Use Branding Effectively on Your Company Website
Your company’s branding is more than just the logo that is printed on your stationery; it is the entire image that is projected by your business. Good branding is often the only discernible difference between market leaders and their competitors. Good branding is what makes you stand out from your competitors in the minds of your customers. As important as branding is in the real world, it is even more vital to your online presence where you are trying to be noticed among hundreds, if not thousands, of other websites that offer products and services similar to your own.
Good online branding begins offline. In his book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, Al Ries explains that as you narrow your brand’s focus, it becomes stronger. If your brand covers too many products or services then it is much harder to define exactly what the brand is about. Focusing your branding on your core product makes it easier for customers to connect with your brand. This focus on your central product has to be the most legible aspect of your corporate website, where you have only a few minutes for visitors to make the right connection. It may be tempting to put all of your product lines or accessories onto one page like a catalogue, but it will diffuse the focus on the product that you are trying to connect with your brand.
Online branding must exactly match all of your offline branding. Many businesses use a style guide that defines exactly how every aspect of the corporate brand will be displayed, and if you haven’t got one for your business then you should put one together. It is the foundation of your brand because it makes your corporate presence consistent. Your website should be exactly the same colors as all of your printed material and logos, and trademarks should be displayed on screen exactly the way that they are in print. This ensures that customers that are specifically looking for you online will have zero doubt that it is the right business when they find you. Because monitors don’t display the same colors as print does, often it is better to start by designing your branding for the web and then using those colors in the printed material to be sure that you have a consistent result across all of your branding.
One way to build confidence in a new brand is to associate it with other, well established brands in associated niches. If your products or services use other products with strong branding, it may be practical to include their branding on your website to support your own product. Of course, you must be sure that your own branding is the central focus of the website, and once the foreign branding has done its work, it is always best to drop it. Often other brands will be willing to enter into an affiliate promotional arrangement that is aimed at building both brands simultaneously. Swapping affiliate advertising can be an effective way of broadening the reach that your brand has, but only if you are in a roughly equal affiliate arrangement. Someone else leveraging your brand to raise awareness of their own business might add very little to your brand’s value, and being the smaller brand in an affiliate arrangement isn’t likely to put your brand at the front of your customers’ minds.
Branding is an essential part of an online presence for every business, and if it is handled well, it can make your business a household name across the world. Infintech Designs can help to integrate your branding with your online presence to make sure that it is working for you.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, Al Ries and Laura Ries, Harper Collins, 1998