This post originally appeared on Cleriti.com as “8 Awesome 404 Error Page Ideas to Tell Your Brand Story.” Cleriti is a full-service digital marketing agency headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, and I work from the Chicago office as an Inbound Marketing Manager.
BREAKING: Marketing is not boring. And your website shouldn’t be boring, either.
Depending on your industry, your audience, and your company, 404 Error pages provide a great opportunity to have a little fun and show your personality! Remember: your brand is your story. No one wants to come to your website and read through a textbook description of who you are (like: The Exchange of Goods and Services Between Us, A Regional Manufacturer of Widgets, and You, Herein Titled “Buyer,” A Fellow B2B Company Who Has Expressed Interest In Purchasing Aforementioned Widgets). And what better way to show the personality in your brand story than with your 404-Error Page.
404 Pages Help Tell Your Brand’s Story
Your brand is your story, and 404 pages are part of that story. While the goal of great responsive web design, wireframing, and UX/UI is to help your potential customers avoid an error page, the world is an imperfect place — stuff happens. But you can win over your audience with how you react to life’s little disappointments. Here are 8 404 Error pages we love, in no particular order:
Who doesn’t love adorable cartoon Star Wars characters? The search box also makes this page functional.
We love the creativity here — and the navigation.
Yes, you can actually play a game of Pac-Man on this 404
Hoppermagic uses a bunny in its error page. As a previous bunny owner, I can attest to the fact that rabbits will chew through all your cables (Yes, including the cord on the waffle maker you received as a wedding present. Yes, your spouse will come to hate the bunny).
Our second Star Wars-themed 404 page of the day, we love the simplicity of it. Pop culture references are a great way to connect, if that’s right for your audience. We wish this had a search box, though!
Zapier’s 404 page is simple — the use of company colors shows that care was put into the website.
Who doesn’t like fowl puns? Hootsuite’s error page captures the essence of its brand well.
Finally, this website feels a little old, a little dated (we’re reminded of HTML-only websites from the early 00’s), but what better way to show the brand personality of a poetry website than with a 404 error poem?
Broken URLs aren’t the only errors we see…
Too often, we see B2B (and even B2C) companies confused about professionalism and personality. To be a successful—and yes, professional and competent—company doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. The people you do business with have rich, colorful backgrounds with hobbies and favorite movies—being professional and successful doesn’t mean being a suit.
So, what’s a B2B company to do? Personalize.
Show off a little bit of personality — in a way that resonates with your customer base and your industry — and you’ll stand out from the crowd.