Trust and credibility are essential to establishing a relationship with customers. Without them, people have no reason to believe or purchase anything on your website. Site Branding is one of the issues related to trust and credibility.
In all site genres, it is important to build a site brand to help visitors identify where they are on the web, and to help build an identity for the company. Balance the various elements on your homepage portal so that it provides a strong up-front value proposition. This helps to establish successful branding throughout a site.
Brand is more than just a logo and a tag line. Customers need to know where they are and whether they can trust that place to provide something important and unique. The examples below show value propositions are integrated directly into the main logo and are some of the first things visitors will read. This helps to establish successful branding throughout a site.
The identity created on a website, through advertising and in interactions with people at a company, persists even after customers leave their computers, close their magazines, or hang up their phones. Some may suggest that brand is the image, the graphic look, or even the logo of a company.
But, it is more than that.
It’s what people remember.
And like the cattle brand for cowboys, a company brand can’t be removed once it has been created with customers. People are bombarded with facts, and opinions suggesting what’s important for them to think feel and do. These messages permeate almost every aspect of our lives, from print and television ads to endorsements by famous people, travelling even by word of mouth through friends. People respond to these suggestions in different ways, depending on their background and what they value. The brand that a company builds depends on the audience it hopes to reach and the values that that audience deems important. Does the site provide something important and unique?
To build a trusted brand requires creating a positive assessment for all of the below:
1. Content quality. Does the site have what I want?
2. Ease of use. Can I find what I want simple and efficiently?
3. Performance. Is the site fast?
4. Satisfaction. Is the overall experience satisfactory?
5. Brand value. Does the site provide something important and unique?
Differentiating A Brand
Customers will try to discern the differences between one company and its competitors, particularly the promises they make and their abilities to fulfill promises. A company dominate only one area of business: price, access, product, service, or experience. A company may excel at one or more other areas, but because of market and business limitations, it cannot dominate all the areas. If you establish an important and unique brand value, customers are more likely to remember that value when they need it.
What assessment does the company want to trigger?
The first thing customers will do is evaluate your purpose. Perhaps the company offers something less expensive or more entertaining than what its competitors offer. Whatever the differentiation, it must translate into a message people will remember. What branding message do you want visitors to your site to remember? As you would when “dressing for success,” consider the kind of impression you wish to make.
How To Establish Brand Identity For A Website
Customers need to be able to identify a web site by its brand image. If visitors arrive at a web site and don’t know where they are, this means that the color scheme, fonts, page layout, images, and logo that make up the brand image are not prominent enough on the homepage, perhaps being overwhelmed by other elements.
A weak brand image can also confuse customers as to which web site they’re on when they go to other pages on the same site. Site designers must quickly convey the brand. If too dominating, the brand can adversely minimize the many other important things on the site.
Build a strong site brand by differentiating your company from other companies through the promise you make and through the actions your company takes to satisfy customers. Here are 4 main graphic design considerations for every web brand treatment:
Repetition helps customers recall information. So, use the same fonts, graphics, relative positions, and proportions for each web page on your site. A uniform navigation scheme coupled with a good color scheme can also help reinforce your brand image.
eBay uses a global page template to maintain consistency across the entire site, and individual page templates to maintain consistency for categories of pages. The global page template is first designed to have the site branding, search bar, tabs, sidebars appear in the same locations. Individual page templates are then created from the global page template. Both of the screen shots show examples of category pages created from the same individual page template.
Make the logo large enough to be the second or third item that will be read on the page. Use a first read to give each page a unifying focus on the most important message to emphasize the most important element of that page. Use color, size, font, weight, and position to differentiate and highlight the first read. Design for lower-resolution displays, and test your first reads with your customers to see if they’re effective.
First reads are often located in the top left corner of a web page, affecting the layout and placement of navigation bars. If you use an image as the first read, make it a fast-loading image.
The establish location for the logo is the upper left; people already know to look there to identify the site and they expect that clicking on the logo will take them back to the homepage portal.
4. Reuse of graphics for speed
Reusable images help ensure that each page is displayed quickly. You may also want to use a logo that is integrated into the navigation bar and maintain a low number of files.
This approach makes use of how web browsers temporarily store (cache) files that the browser has already downloaded. Images that are reused do not have to be loaded again.
Here are some sites for your reference that have fulfilled most or all of the criteria above. They have made the logo the first read in the upper left corner of the site. They have also used color, layout, fonts, and logo consistently throughout their site to reinforce their brand.
On the contrary, some prominent sites like Flickr, Engadget, ProBlogger and Envato do not need products to create a brand. Just like Smashing Magazine who have made their existence strong and branding successful first, and then started to create the Smashing Book as a product of their brand.
What is your take in site branding?
Involve your team in the branding design process. Consider hiring a consultant with expertise in strategic marketing. Once the branding process is complete, the editorial and graphic design teams will have a clear understanding of the identity to convey and reinforce. So the next time you start branding a site, take note of the check list below. Did you manage to fulfill most of them?
1. Ease of use
4. Brand value
Establishing Brand Identity
4. Reuse of graphics for speed
Hope you enjoyed this post about the significance of establishing a prominence brand identity for your website!