Have you ever come across a website that, after going through a couple of pages, you had no idea what it was about? Maybe it was a business website and you still can't figure out what they do. Maybe it seemed to be focused on a person but you weren't quite sure why that person had a website. There is an excellent chance that the website creator didn’t have a concrete brand before putting their website together.
Website or Branding First?
To some, it makes sense to make their website first and to others, it doesn’t matter. The entire look and feel of your website is your best vehicle for getting your brand out into the world. If the website comes before company branding, then chances are you won’t be able to convey your message properly to visitors. After all, how can you convey a message you don’t know yourself? Your website needs to represent you and your company when you are not there. This is done by things such as:
- Calls to Action
If any of these elements conflict with your brand, you end up sending your ideal target away. For example, if you want to convey the feeling of stability and targeting a middle-aged audience, loud colors and bold fonts are not recommended. These may appeal to you but they won’t appeal to your intended audience. You may unintentionally convey a fun-loving, innovative image that doesn’t take life too seriously.
After realizing your website branding differs from your company’s brand, you must redo the entire website once you do determine what your brand is. That will require more time, money, and effort.
It’s All About Consistency and Feeling
Company branding is about creating consistent positive feelings associated with your business. This allows those who come into contact with you in any way to understand exactly who you are, what you are about, and where you are heading. Only after you have established this brand can you then infuse it throughout your website in a variety of ways.
The Look – Everything from the type of font you use to the colors you choose will send a message to visitors. By knowing the message you want to send, you can choose the looks that express the message. This needs to be consistent throughout your entire website.
The Feel – Do you want to get people excited or make them feel secure? When you know how you want people to feel when they hear your company name you can determine if your website creates that emotion. Remember, the feeling you establish ultimately determines whether people will work with you or look elsewhere.
The Information – Once you know your brand, you can be confident in the content you present on your website. Your brand helps determine which pages to include and in what order to present them to meet the needs of your ideal visitor. You will know whether you want to reassure visitors, educate them, or inspire them. Whatever your goal, this needs to stay consistent throughout the website.
It is easy to put up a website. It isn’t as easy to create one that is a consistent extension of your company and its branding. It becomes impossible if you don’t know what that brand is or how to communicate it to the world. You don’t want your website to confuse visitors when they leave. You want them to say they know you, they like you, and they want to continue interacting with you.