Effective branding is vitally important to all businesses, regardless of size. That said, larger businesses tend to have a distinct advantage when it comes to affording high-priced consultants who specialize in the conceptualization and execution of branding campaigns. This by no means says that a small business with a small budget cannot promote its brand in exciting and successful ways. One important (and easy and inexpensive) way is via the business’ own website.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as “a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.” Branding is more than simply a look, however. It’s your way of doing business. It’s your philosophy. It’s what you communicate. By keeping this in mind as you build your business’ website, you can create a perceived value of your goods or services that go well beyond their actual monetary value.
Remember “The 6 Cs of Effective Website Branding”:
• Color Scheme – When creating your brand, which will appear throughout your website, do not underestimate the importance of the colors used. Think about the type of product or service you are promoting. Consider the group(s) you are trying to reach. Would vivid colors be more suitable than quiet pastels? Would red simply not convey the personality of your company as well as a more serene blue? It may serve you well to research a bit to learn what kinds of colors appeal to (or repel) people who are seeking the kinds of goods or services that you offer.
• Class – Your site must have a professional look and not be laden with cheap clip art. Your logo is the identifying mark of your business. It is what people will associate with you as soon as they see it. You do not want it to be lost in a sea of shabby and unnecessary graphics.
• Clarity – A well-branded site is clean and airy. The design is simple and lends itself to easy navigation. While color scheme is an important and personal choice in branding, a successful site will avoid heavy, dark backgrounds and excessively distracting elements such as flashy graphics, which are slow loading and often repellant to visitors.
• Content – This refers to not only what it is you offer, but also the way in which you offer it. Your website content needs to “speak” with your brand’s “voice”.” Defining this tone requires an understanding of whom you are reaching and what you wish to convey. Will your tone be businesslike? Friendly? Humorous? Comforting? If you have several writers creating your content, you must take great care to ensure that they are all on the same “tonal branding page” so visitors will have experiences that are consistent with your brand. This also applies to your social media postings.
• Communications – When current or potential customers email your business, do the responses look as though they were knocked off from someone’s laptop, or are they consistent with your brand? The color schemes, headers, logo, etc. that appear on your website should also be in your communications to your customers. Don’t overlook this important touch.
• Consistency – This is key. Consistency is what ensures that your brand makes an impact of credibility. Your brand needs to be consistent throughout your entire website. Your particular color scheme, vocal tone, logo, and slogan (if applicable) need to be found on every page of your site. Even keeping your website URL consistent with your name in social media sites promotes your brand.
Instant recognition of your brand is your goal. In a world where so much business is done online, establishing your brand and keeping it consistent on your website is crucial. Is your brand making a statement of consistency and credibility? Take the necessary steps today and make your branding outstanding!
The professional website designers at GTech Designs offer a free strategy session that can help you to pinpoint how your website can effectively advance your company’s brand. Click here to take advantage of this exciting offer!