October 13, 2021

September 8, 2020

Building your Brand through Web Design

Brand Execution

October 13, 2021

Building your Brand through Web Design

Brand Execution
If you are thinking about redesigning your website or creating a new one, you might want to first think about exploring your brand.

In fact, any time you are considering revamping a major customer touchpoint, it is a good idea to step back and think about branding first. Not only will it give you a good gut check, but you want to make sure what you are communicating is still reflective of who your company is, what it believes in and where it’s going. In this post, we talk about exploring your brand before designing or redesigning your website. Before we dive in, let’s talk about what branding is and why it’s important.

At Hardy, we think of branding as proactive reputation management. Branding develops the foundation of your business, setting the tone and positioning within your market. By first strategically exploring and developing your brand, we are able to design visuals, logos, graphics and messaging to differentiate you from your competitors. It’s this bridge between logic and creativity that makes a powerful connection with your ideal customer. Your company’s website is an extension of your brand. A potential customer or client may visit your website as the first or second touchpoint with your brand to decide whether to buy from you. If they aren’t satisfied or don’t connect with your brand, they will leave and quickly forget about your business.

October 13, 2021

Building your Brand through Web Design

Brand Execution
If you are thinking about redesigning your website or creating a new one, you might want to first think about exploring your brand.

In fact, any time you are considering revamping a major customer touchpoint, it is a good idea to step back and think about branding first. Not only will it give you a good gut check, but you want to make sure what you are communicating is still reflective of who your company is, what it believes in and where it’s going. In this post, we talk about exploring your brand before designing or redesigning your website. Before we dive in, let’s talk about what branding is and why it’s important.

At Hardy, we think of branding as proactive reputation management. Branding develops the foundation of your business, setting the tone and positioning within your market. By first strategically exploring and developing your brand, we are able to design visuals, logos, graphics and messaging to differentiate you from your competitors. It’s this bridge between logic and creativity that makes a powerful connection with your ideal customer. Your company’s website is an extension of your brand. A potential customer or client may visit your website as the first or second touchpoint with your brand to decide whether to buy from you. If they aren’t satisfied or don’t connect with your brand, they will leave and quickly forget about your business.

Ask yourself, "why?"

Why do you want a website in the first place, or why do you want to redesign an existing one? Exploring your “why” will help to define goals for the site, which will lead you to define how you’ll achieve those goals during the design and execution stages. If you’re specifically looking to improve or update an existing site, here are a few reasons companies revamp their website. If you’re starting from scratch, these are also great things to keep in mind as you begin to plan.

1. The aesthetic is outdated.

This is a common indicator for people that it’s time for a website update. If the website was designed using your company’s brand identity, and you feel the look of your website is dated, what does that say about your brand identity? It can seem like an easy upgrade to get a new website, but doing so may not really solve the problems you are having if you don’t step back to branding first.

If you are thinking about a website redesign because the website feels old and outdated, before you spend a lot of time redesigning the site, you should evaluate your brand strategy and identity: fonts, image direction, colors, graphical design elements, tone of the copy, etc. This will ensure that you are redesigning strategically based on the foundational elements of your business. An outdated website may also be an indicator that it is time to evaluate the rest of your brand as well. If an important touchpoint like your website is dated, it is likely that other elements of the business are dated as well. If this is your fist site, having a strong brand will guide the visuals and functionality.

2. Technology has evolved, but your website hasn't.

Technology changes quickly, so it’s easy to be left behind if you aren’t keeping up with it on your site. As technology evolves, it improves user experience. Your website should be responsive, meaning it should work well on varying screen sizes and on mobile phones. It should also be designed in a way that considers every aspect of user experience and makes it easy for people to navigate and take action.

When redesigning a site or creating a new one, ask yourself: what is the technology of the site saying about the company? If your company’s brand strategy describes you as “agile” and “forward-thinking” but your site uses dated technology, then you are not living out your brand through the important customer touchpoint that is your website.

3. The site's navigation and functionality confuses your audience.

Maybe visitors to your site can’t find the information they are looking for. Maybe it doesn’t exist there at all. Maybe the perception they had of you from another touchpoint does not line up with what they are seeing when they land on your site. This equals a poor user experience, something no business wants. Instead of confusing your customers, you want to delight them.

By developing a brand strategy or revisiting an existing one, you can figure out what it means to delight your clients and how to accomplish it. We use a couple of tools to accomplish this during the branding process. First, creating personas allow you to take a deep dive into understanding who your ideal customers are, what motivates them and how to connect with them. Second, surveys are a great way to receive honest feedback from customers and past customers.

4. Your site doesn't align with your marketing strategy.

That could mean that it is not accurately representing the value of your company and your product offerings. Maybe your focus has shifted since your website was designed. This could also mean that the site is no longer helping to support your company’s goals. For example, if you are a real estate agent who wants to attract sellers but the copy on your website is mainly directed at talking to buyers, you are probably not accomplishing your goal of attracting sellers.

We think of marketing as “brand execution.” It is inviting people to interact with and experience your brand. Your marketing strategy and branding go hand-in-hand. If your website isn’t in line with your marketing strategy, and the messaging you use in your marketing, then it is probably a good time to go back to branding.

5. Your website is not reaching the right audience.

By not attracting your ideal customers, it is probably not generating leads or at least not the ones you want. You connect with your ideal customer through your brand (the value you offer, what your identity looks like, the words you use and tone in which they’re said), but if this connection isn’t being made then it may be time to step back and revisit brand strategy to reevaluate who your ideal customers are and how they are interacting with your brand.

Again, personas and customer surveys during the branding process can be valuable tools to help you to better understand your people. The branding process will further help you to first identify who your ideal customer is. It will help you to strategically connect with them.

Branding is your foundation

Branding is the foundation of a business. You wouldn’t start to build a new house without doing research and making a plan based on what you want it to look like and how you want it to function. The same applies to a website. Remember your website may be one of the first touchpoints a customer has with your business. People should be able to get a clear picture of your business’s brand by visiting your website. What do you want that first impression to be?

If you are thinking about a new website or redesigning one, we encourage you to take a step back and think about branding first. Having a clear idea of your brand’s value and why it matters to your customer is extremely valuable when planning and building a website. This strong brand foundation will set you up for success in the long run.

want to chat? give shane a ring

We’re always eager to talk branding with interested business owners.

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About Us

Like our work, the Hardy team is an embodiment of the perfect balance of strategy and creative. We’ve cultivated a team of certified brand specialists and strategists, designers, copywriters and marketing professionals who are ferocious about helping you succeed.

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Expertise

 Check out the four key areas of branding that, when they work together, empower you to own your brand, build strong bonds with your customers and crush business goals. 

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