Does your brand have an identity?
Your brand identity is the summation of your brand’s value, what it has to offer, “who” it is…all represented by its visual components (logo, name, strap line, colours, fonts, line, shapes).
Your brand identity is what YOU say it is, unlike brand perception, which is what CONSUMERS say it is.
Your brand identity strategy is your chance to colour perceptions of your brand and to tell the world what you have to offer (and how you’re going to make an impact).
Your website and its design offer massive opportunities to exercise that brand identity strategy. And for this reason, not just any website design and development will do. Templates are out. Custom design is a must, and preparation to ensure that it accurately represents your brand is crucial.
The majority of consumers turn to the internet for answers to their problems and relief for their pain. Will your website be there with the right message? Will it build a brand identity that serves those needs and gets the sale?
It will do all that if you follow some simple steps and get it right the first time.
Your Brand Identity Strategy: Brought to Life by your Website
What makes your brand memorable? And more importantly, what makes it memorable to your ideal customers? And what are they remembering? If you’re doing this right, they should be remembering your brand’s story, mission, vision and values—as demonstrated by the visual components and features of your website.
How can you make sure, not only that your website complements your brand, but that it’s communicating your brand message accurately and memorably? Incorporate these principles as you build and design your website:
- Forget about visual appeal for a minute. Am I suggesting that your website should be a cluttered mess? Or unpleasant to look at? Not at all. What I am suggesting is that you forget about creating the most impressive, intricate or magnificent website and instead focus on your core message…and on communicating that in the most clear and distinct way possible. Often, this will require shortening phrases, simplifying design, adding more white space and/or abandoning your favourite font for one that more accurately represents your brand. For those of you doing everything in the right order, your logo, fonts and colours will have already been chosen. I beg of you: stick with your brand’s visual representatives on your website, too. This is the one place where most of your audience will view and experience your brand, and consistency is of the utmost importance.
- Choose images that scream “My Brand.” …or whisper it, depending on your brand’s identity. Stock photos are rarely the best choice for your main webpages. Instead, vivid headshots of you and your team, or high-quality photos of your customers interacting with, or benefiting from, your brand are best. If you do use stock photos, ensure that their colours harmonise, rather than contrast, with your brand colours and that the images precisely demonstrate what the content of each page is communicating.
- Maintain a dual focus. Communicating your brand identity is about making sure your website’s visitors “get it” and that your message is properly imparted. However, there’s something else. I also need you to think about your audience: their problems, their pains, their desired outcomes and their preferences. Will your brand identity, expressed through your website design, appeal to them, make them feel comfortable and intent on returning?
- Avoid creating a copycat website. When I’m advising brand builders on their website design, they often point me to their competitor’s website and say, “I’d like a website like this.” Understand that one of the main functions of your website is to make your unique brand identity shine…not to imitate the competition. Customers will be confused. You will inadvertently be supporting another, competing brand. Your brand is unique, and this should be demonstrated through your brand identity—particularly on your website.
- Give your logo centre-stage. Your logo is the face of your brand, and will therefore be the visual symbol that your ideal customers come to recognise. Give it plenty of white space so it can breathe and stand out from its surroundings. Ensure its high quality…because it is representing your brand, after all. Make sure the eye goes right to your logo, first. If it doesn’t, move the logo to a different location (like the top left corner) or increase its size or colour saturation.
- Point eyes toward your calls-to-action. This one is a little less about establishing brand identity and more about using that scintillating brand identity to encourage the click. Like your logo, the call-to-action on each webpage should be free from clutter and the eye should be drawn to it. Brand its buttons, too. Use colour(s), fonts and shapes that match your brand.
Never underestimate the potential of your website to convert strangers to friends, friends to customers, and customers to loyal clients. Designing it with a brand identity that fully conveys your brand’s values, connects on an emotional level with your audience and encourages them to take action is HUGE in the building of your brand.
Are you using all the potential your website holds? Or have you been missing out on opportunities because your brand identity strategy is less than it can be? Contact us to find out what’s missing and how we can help.