21 Jul ‘20
Build Your Brand: Website Branding Strategies That Work
21 Jul ‘20
In: Branding & Visual Design, / By: Ripe Media
There are two things to remember when you start to tackle website branding. One is that branding is a process. The other is that there is no such thing as a second first impression.
Branding is everything that your business does that identifies you and your products and differentiates you and your products from everyone else.
Commerce is digital. You know that. Nowhere is it more crucial to get your branding and branding strategy right than on your website.
Let’s unpack what website branding strategies work, and what works best when communicating your brand.
A Distinctive Logo – Everywhere
Every single aspect of your company has to integrate your logo. It is your mark, your stamp of your product or service. Your logo communicates what you stand for and should be a strong symbol of your identity.
This is why you have to do a lot of brainstorming before you start designing your logo. Your brainstorming should focus on your brand personality, which derives from your company values, your mission statement, and your unique selling proposition (USP).
Personality? Yeah, we can see you’re scrunching up your face at that one. Remember, your customers are human beings, so your website should have a human feel to it.
Your logo is your face – what people recognize you by. Much has been written in the field of marketing research, and some old principles still hold true.
Jennifer Aaker discusses the dimensions of brand personality in her 1997 paper, and has whittled personality into five broad categories, or “personality scales.” These are ruggedness, sophistication, competence, excitement, and sincerity. Under each of these main headings, you can include refinements of the main characteristics.
For example, on the sophistication scale, your company might be better described as down-to-earth, which links in neatly with sincerity. If you sell eco-friendly or natural products, these are two qualities and concepts you might want to develop when designing your logo.
If you still need inspiration, check out the distinct personalities of international brands. Being distinctive is as much about defining what you are not as it is about defining what you are.
Your logo should appear prominently on your landing page, and in a set position (top left corner, say) on every other page of your website. The no-brainer here is that the more often customers see your logo, the greater your brand recognition will be.
Once you are happy with your logo design, consider developing your brand guidelines. Aside from specifications for your logo, you should lay down rules for secondary logos (as opposed to the full logo), and a set of icons used on your website.
Uniformity in your color palette and typography is important. The principles governing how you display images and other artwork should also be defined.
Successful website branding relies heavily on coherence between graphic elements and the voice and tone of your language. Content guidelines and linguistic style guides will help you develop the way you elicit an emotional response from your target audience.
Your brand guidelines should include examples for all social media platforms where you have a presence. Getting the image size right for different social media platforms is a science in itself, and you might want to employ a consultant to perfect this aspect right from the get-go.
As with everything, if you think about it and plan ahead, how you communicate will seem effortless. Clarity is a huge plus, and all the best company websites are clear and clean.
Fluidity in Website Branding
It’s all about flow. The latest statistics show that 40.1% of people access the internet via their mobiles. Your site needs to be simple, easy to navigate, and easy to read.
Forget about huge walls of text. Think: short and sweet. Quick and easy navigation back and forward.
Shareability is key to spreading the word about your company. Make it easy for your content, including ads, to be shared across platforms. If customers experience frustration here, or at any other point in their journey on your site, you have lost them.
Your online store should be accessible from any page on your site. Once there, the path to checkout needs to be simple: the fewer steps, the better. Offer as many payment options as you can. Easy purchasing options mean customers are more likely to buy what you’re selling.
Advertise Across Platforms
Not only must you advertise across platforms, but you should also synchronize your ad and marketing activities. There are apps and tools for that, and it is well worth making a small investment in this area to streamline your marketing strategy and make your website work for you. This part of aiming for consistency, something that your internet-savvy potential customers will appreciate.
This article has already spoken about the consistent use of your company logo and established brand guidelines for all typographical and graphical elements on your website. The same applies to any printed promotional matter you might create for product launches or special events.
Consistent linguistic style and a consistent tone in all your communications should reflect your brand personality. For example, a firm of lawyers will adopt a more formal tone than a company producing summer soft drinks for adolescents. Customers would soon be mistrustful if one spoke in the tone typical of the other.
If you have a friendly chatbot our your website, then the humans in your customer services department need to just as friendly and helpful over the phone or in e-mail correspondence. Apart from consistency telling customers that you are reliable, it reinforces your brand identity and is a strategy well worth pursuing – constantly and everywhere.
Clear as a Bell
Start-ups and small businesses are tempted to make use of free website templates and do everything themselves. We’re here to tell you that there is no point in totally reinventing the wheel. Your website branding deserves input from branding and marketing professionals.
Your website branding also needs to be subtle, and that is only achieved with a practiced eye. Gone are the days of the awkward car salesman on TV. Don’t be like him!
Subtle and seamless are watchwords for the successful. If that’s what you want your business to be, e-mail us or give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you get there.