Is an online brand different than a brand of years past? Have we witnessed a new age in which branding has evolved into pixels, one’s, and zeros? This post is part of my Branding Questions Series designed to answer your frequently asked questions about branding.
It used to be that a company would disseminate its brand through traditional marketing channels and collateral such as print brochures, business cards, billboards and the like.
Business owners in years past would meet for the first time and hand out their print collateral. Or prospective clients would request a firm’s brochure to be mailed to them. This was usually the first introduction to a business brand.
In the Internet age, a website is the new brand channel and it’s the way to leverage brand your business online.
So it follows that having a creative, well designed and branded website is crucial to your online success. But what factors are important in branding your online business?
It’s difficult to know what elements are necessary in the website project planning phase. Review this checklist with a detailed list of good branding elements for your website.
Many of the same print design elements carry over to online branding such as color scheme, font choice, values, tagline, strategy, blogging, and social media integration.
Color scheme – there are pleasing color combinations and there are horrendous color choices. What’s right for you? Your company personality comes out in your choice of website colors so approach your color scheme carefully. Cutting edge companies go with cutting edge colors. Traditional companies stick with traditional colors. If you are seeking a competitive advantage, sticking with “safe” colors is probably not the way to go.
Font – in years past we were limited to standard fonts like helvetica, arial, and verdana because these were the fonts installed on most website browsers resulting in all websites having a similar look. Today, font choice has greatly improved which can help you position your company as different from the competition. A more elegant font sets the tone and can appeal to a quality client base.
Values – what do you stand for? What’s important to your business? Let visitors know through your website content and use your values to attract an ideal clientele. When your values are in line with the clients you want to work with, magic happens.
Tagline – coming up with a good tagline for your website is a great way to leverage your online personality. Here’s a helpful tagline worksheet to get you started.
Strategy – show how you are different from your competitors by being very clear in your value proposition. This can be as simple as stating 5 reasons to work with our company and lining them up 1. 2. 3. Etc. This calls attention to the best aspects of your firm, something we quite frequently forget to do.
Blogging – what better way to build brand personality than with a blog? Studies show that companies that blog receive 97% more leads than those who don’t. Blogging as a lead generation strategy is not simple, but it is necessary for businesses to understand and incorporate into their websites.
Social media integration – rather than adding social media as a post design element, plan to use social media icons and links to profiles in your online brand right at the beginning of your project. This is a huge part of online branding because your social media profiles can be used to tell your story, feature case studies, and build relationships. Your ideal clients can interact with you on social media and get to know you before they hire you.
Conclusion: So yes, branding has evolved. A business website is the new medium for a good first impression. Communication online is anonymous. The website visitor can learn about your company at their leisure. They can interact with you via your online brand and social media. The key is having all the successful elements work in your favor.