Despite the proliferation of website builders, freelance website designers, and web design agencies, building a business website is still a real challenge. There are so many things to consider, from the structure and features of your website to the security you set up to protect your business and site users.
It might be tempting to leave business branding until you've dealt with the most pressing web design questions that come up, but that would be a mistake.
Brand identity is one of the most important elements of your business and your website. Just to clarify, when we talk about brand identity, we mean any visual expression of your brand values, personality, and business goals. Your brand identity includes your logo, your chosen typeface and fonts, your colour schemes, and more.
Bear in mind that your website is one of the first places potential customers go to check out your business, so you need to make sure you make the right impression. Your brand identity needs to be an integral part of your website design right from the get-go. Here are six reasons why baking brand identity into your website is a savvy business move.
1. Differentiate your business
It doesn't matter what your niche is, it's almost guaranteed that you have at least a dozen competitors all trying to secure the same target audience. Sure, your products or services might be better quality or your prices lower, but that's not enough to make your business stand out in a crowded market.
That's why it's crucial to express your business' personality loud, proud, and as many times as possible. Your website is your best opportunity to communicate your brand identity clearly through elements like your logo, your colour and font choices, and your slogan.
2. Strengthen brand recognition
It's often said that it takes seven repetitions before someone remembers a marketing message, and that includes your brand identity. Recent research shows that if your brand messaging isn't consistent, consumers feel confused and uncertain about your business. Consistent branding can raise revenue by 33%, yet 81% of businesses still struggle to achieve it.
One of the best and simplest ways is to create a logo that has pride of place on your homepage and appears on every other page of your website, too. Your logo is like the face of your business, and once someone has seen it several times across your social media and your website, they'll be a lot more likely to respond positively.
3. Remove visitor confusion
If your website is generic and full of stock images and template fonts, it doesn't really represent your business. If there's no visual signs of your business brand, visitors can grow confused about whether they've actually on your site. Consumers who click through from social media or a paid ad might wonder if they've landed in the wrong place.
Additionally, if you want consumers to make a purchase on your site, you need to reassure them that it's safe to do so. Harvard psychologist Gerard Zaltman found that 95% of purchasing decisions are made on a subconscious level, and your brand identity is part of creating a subconscious awareness of security. Using consistent typography, colour schemes, and even brand phrases and tone helps reassure users they haven't strayed onto a phony payment page by mistake.
4. Build credibility with consumers
No matter how much we say we don't judge, first impressions still matter. When someone arrives at your site and sees a consistent brand identity that brings together wording, fonts, images, logos, and colour choices, it subconsciously raises their trust in your business.
High quality branding makes you appear professional, expressing authority and building credibility with potential customers. On the flip side, people are a lot less likely to trust a shoddy-looking, generic site that doesn't appear to have had any thought put into branding.
5. Reduce friction with good website design
You might think that building a website is hard enough without worrying about including your brand identity at the same time. But incorporating brand identity from the outset helps improve site design and helps you build a site that's more intuitive and easier to navigate.
Website designers and UX/UI professionals always appreciate it when businesses have an established brand identity. It helps remove confusion and disagreements about tone, style choices, and even where elements are placed on each webpage, thereby saving time and hassle.
It costs you far more in time and money to leave brand identity as an afterthought, to be added to your website at a later date. You'll just end up having to repeatedly go back and tweak different parts of your site, and that's frustrating for everyone concerned.
6. Reinforce customer loyalty
Finally, delivering a consistent brand experience throughout your website, social media accounts, emails, and all your marketing materials helps strengthen your relationship with your customers and shore up consumer loyalty. Whenever they see your logo or other brand elements, it reminds them of their interactions with your business and adds another layer to your relationship.
Brand identity should be a mainstay of web design
Your brand identity should be a pillar of your website design, with all the other elements focusing on it. By baking your brand identity into your business site, you'll be able to differentiate your business, drive brand recognition and customer loyalty, build credibility, and reduce friction and confusion from your customers' purchase journey.
Copyright 2021. Article made possible by Jeff Broth, business writer and advisor. Jeff has consulted for SMB owners and entrepreneurs for seven years mainly covering finance, stocks and emerging fintech trends.