WHERE TO FIND IT: www.bowieart.com
CRITIQUE: Not much content here. No bells or whistles. No plug-ins needed. But the site quietly proves a couple of points about marketing on the Internet: If you've got a product that people online want, sell it online and never underestimate the power of brand.
Granted, in this case, the brand is a 51-year-old rock star.
Still, using no more promotion than links and search engines, and offering no more product than four limited-edition lithographs by Mr. Bowie, the site has done more than $40,000 worth of sales since it launched less than one month ago. And fine art is a rather big-ticket item that not too many people seem willing to buy via the Net. The lithos sell for about $100 unsigned or about $300 signed.
Oh yeah, consumers can't even purchase directly on the site yet. They have to send/fax in the order form. Coming months should find more and more of Mr. Bowie's art catalog going on sale and an online commerce solution to simplify the ordering procedure.
The site lacks the Bowie-related style of his official music site (www.davidbowie.com) developed by N2K and the deep content of some of his fan sites (www.etete.com/Bowie/) but it doesn't need either -- it has the Bowie brand.
Bowieart.com serves as an example of a quick, targeted, down-and-dirty Web site that gets the job done. There aren't enough like it, but maybe other marketers will catch on in '98.
WHO CREATED IT: Conduit Communications (www.conduit-usa.com)