Like most people, when you encounter a brand name or product, you have a preconceived idea of what that brand implies. That notion is called the brand image and may be only loosely related to an actual product or its practical attributes. Brand image is intended to evoke thoughts about:
Quality, esteem, and social acceptance are just a few of the nuances branding offers. Yet, controlling a brand image can be difficult. Why? Because your image exists in the minds of consumers.
A company’s website design branding goal is to evoke positive feelings about the goods or services you provide.
Some of the most powerful brands in the world include:
As you look over this list, strong opinions and feelings about them emerge. That is the brand image, and just as that image resides in your own mind, it also resides in the minds of others. That’s because the consumer owns the brand image. As a marketing professional, you can hope to influence it, and you do that through repeated engagements with consumers.
Your Website Design Impacts Brand Image
Once upon a time, most people encountered a brand while out shopping and from various advertising appeals. Now, most people encounter a brand online because that is the preferred method of shopping for about 80 percent of the population – for almost everything other than groceries, and that’s barely true anymore with so many online businesses now offering food items.
With most consumers choosing to go online to research products and services, your website becomes your most powerful branding tool. With it, you can provide compelling content that engages visitors and instills a positive brand image.
Your website can also influence brand image by instilling trust through transparency. You teach consumers who you are by telling them your history, your mission statement, philanthropic endeavors, and generally giving them a better feel for the way you conduct business.
And, your website demonstrates competency when every link, image, and all other elements work well and load quickly. UX has a direct impact on your brand image. When it works as it should, website visitors have a more positive experience. That translates into positive affect and enhanced brand image.
Even your website’s layout conveys a sense of competency that impacts your brand image. An intuitive and fun layout is easy to navigate and enjoyable for website visitors. One that is clumsy and frustrates visitors will have a negative impact on your brand image.
From the moment visitors enter your website, they must experience competency, all while finding useful information that keeps them engaged and staying longer. Many online marketers understand that concept as time on site. When it comes to branding, that time spent on the website is an invaluable asset.
Establish Your Credentials as a Knowledge Leader
Ever visit a website and wonder, “What were they thinking?” That’s what happens when you lack credibility. Your website establishes your credibility. The first is through content.
Blogs are particularly useful for providing unique and engaging content that affirms your credibility as a knowledge leader. Website visitors can go to your blog and learn great, new, and exciting things.
Be sure to provide answers to frequently asked questions to establish your credentials as a knowledge leader. The questions could be about specific products or services and their applications, or how to go about getting specific answers to particular questions. Make sure that your website visitors leave knowing more than when they arrived and that they’re grateful for this new knowledge.
When your website visitors have an enjoyable, knowledge-gaining experience, they are likely to return.
No matter how you choose to design your website to build your brand, you need to achieve consistency throughout. This consistency includes how to navigate individual pages, how information is presented, and properly-loading website pages.
Consistent content helps produce a positive brand image. Over time, the consistent addition of useful, compelling, and unique content will help maintain a strong brand image. When done well, your website design will be a key element of your branding efforts—and one of your most effective branding tools.