Is Your Website Effectively Portraying your Brand?
We have spent the past several weeks discussing website expectations (last month's focus was lead generation). As we move forward we would be remiss not to spend some time focusing on the importance of branding your website. Of all the directions you can go when designing and updating a website, it is through the deliberate integration of your company's brand that will bring you the greatest success. In order for your website to effectively share the message of your brand there are three areas in which you should examine:
Color: Color is a very common way in which consumers recognize branding. For example, if you see a plastic bottle in the distance with a red label and a red cap chances are you will know it is more than likely a Coca Cola bottle without even having to see the logo. The colors you use in packaging, promotion, and other marketing communications should also be used in our website. Ask yourself, do the colors on our website match the colors of our branding?
Voice: Every brand has a personality or a "voice". Let's go back to Coke for an example. They have a very fun, bubbly personality as a brand and it clearly shows through on their website. What is your brand's personality? Does your website effectively communicate that voice to your visitors through both the design and the content (headlines, text, blog, videos etc.)?
Reputation: Not only does your brand have a voice, it has a reputation to uphold. If your organization prides itself in scholarly work, do you display your latest journals and research for your website visitors to review? Maybe you are known for your quirky and creative product promotion. Does the promotion marketing carry over onto your website through elements such as games, videos, contests, etc.? For instance, check out Marshmallow Drop, a game we built for Campfire Marshmallows. This game reinforces Campfire as a fun, playful company.
The best way to determine the effectiveness of branding on your website is to hear directly from your visitors. Rather than relying solely on a secondary analytics tool, you could add a survey to the website for a select period of time or even use a more personal approach and present your website to individuals and conduct in-depth interviews and/or focus groups.
If there is incongruity between your brand and your website you are negatively affecting your visitors' perception of your company and it may be time for a redesign. If you aren't sure how to best portray your brand on your website, let's talk!