Repeat this to yourself. Make it your mantra: “My website is my brand. My website IS my brand.”
It’s the cornerstone of any brand’s identity. Yes, even yours.
And, statistically speaking, your website is one of the first places a customer will interact with your company as they begin their buying cycle.
In fact, 81% of consumers research online before making a purchase, and 48% place more trust in branded website content than search engine articles, blogs and even mainstream news sites. And, 92% of B2B purchases start with online search, with 53% of B2B buyers preferring to go online instead of interacting with a sales rep.
Imagine screwing up a crucial early impression by having an outdated, nonfunctional, or nonexistent website. Many companies still miss the mark.
Don’t be one of them!
By acknowledging the importance of a solid web presence, you acknowledge the sacredness of your brand. (Make no mistake: Your brand is sacred!) You’re not simply “covering all the bases” by owing a branded site — you’re ensuring that customers can see who you really are and that you’re giving them the best experience from the very start.
Good web design can accomplish this.
Great web design will.
Developing a site can seem like a daunting task, with an even steeper investment. And in many cases, it is. But we’re building a solid brick house here – not throwing up a tent.
Intuitive navigation, well-organized backend coding, search engine optimization, mobile responsiveness, appealing design representing your brand — all of these aspects (and more) must come together fluidly to produce a reliable, interesting and beautiful website that drives the desired results.
And it takes a great deal of skill and experience to bring it all together.
“But my neighbor says he can build me a site for $100 and a six-pack!”
Good luck with that. In most cases, modern brands — large and small — demand design and functionality that greatly surpasses what your neighbor can build. He or she likely can build ‘a’ site, but probably lacks the time or the skills that it takes to truly reflect and manage your brand in your site. Security systems, reliability and functionality are all crucial components that are likely to be underdeveloped. Remember: We need devotion to a brand — not just some placeholder website or landing page.
“What about Wix or WordPress? I can do it myself with sites like theses!”
These are great solutions and reputable tools that work for a great deal of small and medium business applications, artists and other trades. But often, you’re constrained by certain template structures and limited with your back-end control. Not to mention, you risk tarnishing an opportunity to establish the most critical aspect of branding: Standing out in a crowded field.
A custom website, built and monitored by professionals can offer so much more potential and functionality that goes beyond what you may have hoped, exceeding expectations and impressing potential customers. And most important of all, it will be unique to your brand and your company’s needs.
“What about Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook? My social media game is strong enough!”
Yes, but your social media is not your website. Your Facebook presence and Instagram routine are critical components of very necessary marketing tactics that should be integrated with your overall marketing strategy, but if you are leading customers back to a lackluster site, you’re doing your brand – and your potential customers – a disservice.
Think of it as a symbiotic circle, where social media is a branch extending from the island of your website. Your site is a solid rock where your brand lives to tell its story and serve customers, and your social efforts are what you use to REACH OUT TO THEM personally or experientially.
Web teams exist to serve your cornerstone branding piece. Often, it requires a lineup of dedicated personnel to properly “test drive” and observe early possible security threats or coding issues. The first few hours and days a website is live are critical for monitoring performance and measuring engagement. It’s like launching an ocean liner: The last thing you want is to be left with something that may look beautiful but doesn’t work!
Interested in a few examples? The big players usually have it down pat when it comes to weaving their brand seamlessly throughout their website. Mazda USA’s site elegantly displays brand messaging and imagery, maintaining a consistent presence alongside their TV and other digital advertising — as does Jack Daniel’s. And Dyson does a nice job of keeping the organization as sleek and tidy as their innovative products.
So, is it time to take the first big step in defining, or redefining, the cornerstone of your brand?
We’d love to help (and show some of our stuff) with this useful infographic that walks through crucial website branding components.
Download it now for quick advice to make sure your brand and website intersect at the point of flawless design and on-point usability.