How important are the visual elements of your website to your corporate branding strategy? They are paramount! For your website’s visitors, seeing is believing…in your brand.
Your Website: A Visual Corporate Branding Strategy
You’ve hired a web developer. You’ve told him about all the features you’d like to include on your website. You’ve obtained a domain name, discussed the site map and secure check-out for your ecommerce customers…wait. Does your website developer know website design or corporate branding strategy? Probably not. In the world of web design and development, most professionals are niche experts, meaning they either develop, design, or brand. All elements carry significant weight – and without one of them, your website may be less successful than you wish.
See the Corporate Branding Strategy, then Create the Website
One of the most overlooked portions of website design and development are the visual aspects. At How to Build a Brand, we have learnt that visual elements are just as important as the text on any website. For that reason, we cannot stress enough how important it is to include these simple pieces of branding advice into the website portion of your corporate branding strategy:
- Branding: Before a web developer or web designer lays hands on your website, a corporate branding strategy should be set in motion by a branding expert. This means that colours, shapes, a logo, a business name, and a strapline should all be in place, making it simple to incorporate them into your website. Your website should be one element among many that shares your brand identity – to build a brand.
- White space: Have you ever visited a website that looks like it might be run by a hoarder? Images, video, text, links, icons…all are crammed tightly together, fighting for space? If you have, you’ve also probably experienced the frustration that comes with searching for something on that website. It was suffering from a lack of white space (or more appropriately, blank space). As you and the people you’ve hired work to put together your website, give careful consideration to line and paragraph spacing, the ease of reading (on all devices), font size, image and video spacing, and margins. Leave enough space for the human eye to travel, tranquilly, from one visual element to another. Employ a “less is more” mentality and you’ll score more attention from your clients and prospects. Employ a “more is more” mentality, and you will lose prospects and clients to frustration.
- Easy Contact Access: Along the same lines as white space is accessibility to your phone number, email address, or contact form. What if a prospect is impressed by your website and your brand, and would like to contact you for more information…but looks around the site and cannot find a channel through which to do that? He or she will leave and head straight for your competition. Avoid this by making your contact information (or a link to your contact information) highly visible, surrounded by white space, and near the top of your home page (in the header, for example).
- Navigation: Likewise, navigation should be simple for your website’s visitors. Put navigation tabs near the top of the page. Make them easy to read and self-explanatory.
- Original images: Have you ever seen an image on a website, and then seen the same image on another website, blog, or advertisement? What does this tell you about the innovation of either brand? Impress your visitors with images they won’t see on your competitors’ sites – either by making unique and creative choices of stock photography, by purchasing rights-only images, or by creating your own.
- Quality images: This one is especially important for ecommerce sites that include images (as they should) along with descriptions of products. If visitors can’t get a good look at what they’re buying, they’ll be unlikely to buy – it’s that simple. Take the time and make the investment in quality images that can be expanded for better viewing, to increase sales likelihood. Even if your site is not of the ecommerce variety, quality images speak volumes about your brand’s attention to detail and overall excellence.
Humans are highly visual beings. Does your corporate branding strategy include a plan for satisfying visual needs with your website? If not, you could be missing out on some serious brand-building opportunities. Remember, seeing is believing in your brand – and when they believe in your brand, the possibilities are limitless.
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