Although most business professionals and organizations have taken that critical step in securing their online presence with a website, there still exists some confusion with the actual purpose that the website will serve, as well as issues regarding branding/styling inconsistencies.
The reality is, just like all other marketing collateral or advertising media, a website (particularly the styling and brand elements) must be consistent with the overall brand in question. One of the most critical questions a company must address when developing a corporate website is whether or not the site is a true reflection of the brand itself. Prior to the design of any brand website, several questions must be asked and answered in order to ensure that the final design will be a true representation of the organization or brand. Here are some key questions to consider when implementing a final website design:
- Do the design elements reflect the nature of the business? (Do you need a web 2.0 style design? or would a corporate-style template fit the bill better?)
- Does your website help define your product/service properly? (Does your website incorporate certain features to make sure?)
- Will visitors to your site be able to search for, find, and research key information on your company, products/services, and contact information?
- Have you done your part to ensure that your customers will have an easy and informative visit to your site?
Actually, the list can go on, but the essentials are all there. When building a website, companies and brands must ensure that the website is consistent with their brand identity and must provide an atmosphere that truly represents the brand as a whole. For example, I have always found the Bell Canada website a perfect representation of their brand, particularly after their massive re-branding initiative a few years back. Visiting Bell’s website is like walking into their retail stores, which are very simple, clean, well organized, colour/brand conscious, and it provides all the information that can be offered by an employee at one of their local retail stores. They even have an interactive customer service section to ensure that Bell customers are given the opportunity to troubleshoot problems, get answers, and gain important information with ease.
Although Bell is just one example, there are many other brand websites that are worthy of mention as well; however, that example alone should get the point across.
So, when you decide to have a website designed for your brand, make sure that you are “brand conscious” throughout the process. Always keep in mind that your website is ultimately a reflection of your brand, so if it is disorganized (or sloppy), inconsistent, difficult to navigate, and does not provide key information for customers, then that will be what (many) visitors to your site think about your brand as a whole. If you currently have a website that is not brand conscious, then you may want to consider a revamp…