Achieving Brand Consistency Through Effective Web Design
If content is king, then proper web design is the heir to the throne. Not only does a well designed website convey a sense of professionalism, it also works as an important driver of brand recognition.
Companies often invest money into marketing campaigns, content development, product research and development and web design, but they pay little attention to where and how all of this intersects. There are only few other things worse than an inconsistent brand identity; no branding at all and no company persona, voice and tonality.
Brand Consistency And Company Values
A good marketing campaign should accomplish two important things. The first is obvious in that it should convey the importance of a product or service to a customer. The second is that it should establish a brand image in the minds of those customers.
The first is fairly easy. Explaining what a product or service does and how it can help to solve a problem takes less effort than most marketing strategists would have you believe.
The second can be a bit more difficult. In the age of the Internet, many customers have more than one point of contact with a business they buy from. This is especially true for retailers.
When a customer enters a store, they hopefully see the values of that business on display. Things like cleanliness, a friendly staff that provides a welcoming environment, in-store marketing and a unique selling proposition.
Either before or after a customer enters a store, they are likely to visit the associated website. Without a consistent design between a website and the actual store, the authority of a business is often diminished in the minds of customers.
Poor brand consistency between a brick and mortar location and a website fails to:
- Help your business stand out in the mind of your customers. It becomes “just another” operator.
- Deliver the important messages of your business. Think about the consistency Apple’s commercials, website and store all convey. They are identical in nearly every way.
- Set appropriate expectations in the minds of customers.
- Encourage customers to evangelize your business and spread your brand.
What To Do?
If the budget allows, getting a design team to take care of a website is a great investment. A well design website will serve as an extension of the main business location. Your web design should be cohesive with your offline marketing and brand identity.
If there are no budgets for web site redesign and should a do-it-yourself design be necessary, then focusing on colors with a clear message of what a business is about are the absolute minimum in terms of requirements. Clean layouts with fewer complicated elements are best in this case. Business websites must be consistent across all mediums in order to maximize their potential.