Table of contents
- What is a brand?
- What is your brand?
- Why is branding important?
- How do your business goals affect your branding?
- What features should you include?
- How do you make an impact?
- Other branding factors to consider?
What is a brand?
Brand is one of those words that’s frequently used, but seldom understood. If you’re looking at the dictionary definition then brand is simply the non-generic name given to either a product or service from a specific source. But this isn’t very revealing, brands actually mean so much more to us as consumers.
The impact a brand has can often be easier to understand. Furthermore, brands also grow and develop. Over time we have realised that we can alter the perception of products or services in a customers mind. Marketers call this perception, the ‘brand’.
In short, a ‘brand’ is what your consumers think and feel with how you market your business alongside how this differentiates you from your competitors.
What is your brand?
Before you know what you want your brand to be you need to ask yourself one simple question;
“What message do you want your website to send out?”.
Tremendous value can be added to your website by your brand and how it is interpreted. Your brand should put across the same message as your website, are you fun, friendly and approachable or are you serious, compassionate and to the point? Think about how your brand can match this message, remember your brand extends beyond your website to all forms of communication whether that’s customer services or the emails you send to your blog’s subscribers.
When it comes to defining your brand various things come into play. Some notable branding aspects include your business logo, the colours and shapes that you use as well as the structure and features on your website. Your brand identity tells people who you are and what your business has to offer.
Once you know your market, start understanding your customers and become aware of their needs and pain points. You need to decide how your website will address these and branding plays a huge role in how you communicate this to your audience.A memorable brand will help build trust in your website, and hopefully improve returning visitors and customers as long as your offering a high-quality product or service. Succeed in communicating your narrative using your business aims and voice by prioritising customer experience with your brand.
Why is branding important?
Billions of people use the internet finding solutions to their needs every day. For them to reach your website you need to ensure that various elements are in check. One factor that should be high up on your priority list is how your website visually stimulates a response or action.
Your website is your customers’ introduction to your business and the product you are trying to market. Once you know the aims of your website you will need to decide how you want people to visually interpret them in a way that they can connect with you on an emotional level.
Ensure that whilst the internet is overpopulated by websites, yours is at the forefront in terms of design and appeal. This will entice potential customers, subsequently increasing your opportunities for sales. Other businesses are also more likely to connect with you if your website is user-friendly and appealing.
Your website and its branding help form important first impressions about your business.
How do your business goals affect your branding?
Make sure you achieve the objective you have for your website. Say you have a fancy website and your goal is to sell clothes. You obviously ensure that you promote clothes but then consider how to establish your value proposition. The way in which customers know your worth.
Consider how will you demonstrate that your business provides value and that you will deliver that value to the customer effectively? Once you know the market you’re working in, achieve this in a way that will make you stand out from all your competitors. Doing this helps you to establish how to approach your branding.
If you’re a budget product then don’t have a premium looking website. Take for example supermarket own brand products, people buy them because they are more affordable. The packaging helps to reinforce this perception of the product by being more plain, simple and to the point.
That isn’t to say that if you’re a budget provider of goods or services that you don’t need a good website, it simply means that you need to maintain consistency between your product/service and your website branding.
What features should you include?
Start with your logo, the face of your brand and your business as a whole. Here are some things to think about when creating a great logo:
- Include a symbol to represent your brand.
- Use your business name or an abbreviation of it to let people know who you are.
- A tag-line helps indicate to people what your business provides.
- Set your logo apart by contrasting it with either some white or dark space
- Re-adjust its size or positioning for full effect
Your logo should aim to ensure that your customers understand your business and are drawn to your brand.
The colours you use for your logo should carry through as a theme throughout your website. These are effectively your brand colours. Colours influence your customers’ experience. Remember your brand identity and your business values and decide what emotions you want them to feel. Maybe to be excited about your content, proactive enough to buy or collect what your website offers or for them to feel a sense of security around your brand?
Colours and their combinations have a major impact on your value proposition. To read more about colour psychology within branding check out this guide from the commission factory.
Images allow your website to be more visually interactive. This can include photos, icons, banners and diagrams. Don’t rely too heavily on stock photos though or you can end up looking like every other dull corporate website. To be more personable, include a headshot or team photos.
By all means, include high-quality images to communicate the message each page is promoting. Images are easily shareable on social media as well and can be cut down to use for promotional material such as blog posts.
There’s a reason YouTube is so popular! Over a billion users visit their website every month totalling a whopping 6 billion hours of video a month! Consumers lean towards video as it’s more interactive, fast and convenient. This ultimately keeps them on your website longer.
Video is the most personable way for you to build a relationship with your customers and get them to trust in your brand and business vision. It’s hugely shareable and Google even has its own section to enable customers to view your video content.
Ensure your video content is of great quality. Visitors to your website are 85% more likely to buy your product if you market in this way. Video generates conversation and two-way conversations lead to sales.
Brand your calls-to-action. Just like your logo your customers should be drawn to them. Make them easy to see so they want to click. Keep them clear. Use brand colours to border them or symbols similar to your logo as bullet points. Ensure they buffer your brand.
How do you make an impact?
You will want control over the message you send to people and the opportunities this delivers. We advise you have a tailor-made design for your website, don’t just use a standard template. Don’t imitate what your competitors are doing either, focus instead on how you make your website unique but still in line with your chosen market.
Creating a custom website, achieving the perfect branding elements and standing out from your competition works. That said, don’t get too caught up with visual appeal. A website that looks great may be impressive but it’s the one that communicates it’s branding effectively that pays.
Don’t neglect the upkeep of your web design though, aspects that ensure consistency such as brand colours fundamentally add quality to your branding and the message you convey. Consider the voice you write in, prioritise your design style and format your content in a consistent way.
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Customers will become familiar with your brand, making your business more easily recognisable. A great way to evaluate your progress is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and use your own website. Better still, market research, have people to tell you their experience on your website to ensure your brand identity is effective.
Other branding factors to consider?
Difficulties in the smooth running of your website will affect the way your customers perceive your business value, in turn negatively affecting the brand you’re trying to create. To keep on top of this, run timely audits. This should be a regular activity, it’s just good housekeeping to keep your website in working order.
Don’t fall into the trap of bragging about your achievements either. Focus on the customer and show them that you prioritise their needs. Ensure they want to invest in your business and the product you are marketing.
No matter what you’re selling, consider how you promote your business and bring people to your website. Various channels are available, keep these consistent with your brand identity. This enables customers to experience your value and aids traffic to your website.
Prioritise your branding to make your website stand out from the crowd. Know your brand inside out ensuring it promotes your business aims. Do your research and ensure your website sends out the right message staying consistent with your design. This keeps your customers engaged with your brand identity and the vision you have for both your business and product.
Make sure that people who visit your website know your value proposition and can trust you to deliver it. Use multiple design features and channels to promote this, carefully, so you don’t overlook the opportunities this provides. Use design factors to get ahead of your market and get your message out there, inevitably increasing your sales.
Not only will prioritising branding keep your current customers in line with your aims, but improving the time people spend on your site will also gain you brownie points from Google, securing new customers to view your content.