By Ben Storey...
by Jason Holland, Interactive Graphic Designer
The goal of a website is to represent a company, sell the company’s products, attract more visitors, generate more business leads, promote more sales of company’s products and services and ultimately, help gain more return on investment. To do so, a company should have a consistent brand message that cuts through the clutter and builds loyalty and trust with the customer.
The first question to ask is: what is a brand?
A brand is the character, tone of voice and a way of behaving. Simply put, it is a proposition that communicates a consistent value associated around a singular idea. The sum of the parts include a logo that is always used in a similar way on all marketing material, a single typeface with specific typographical guidelines, a consistent color palette applied with a similar design style, and the consistent tone in the written messages about the company, it’s services or products.
So why is brand important?
A strong brand has one important advantage — recognition. With recognition comes familiarity. With familiarity comes trust and confidence. Done correctly, consistency brings clarity and purpose that consumers buy into. In turn, consumers become loyal to a brand. But building this kind of trust takes time. Most consumers have to be exposed to a brand many times before they are loyal to it. So a consistent brand message has to be establish that consumers will immediately distinguish from a competing brand. This means a business potentially loses customers, and may even help it’s competitors, if a consistent “look” and tone is not achieved.
But wait, there’s more!
The way to build a relationship with a consumer has changed. It used to be that a company could create an advertisement that directed the consumer to the website. As long as the “look” and tone between the ad and the website were consistent, brand loyalty could be achieved. That’s not enough anymore.
People are social creatures and with social media, consumers are sharing with others their feelings and thoughts about a company. Going beyond the website and leveraging social media depends on a cohesive message that can be shared outside social spheres the company has no control over.
By having a consistent message that builds positive relationships with consumers, consumers are more likely to communicate a positive message within their social circles. The point is to establish a consistent brand that builds trust over the long haul while recognizing the immediacy of social media.
Brand is the “look” and tone a company uses to establish a consistent message that builds familiarity and trust with consumers. It consists of the logo, typography, a color palette, similar design style, and the language of the written material. A strong brand should be consistent across all marketing outlets including the companies website and social media. Building a strong brand takes time and requires a clear voice that consistently differentiates a company from it’s competitors.