A company brand is a symbol which represents the business. In one respect it is meant to represent the characteristics, associations, and experiences of the business in one abstract form. It may be a logo, phrase, sound…; but a brand is designed so that it makes people who see or hear it think about the company and what it represents to them. When it is done well, a brand image can keep consumer’s mind on your particular products, services, quality, value, size, market position or whatever else might matter between the company and the individual. The way the company web site is designed will represent what consumers should be able to expect out of the company, their product or service. An online presence should be open, honest, up-front and transparent. Branding your website is about constructing a very concise, neat online personality and applying it consistently across the site as well as across the web.
Your brand is more than just a logo with a tagline; it represents you and everything about your business to consumers. When branding a site, it is important to reinforce the image of the brand throughout the web site. Make sure to be consistent in style, or design. A logo should be positioned in the upper left hand corner of each page since this is where a visitor’s eyes tend to go first. Don’t oversize the logo; but don’t make it so small that it is difficult to identify. Use images that are reusable in order to optimize the site’s speed. In order to successfully brand your site, it will have to be memorable to site visitors.
One of the crucial elements that directly affect branding and reputation (even though it seems somewhat disconnected) is usability. When a visitor comes to your site they will create their own impression of the characteristics, quality and reputation of the company based on what they see on the site. Make sure that site visitors get what they came to the site for. Your site is what will give them the impression of your business and your brand, so it should be a smooth, enjoyable and positive experience for them. Be sure that site creation does not mimic a print brochure. It needs to be its own unique statement about the company which establishes a reputation of quality and service with consumers. The site needs to be easily navigated as well as aesthetically appealing in order for branding to be effective. Your brand along with the site will evoke certain thoughts, feelings and even emotions – make sure that they are good ones.
The type of language used on the web site will help to reinforce the brand’s character as well as give it personality. When a brand is down to earth and friendly, and you want to connect specifically with younger tech savvy crowds, then using a fun and informal tone is most likely going to work. At the other end of the spectrum, if the site is branding an investment bank then the voice and character will need to be much more formal. Information can be shared in a wide variety of ways but it’s not so much what is said as how it is said. Setting the tone is essential to a website. Choose the tone of voice for the site which best represents the character of the brand as well as best suits the audience.
Branding is equally important for the large corporation as it is for the small, local business. But it is also important for a personal website or a blog. Branding helps make it easier to differentiate between competitors and it makes it easy to quickly judge the quality of a site as well as the product. The web 2.0 is an exceptional platform on which to build a brand.