Your brand is a focal point in your winning website, but we’re not just talking about your brand identity elements. Your visual identity includes things like your logo, colour schemes, typography, and imagery. All of those aesthetics should reflect your brand, as in, your brand personality and characteristics.
Your brand includes many things, and if you search for “core elements of a brand” you’ll get a very long list. There are the business plan items, like mission, vision, and values, as well as those more related to your marketing plans, like your promise to customers, and how you are positioning and differentiating yourself in the marketplace.
It’s never too early or too late to hone your brand. It’s particularly important to ensure that your brand is aligned with your target market. Consider all of the factors we discussed in Part 2 about your target market. In addition to looking at how what you’re selling is appealing to that audience, you also need to consider the “best friends” factor. For your brand and your target market to be a good fit, your values, culture, level of education, etc. also need to be aligned.
Is your target market likely to care about the environment? How much? If they are passionate about sustainability, you need to convey your brand’s concern and how your company is making a positive contribution to the cause.
If your target market is likely to care about education, or have empathy for those in need, your brand needs to care about these things as well. How will you integrate these values or characteristics into your brand?
TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. People Tree is the only fashion brand credited by the World Fair Trade Organization. They invest in environmentally friendly practices and use sustainable materials like organic cotton, natural fibers, and chemical-free dyes. What does your brand (and your target market) care about?
Customer experience is another important factor to consider. How much time will your target market spend searching for what they want? How many will return an item that’s not perfect? How many reps are they willing to talk to before getting their problem solved? However you’ve answered these questions needs to be your policy for customer service.
Loyal customers are a brand’s best friends. Make sure your brand is aligned with how they think, how they feel, and how they shop.
Once you’ve clearly defined or redefined your brand, we can ensure that your identity elements are consistent, and we’ll now have a cohesive brand profile to move forward with on your winning website.
View more articles from this series:
A Winning Website – Part 1: Why You Want One
A Winning Website – Part 2: Your Target Market
A Winning Website – Part 3: Honing Your Brand
A Winning Website – Part 4: Clarity in Purpose
A Winning Website – Part 5: Revving Up The Search Engines
A Winning Website – Part 6: Keeping It Fresh