A website is a great place to promote your brand and provide brand consistency to potential and current customers. Branding is what makes customers think of you first when they need your product or service. Branding your business, products and services consistently ensures there is no confusion and customers know exactly who you are, what you offer and how you can meet their needs. Your website should draw them in and give them reasons to keep coming back.
1. Your Name Is Your Brand
At the very beginning of branding is your company name. When you begin developing your website, keep this in mind and use your name throughout. Getting your name in front of potential customers is of utmost importance, and making it easy for them to remember and find you across social media is what keeps them connected. Many people try to be clever or amusing with their website name or social media handles, but it is in your best interests to be simple and memorable.
- Set up your domain with your company name.
- Set up email accounts for employees with the company name.
- Use your company name for all social media sites as well.
- Make appropriate use of your company name throughout your website. Have it displayed on each page with your logo, so no matter what page a customer is on they know it is you. Reference your company name throughout text as well but don’t overdo it.
2. Design Matters
From logo to font, tag line to colour scheme your website should be consistent. Part of your branding is in the colours people will associate with you and your logo. These are just as important as your company name and should be used consistently across your website.
To cement your branding and keep customers coming back other design elements are also important. Choose a font with good reviews and use it consistently throughout your site. You will also need to select Cascading Style Sheets and select several fonts so viewers using different operating systems are able to view your website whether they have the particular font you used or not. With Cascading Style Sheets you select a few options for the website to display in automatically to match up to what font a viewer has available. The most common Cascading Style Sheet is Verdana, Ariel, Helvetica and Sans Serif. These fonts look sufficiently alike to not harm the general aesthetic you were going for. Font size should also be consistently applied across all pages on your site, and font size should never be smaller than a 12 point to ensure optimum accessibility to more users.
Selecting a colour scheme to represent your business and make your site attractive is also valuable. Choose colour combinations that are not trendy but will remain appropriate for several years and that work well with your logo.
Finally, consider how your website will look across multiple types of devices and browsers. You want to ensure that whether on a desk computer, an i-Pad or an Android phone that users have the same experience. Customers may need to access your site from different devices and will be confused if it looks dramatically different.
3. Use a Consistent “Voice”
If at all possible you should use a singular writer for website content who is able to provide consistent quality and a singular voice. If you are unable to use a singular writer you should solicit writers who take the time to look over current content and match their writing voice to it. Select what type of “voice” is appropriate to your business and how you want to be seen – formal professional, friendly and less formal, humorous – and stick with it across all content. Do you want your brand to be seen as an expert, as a trusted adviser or as a friend? Your other social media should also be consistent with this style.
4. Be Fresh & Original
Providing up-to-date content and discussion of how your business relates to current events will help make your brand stand out. Content that differs from what your competitors offer is one way to stay relevant. Ensuring that the content is not only unique but addresses the most up-to-date issues and news around your services or products portrays your brand as the experts customers should trust and return to in order to have their needs met. Decide what type of content you would like to provide. This is related to the “voice” of your brand as well. You may provide informational content relevant to your industry as a whole, or you may focus strictly on the specific services or products you provide. You may choose to introduce new services and products or provide extensive background to how products can be used.
5. Be Active & Engaged
Updating content and providing useful information will give customers a reason to keep returning. Finding ways to engage customers every time they return to your site will increase your branding power. Engagement may mean starting a blog and being sure to respond to comments. Engagement can also take the form of raffles, giveaways or “members only” content. Do not let your website sit there and never change. Ensure links to your social media are on every page of your website as well because social media is one of the best ways to engage current and potential customers.
In our technology-reliant lives today a website is one of the most important outreach tools you can have. Brand consistency on your website ensures your company is remembered for all the right reasons and helps you build ongoing relationships with your customers. It is one of the best ways to build loyalty and trust which are the ingredients for returning customers and the word-of-mouth spread to potential customers.