By the end of this blog post, you’ll know:
As an added bonus, I’ll provide some homework questions at the very bottom so you can assess your own business’s website branding.
What is website branding?
Website branding is a subset of your business branding. Your website’s design must be inline with your established business branding. I’ll go into more detail below about all of the various ways to brand your website, but at a minimum, your logo, colours and fonts need to be skillfully integrated into your website design.
When someone lands on your website, their entire journey needs to be consistent, coordinated and cohesive. If they’ve met you before, they will land on your website and instantly know they’re in the right place because of your branding and feel comfortable and familiar. If they go somewhere else—like one of your social media network profiles—they again instantly know it’s you. When this happens, branding’s done its job.
Opportunely, you can have more fun with your website branding than with traditional and print marketing materials. Why? Because it’s not flat or static. Your website is special because you can easily make changes, experiment and take some calculated risks. If something works, you can deploy it across the board. If something doesn’t work, you can switch it back faster than you can say “beep boop”!
Why worry about branding on your website?
When you take the time to create a strong business brand, you set the stage for all of your marketing strategies and initiatives. Your goal should be to write a Business Branding Guide that governs everything. Then when you create your website, you can just follow your brand rules and the design comes together quicker and easier. When your brand is clear, you can save hours of work when you are developing any kind of marketing materials—including your website.
Your website is just one of the pieces governed by your business brand. Although your website can occasionally bend a branding rule, your website needs to look as though it fits within your business family and is just another extension of doing business with you.
Success is reached when your website visitor is able to glide smoothly between all of your marketing elements, just enjoying the experience. The last thing you want is your visitor to feel lost, confused, or jarred, or leave your website altogether because something’s off with your branding.
What parts of your website need to be branded?
Here’s the parts and elements of your website that need to be branded.
Let’s start with your obvious website business assets:
Next, let’s move onto the visuals:
And finally, include supplemental images and graphics:
Am I missing something? This list only contains tangible and external branding assets that make up a website. There’s actually so much more that’s beyond the scope of this article (like: tone, voice, personality, attraction, and other internal or intangible items—that are equally important, but more complex to describe or to achieve). I will cover these topics in a future post.
Assess Your Business Brand
Is your own business branding effective? You need to review your branding at regular intervals so you can plan out improvements.
Here’s a couple of exercises you can do to take a look at your business branding with fresh eyes.
How do you feel about...
Here are two very simple question to ask yourself about your business branding.
Your branding speaks volumes, which means it communicates with you and your customers on non-verbal levels, which evokes feelings. Figuring out “feelings” takes some investigation and asking the right questions.
When you get your website branding right, you create an instant connection with your website visitor. They’ll be more open to receiving your message, giving you time, focus and energy, and be more open to working with you.
Rate Your Brand.
This is a quick method to get honest feedback on the strength and effectiveness of your branding. Ask yourself this question.
If you really aren’t a creative person and can’t tell whether your branding is effective, you might want to conduct surveys or interviews with your customers, team and network. Or even better, stage some impromptu phone interviews; for example, at the end of a call ask, “We’re doing a review of our branding, can I ask you a couple of quick questions to get your input?”
Let's wrap this up and take it to go!
Branding is a Big Topic. Some of our customers know something about it, but don’t really get it. We can help with that! A website redesign is the perfect opportunity to examine your branding in fine detail and improve or change it at the same time.