19 Jul How many people run by your website?
Brands in websites
A couple of years ago, Time magazine estimated that the average large urban American was exposed to 3 000 brands each day. With social media and online usage having grown exponentially since then, how many brands do people run by today? And how do you stop them from running past you?
The platform which best captures all the elements of your brand is your website. Your website brings it all together – your brand vision, your brand values, the brand positioning and importantly, the brand personality. Your website should be the perfect extension of your brand.
The website is your brand personified. But it’s not your brand manual.
We still find many people actually stating their brand vision and other brand descriptors on their website, mostly under About Us. This however misses the point entirely. Brands are experienced, not told. Your brand must be experienced on your website through tone of voice, style, layout, graphics etc. Clearly, the perfect branding platform – the website – is not a template to dump information and indulge oneself with “ creative”. A website is not a toy and a brand is arguably the greatest business invention.
Your brand and your website are linked in so many ways. One area has to do with SEO (search engine optimisation). SEO is the process of getting rankings on Google and other internet platforms, ideally performing within the top 20 or so rankings. If you have a strong brand, the chances are that people looking for your services will enter your name when searching and find you within seconds. If you do not have a strong brand, you’ll need to invest in getting to page one of Google searches.
Tips to converge brand and website
Here are some tips to create a website that perfectly presents your brand. Having a level of expertise in website design, web development, UX and UI are Agency qualifiers rather than attributes – what will take your website to another level?
- Think hard about what REALLY differentiates you from your competitors. It might be the way that you deliver your product or service, extraordinary staff or a host of other factors other than the more obvious product or service itself. Whatever it is, it needs to come across clearly and within milliseconds as the visitor enters your website.
- Ask your Agency about their understanding of branding. And how they will translate that brand understanding into creating a website which differentiates you. Branding is not about logos, corporate ID structures or the signage on your building. It’s about how people connect with you – and you need people to connect with you on your website (and other online platforms as well).
- Make sure that tone, style and the emphasis of content is consistent across all platforms, including your website. There are obviously some differences between the physical world and the online world but the latter is fast becoming the world that counts. And people visiting your website will connect (or disconnect) from you within seconds.
- Most importantly, see things from your website visitor’s point of view. It is not about what makes sense to you. Somebody has Googled business insurance brokers in Cape Town, they’re looking at six or seven companies on the page. They open your website after seeing the others. What do they see that makes them CONNECT with you?
It’s not about you, it’s about them.
When you think brand, think them. It’s not about you. But surely it is about me? It’s my website, my services and products? My company? Think about it. Are you the one visiting your own website to make a purchase decision? Hardly likely! When you’re structuring your website, start thinking of it as your brand mouthpiece and make sure that the Agency you’re working with knows that brands are much more than a logo.