Whether you’re an already established business or a new one, your brand is something used in all aspects of your advertising and media exposure to:
- Reflect your business values
- Align with your business goals
- Speak to customers with your personalised voice
So essentially, it becomes a language that your business speaks in.
Any form of communication with customers is done with your branding kept close, on all platforms – including online.
Your website is an asset to your business; an online branding tool and resource.
So use it! Create a website strategically, speaking through your brand with the finesse that makes your business different.
There are 3 important features that you can use on your website to showcase your brand:
1. Brand strategy
3. Colours and styles
1. Brand strategy
Your brand strategy is something you’ll be using across your entire business – and this includes your website.
Making sure your website design aligns with where you’re currently targeting your business goals and direction is crucial. This is because a website is part of your business,
Powerful strategy helps you correctly use your website as an online branding tool.
Overall, deciding on a brand strategy for your entire business is pretty well aligned with your goals and values.
When planning online brand strategy for your website, you’re essentially extending your business’s presence into the online realm. That comes with a new territory, so you’ve got to consider a few things:
When planning your website, keep your brand strategy in mind and consider the type of design you use across all social media and advertising.
1. Do you have recurring formats and styles?
If you do, then you need to reuse them on your website. If not, then you’ll need to be consistent, and create a pattern, when you start.
2. If you’re planning to create a website from scratch, does your business have a logo, signage, or any visual media you use to represent yourself?
Any current visual content is a great guideline for a website design plan that fits with your business.
Think about the kind of messaging you want to use. This should influence the style of the copy you use in your website, and help decide on the details of your wording. Ask yourself:
1. How do I speak to my customers in person?
Take some time to consider your approach to conversation with any customers or clients. Your website should speak to your customers in the same way.
2. Do I want casual or formal conversation online?
If you’re still establishing a brand, decide on your conversation style. Think about how your business works and what type of communication you have with your customers.
3. Does this style of conversation reflect your communication in the business?
Because, it should! Creating an online brand strategy has to be consistent with what your entire business is doing, everywhere. Your website must follow this, too.
When planning a website design, take the time to consider who your target audience is. Your business probably already tailors their work around this, and knows what type of customer you’re serving.
It’s crucial when it comes to your website design, and also influences how you develop your brand. By understanding your audience, you’re able to develop a brand that appeals to both what they need, and want.
Get familiar with:
1. Their age range, and dominant gender identity
2. Where they work, live, and economic status
3. Hobbies and interests they might pursue
These factors can help you determine the finer details of your website design and can help other aspects of your business, too.
Creating a brand strategy is hugle beneficial for your website. It could help guide your website design and create consistency across your business.
Professional designers can often help with crafting a brand strategy, and it’s something to consider if you don’t have the resources to plan it yourself.
2. Your website logo
A logo is the face of your brand.
Think of Nike, or Tip Top. We’re all pretty familiar with the famous tick, or the NZ-iconic Tip Top swirl. That’s the logo that symbolizes their brand, and is internationally recognised as their distinctive face.
How important is it to my customers?
In short – it’s very important. Using a logo is significant in creating a consistent brand that customers and clients become familiar with.
As far as your website goes, don’t forget that it’s a loud platform where customers expect to see every detail of your business. So give them a face to focus on and remember.
After all, it’s key in displaying your brand identity, and your website should always be showcasing this.
When using a website logo you need to make sure it’s compatible with the rest of your content. This means taking into consideration:
And strategically positioning it in places that website-customers will see and remember.
Where do I use my logo on my website?
When planning the logo’s place in your website design, it can be useful to see what competitors and other businesses are doing – find out what the standard is, and how often a logo is displayed.
You should also consider several important factors:
- A website's logo should always be visible.
It’s often kept in the header of your website. This is kept visible on every page of your website, so your logo should have a distinctive place on it.
You want customers to always have your logo in sight. It doesn’t generally have to be too dominant, it’s just a gentle reminder of your face – who the business is and who they’re talking to.
- Left aligned, or centered?
The most common place to centre a logo in any simple website design is on the left hand side of a header, or the centre.
It’s been found that the left hand side is so effective for logo positioning, because it’s where customers look if they’re trying to find the home page. Nielsen Norman Group found that users are 89% more likely to remember your logo when it’s positioned on the left side of a website.
Having a logo in the centre is also very common for placing. Even if a professional is designing your website, it’s important to get an idea of where you want your logo to be seen.
- Give it space in more than just the header.
While a header is the most effective place to use a logo, you might want to consider using it in other areas as well to reinforce your brand.
A logo can also be positioned in footers and product photos. Just don’t get too concerned about making it pop up on every piece of content. Moderation is key!
Is my logo still relevant?
So if you’ve got an existing logo and you’re building your own website, take a moment to think about it’s relevance.
We’ve established that it’s important to use a logo effectively on your website. But if you’ve already got one, you might not automatically be in the clear.
Ask yourself some important questions:
- Has my business faced any major changes since designing this logo?
If your business has significantly grown or changed, it’s important to make sure your branding still aligns with your strategy and goals moving forward. Especially since it’s going to be on new website design that’s got your fresh goals behind it.
Ideally you want a long lasting logo that sticks in the minds of your customers and pops up nicely on your website. But if you’ve faced major changes in direction then consider changing your logo.
It will last effectively and fit with your website branding once your business also has long term direction.
- Are there any other companies using a similar logo to mine?
Having a unique and stand out logo on your website is important. Along with copyright problems (which you’re probably already aware of), using a logo similar to other existing company’s means you could get washed away, or mixed up.
You can imagine that any company using a fruit symbol would have gone through some serious logo re-crafting after Apple’s rise to fame.
Do some research and find out if any other websites use similar logos and symbols to what you’re planning on using.
- Does my logo actually represent what my business does?
Although it sounds like a trivial pursuit – creating a small image that represents who you are and what you do, it is achievable.
Making sure your logo does this is important in accurately advertising your business on it’s website.
This is where the help of professional designers and brand strategists can be a great advantage whether you’re a new business or an existing one.
Your logo is integral to your website – so give it some thought.
It might not be something that immediately popped out to be important to your website design, but it really plays a large part in your branding. It’s the entire face!
As far as connecting your content goes, it’s always going to be seen on your website somewhere, and will unify your design.
3. Your website colour scheme
Using colours on your website is like using colour anywhere else.
A website colour scheme will set a tone, create a theme, and become consistent with your branding style.
Whether you’ve already got strategic marketing sorted or not, the colour scheme of your website should be similar to what you use or plan to use, in other areas of your business.
Colour is a powerful emotional tool.
The emotional aspect behind colours is something used across a lot of advertising. They encourage customers to feel a certain way about a product or service, and direct them into the mood appropriate for using your service.
Websites, of course, do the same thing. Even simple website design takes into account the colour theory to align with your marketing strategy or business plan.
Think about it, if you’re looking at the website of a beauty therapy clinic, they use softer colours that tend to encourage a relaxed and calm mood. It’s also consistent with the colours they use in things like business cards and other advertising.
Using colour to attract your ideal customers
The customers you want to attract are the customers who will use your service, right?
So make sure your website colour scheme appeals to them by appropriately and accurately representing your service, products, or information. The colours you use should align with the purpose of your business.
Colour is key to your branding because it will influence your content.
Get familiar with the theory behind colours – what they mean and what emotions they evoke.
This will help you know where you need to use them and what’s going to be most appropriate for your target customer.
Deciding on the right colour scheme
When creating or customizing a palette, you’ll need to decide on some key colours that are consistent across your entire website and branding.
Getting familiar with the palettes that other businesses use is always a good way to start, and you might even have some key colours your business already uses in its brand.
But planning your website's colour scheme works a little differently, because you’ve got the whole website design to think about.
Start by considering what selection of colours you’ll need to think about:
Even if you’re enlisting in the help of a professional designer, knowing what colours you want to use, and how dominant you want them to be, are crucial in creating a website that aligns with your brand.
- Dominant colour: attracting attention
This should often link to the branding across your whole business. If you’ve already got a recurring colour used in a logo or current advertising, this should also be the dominant colour to use in your website colour scheme.
Remember – the consistency across your brand applies to your website as well!
Where is the dominant colour used?
Your dominant colour is essentially the main colour to your website, so it pops up a lot. But that’s exactly its purpose – to ‘pop’.
You want to use it in places where it highlights important information or asks for customers to take action.
Whether you’re going to build your own website or pay a professional to help, the dominant colour could be used:
1. As the text colour for titles and headings
2. On your logo
3. For call-to-action buttons and tabs
- Complementary colour: highlighting information
This colour is used to build up your palette and scheme. It works to strengthen your brand, and highlight your dominant colour.
When thinking about the complementary colours for your website design, you probably want to limit yourself to only one or two. Too much going on can be distracting, and not effective in establishing a powerful brand identity.
Where is the complementary colour used?
Your complimentary colour is used to support the dominant colour, but it also works to highlight secondary information and add variety to your website design.
Consider using it as:
1. The colour of text and subtitles
2. Backgrounds to important information
3. Colour of buttons
- Background colour
Your background colour should be the same on all pages of your website. You don’t want it to be too distracting, and it should really work to highlight and emphasise your brand.
Choosing the right background colour is pretty similar to painting the walls of your house: it shouldn’t clash with any content, and it shouldn’t be too intrusive either.
A good background colour is simple, subtle, and emphasises what’s in front of it
Highlight and strengthen your branding with colour
Colour is an important component to your website that often requires careful crafting.
While simple website design is something you can have a lot of fun pursuing, professionals can help you create a website colour scheme that properly highlights your brand and strategy.
A strong brand means a powerful website
Discovering how you can speak of your brand is important in creating a website.
You’ll be able to link together your content in a way that’s consistent and strategic, and speak to your customers with a voice that’s personal.
When the visual body of your website is sorted, then you can start thinking about the other exciting and crucial elements of your website.
Think strategy, marketing, and SEO. The real nitty-gritty details that inevitably come with housing a website in the online world.