data”. Their transparency about their business model demonstrates that they have nothing to hide, and creates a compelling case for using their service.
They back up their claims with statistics. When someone offers you free money (in the form of discounts), it’s easy to be skeptical. Honey lays out three of their most compelling stats in big, bold print on their About Us page, right below their mission statement.
This backs up their brand story with cold, hard data. If you’re looking to save money while shopping, it’s pretty difficult to argue with “more than $1 billion savings found”. Honey is wise to emphasize this stat in particular because it highlights what makes their business unique. Unlike most businesses online, Honey is saving online shoppers’ money.
The way they phrase these stats is also significant. Take for instance, “trusted by 17+ million members worldwide.” Honey is no doubt aware of the unease surrounding widespread stories of companies abusing their users’ data and privacy—especially with free software. The knowledge that millions of other people have put their trust in Honey can go a long way to reassure would-be customers. Highlighting these statistics is an effective strategy for telling Honey’s unique story, but the technique could work for any business that has substantial sales figures.
Hundred is an online vitamin company that promises high-quality nutritional care, with personalized supplement recommendations based on their customers’ health goals. One of the big hurdles that Hundred has to face is the market they’re in. The supplement industry is a crowded market, with supplement usage reaching an all-time high in 2019. Add to the equation that supplement businesses have a reputation for questionable claims, and Hundred has a lot of work to do on their about page. They need to prove that their business is legitimate, and stand out by offering something that their competitors don’t have.
Best elements of Hundred’s about us page:
They give their customers a look behind the curtain. A big part of Hundred’s brand story is that they care a lot about finding the best quality supplements. One of the ways they demonstrate this commitment is by doing something a little risky on their About Us page: they pull back the curtain on some of the dodgy practices of their industry.
In the Transparency section, they include a screenshot of an email from an anonymous supplier. The email is addressed to the Hundred CEO and explicitly recommends using smaller portions of active ingredients in their products so they can make higher profits. It’s a bit shocking how brazen it is, which makes it all the more effective.
This disclosure instills confidence in Hundred’s integrity and casts doubt on their competitors. For many businesses, this is a risky move—you may not want to burn bridges in your industry—but it can go a long way towards establishing credibility with your potential customers, which is what Hundred is betting on.
They utilize their founder story. The lack of honesty in the largely unregulated supplement industry can make it difficult for a new brand to make waves. Hundred addresses this problem by highlighting the human element in their business—the founder, Dario. By telling the story of the company’s origins through the filter of Dario’s life experiences (a childhood passion for food leading him down the path to nutrition), they help visitors to relate to the business on a personal level.
Hundred also made an interesting choice by having Dario write this section himself, from the first-person perspective. Not only is it more relatable than a blurb written by another employee, it also allows Dario to tie the company story directly into his own. As he says, “The lack of transparency amongst the biggest industry players only fueled my motivation to create a better solution that actually brings results.”
For most businesses, including a founder bio is a good strategy, but it works especially well in situations like this, where there may be a trust gap that needs to be bridged.
Burren Perfumery sells a selection of in-house organic perfumes and beauty products. Burren is a small operation, meaning that their main appeal comes from offering a unique product that you can’t get anywhere else. Since their products aren’t distributed to stores, Burren also has the unique challenge of selling their scents sight unseen (unsmelled?).
Best elements of Burren Perfumery’s about us page:
They turn their limitations into positives. Perfume is often seen as a luxury product, often associated with recognizable designer brands. As a boutique operation, Burren needs to overcome the deeply-ingrained expectations of consumers who associate prestige with quality. They use their About Us page to counter this dominant narrative by presenting their smaller scale as an advantage rather than a liability.
In the first section, titled “What we are about,” they open by emphasizing that they are a family business. This is next to a family photo of the owners, which is immediately charming, and puts a human face to their brand. They close by stating that they believe they can “be better than the best of the large brands in the quality of our products.” By emphasizing a quality over quantity philosophy and a focus on the family, they’re able to appeal to customers by casting themselves as a sympathetic underdog, a brand that customers can congratulate themselves on discovering.
They represent their values in multiple places throughout their website. While Burren Perfumery’s dedicated About Us page does a great job of selling their unique story, its effectiveness relies on customers choosing to click on it. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Burren knows that their story is important enough to their pitch that they’ve opted to display it elsewhere as well.
On the site footer, they have a kind of condensed version of their About Us page, titled “Our philosophy”. In a short blurb, they restate their commitment to making their products by hand, and only using natural and organic ingredients. This miniature brand story being visible on every page maximizes the chance that visitors will see it, while demonstrating their commitment to their core values, creating a strong sense of identity.
Patagonia is a popular company, primarily known for selling outdoor recreational apparel. Where Patagonia differs from similarly positioned clothing brands is in their company reputation for environmental activism. With all this good PR, one might assume their About Us page would write itself, but that’s not the case. Given the sheer volume of environmental work that Patagonia does in their business, they face the unique challenge of effectively communicating everything they do, without overwhelming the reader.
Best elements of Patagonia’s about us page:
They devote an entire navigation tab to their environmental work. Patagonia puts nearly as much effort into their social and environmental work as they do into actually selling their clothes. The design issue in showcasing that work is to makethe large volume of information about their activism easy to find. Patagonia’s solution is to dedicate one of only two tabs in their navigation bar to their activism—the other tab belonging to the store.
While this design decision makes it easy to explore the different facets of Patagonia’s environmentalism, it’s also a visual representation of how seriously they take their environmental activism.
All in all, the content is segmented into 12 unique links, including everything from the company history to a documentary series on conservation. Depending on their level of interest, visitors can read the one sentence summary of the mission statement, or they can take a deep-dive into Patagonia’s environmental grant programs.
They publish an environmental impact report. In recent years, it’s become a trend for businesses to use labels like “eco-friendly” and “organic” as a PR boost and branding exercise. This trend has diluted the value of many of these terms from over-use, creating a new challenge. Businesses that actually make an effort to implement more ethical practices have to prove themselves as legitimate and show that they aren’t “greenwashing.”
One of the ways that Patagonia rises above this kind of lip-service is by publishing a thorough environmental impact report. Where many businesses would have focused exclusively on products (materials, sources, etc.), Patagonia’s report covers virtually every aspect of their business. By shining a spotlight on unexpected aspects of their business, like their energy use and employee transportation, they show exactly how serious they are about reducing their impact. While this is great for their “eco-friendly” branding, it also invites visitors to make comparisons to any other places they might consider shopping, discouraging them from switching to a less ethical competitor.
In the online space, the effort required for the consumer to compare similar products is close to zero. It’s a good idea to jump on any chance you have to differentiate yourself from competitors. The narrative around a product can be just as much of a selling point as the product itself, so make sure you aren’t neglecting any opportunities to share that narrative. Your About Us page is an invaluable opportunity to tell your brand’s story, and win the battle for your customers’ hearts and minds.