It’s very tempting, when building a website, to start all over with your brand concept. But, in reality, it’s the worst thing that you can do. Your brand & web design should be a reflection all of your marketing collateral. Your website should be an extension of all the marketing material that you are already passing out. Creating a memorable brand is about realizing how powerful good design is.
Think about brands that you can recognize without even reading the words. Coke, Twitter, Facebook, all have brands that you can recognize immediately even if you don’t see words to go with it. If you just see the red outline of the C for Coke, or the shape of the bottle, you know it’s Coke. If you see the blue bird, regardless of where the bird is, you know it’s Twitter. And, who doesn’t recognize the lower-case f and that particular shade of blue for Facebook? Every business wants to have branded their business so well that this magic occurs.
One way to expand your brand is to ensure that once you create a website, all of your other marketing collateral matches. If you’re already a well-known entity, make your website match. If you’re a new business, think about all the various types of marketing material you will need to create and make it all go together. Don’t reinvent the wheel for each of your marketing materials. The great thing is, good design will easily carry forth to all the marketing collateral that you need.
Keep It Professional
Your website should be as professional as you are. This is not the time to start telling all your family secrets. You don’t need pictures of your dog, or cat, or babies on your website. The “about us” area is not a time to spill your guts. The website is much like a print brochure and should contain the same type of information. The only difference is that a website is easier to update, keep current, and share new information as well as provide a great place in which to educate potential customers about your products and services.
Choose Your Domain Name Wisely
Whether you’ve been in business a while or not, choosing your domain name is an important step in creating your brand. Ideally, your domain name will include keywords. However, if your business is already established, simply carrying over the name you now use for your business to the domain name will be the best thing that you can do. If you cannot get that name, consider thinking outside the box by brainstorming keywords that people will use to search for your products and services. Don’t choose something that is trendy; choose something that is timeless but represents your products and services well.
Expand to Social Media
When you build a website you’ll want to also connect to your clients via social media through your website. Be sure to complete your social media profiles in the same manner as your business website. You want to carry the images, themes, logos, colors, typography through all of your marketing collateral, whether online or offline. When someone visits your online real estate via your business card, there should be no mistake that it’s yours.
By using your website as a repository for all the information about your business, including listing awards, testimonials, case studies, press mentions, images of you and your staff, as well as remembering to carry over the look and feel of your other marketing collateral, you’ll expand your brand exponentially.