Your Website As Your Branding Tool
Branding your business helps you develop a relationship with your potential and current customers by helping them understand your business’s personality, products and/or services. By developing a brand that people feel they know and understand, you can start to compete with other businesses in a whole new way. You can compete based on the intrinsic value of your products and services rather than simply the cost of them.
You have many different types of tools that you can use for branding your business. Business cards, brochures, t-shirts, mugs, sample products, the business itself if it’s a bricks and mortar business (how it’s decorated), your pricing structure, customer service style, and even your contract can be a branding tool in your business. While some of these tools aren’t as obvious as others, they are all evoke feelings about your business in the customer.
All of these tools need to have a consistent style to them. By being consistent across all of the tools that you can use to brand your business, you will increase your brand image even more. Your brand has an intrinsic value to your entire business. It helps people understand what you do, how you do it, why you do it and will bring feelings of good will (or bad) to your clients or potential clients.
One of the branding tools that is most useful is your website. Often times when a business that has been around awhile decides to build a website, the owners get carried away and forget that they already have an established brand. Unless you want to re-brand yourself, essentially starting from scratch as a new business, it is best if you carry forth the brand you’ve already created into your web design.
After all, it takes time to develop a brand. You don’t want to confuse your current customers and catch them off guard by changing your image in their minds. After all, a customer’s belief in your brand can change on a dime if you’re not careful. You could lose customers, and we all know that keeping customers is one of the best marketing methods there is. Getting a new customer is much more expensive.
Your website, if designed well, can evoke the same feelings in new and old customers alike. Using your website to tell your story and expand your reach is an excellent use of the marketing tool, but it’s not a time to switch it all up and change everything. Instead look at the colors, images, and feelings you evoke now with the marketing collateral that you have and pull it in to your web design. Sometimes just using the same logos, the same colors, and the same font can go far in bringing the look and feel of your brand to the web.
Consider allowing your customers to tell their story about your brand. Your website is an excellent place to bring in customer testimonials, whether written or in video. Who is better at explaining your brand to others than people who already know you? By expanding your brand using consistent design practices across all your marketing media, you’ll be able to engage clients and potential clients in a new way – without reinventing the wheel.