The Interface Is the Brand
Your website is often where your customers will first interact with your business and get to know your brand, so you need it to be in top condition if you want to impress and retain said customers. On the internet the interface is the brand, and it needs to be good.
As we already know, branding – good or bad – allows customers to make up their minds about what sort of a business they’re dealing with and whether or not they trust that business. Names, logos, brand statements, company ethos and styling all help build a overarching brand that in turn makes a business recognisable, trustworthy and – hopefully – successful.
This is where your website becomes extremely important. Say you have all of the above in place already, your website is the tool which will bring them all together in one neat, easy-access location and act as a launchpad for your brand.
Unless your business is already well-known, any potential customers are likely to find you through a general web search. In this case, your website is going to be the very first impression your customers get of your business and your brand. Alternatively, a potential customer might see your company name on a flyer, or hear it in passing though word of mouth. In this case they might later conduct a web search for your brand name in search of more information.
If in either of these two scenarios your website is of poor quality or, heaven forbid, doesn’t exist, then the reputation of your business is going to take a serious hit right there.
Branded websites v.s. standard websites
Even now there are still companies out there who have basic websites with their logo slapped at the top and some directions to the premises, perhaps with a basic ‘About Us’ page thrown in for good measure. This is not a branded website and won’t be doing them too many favours.
A good, branded website should act almost like an extension of your brand and should be just as well put together as your business itself. To help with your branding, your website should do four things really well:
Who are you? What makes you different? What does your business do that others can’t? Your website can get all of this information across if you inject the right content and create an effective ‘visual voice’. Your logo, tagline, colour scheme, imagery and supporting typefaces should all work together to create the personality you feel represents your company.
Create a good user experience
With a good visual appeal, a clear hierarchy of information and easy-to-use navigation, your site will keep your visitors happy, informed and more than willing to come back. A well designed and functional online interface will, by extension, create a reputation for your company that speaks of good organisation, professionalism and quality of service.
As well as the site itself being consistent with all your other branding efforts, every aspect of your site also needs to be consistent throughout. This means using the same high quality of images and consistently well-written content on all pages. If some pages contain thin content or broken links, this will reflect badly upon your brand and reputation.
Provide good quality content
This is where you need to really go the extra mile with a branded site. Linking back to both the personality and consistency points we’ve just touched on, your content is your chance to really show off how great your company really is.
Your ‘About Us’ page, for example, could have a much more human aspect with a ‘meet the team’ feature, and perhaps you could even add some client testimonials or other official acknowledgements of quality. Having a regularly updated news section also adds authority and can help establish your brand within your industry. It’s extra touches like this that can set you apart from competitors and help build out your brand even further.
Without a properly branded website, your company risks falling through the cracks of the ever changing digital landscape we find ourselves in. Remember, the interface is then brand. So if your interface is absolutely average, what does that say about your brand?
This may all be sounding rather final, but it doesn’t need to be a tough task to whip your website into shape. If you need help, an integrated design agency will be able to work with you to create an entire brand identity from scratch or build you an effective, branded website with the branding you already have – or both.
At Design by Day we offer extensive branding and web design services and we’ve got bags of good advice to give; just give us a shout and let us know what you need. We’re recognised as a top Website Development Company on DesignRush.
Liked this post?
Be the first to receive new craft & code news, hints & tips!