Design – Be your brand

If you want your website to be successful, a stunning design isn’t the only thing that matters. Your site should reflect your brand. And you want your brand to make an impression.

When you think about your brand you get excited, right? You begin to think about why it’s important, why your products or services are of value and how your brand is different from the competition. And you want your audience to feel the same way when they visit your site.

A research study conducted at Carleton University (Canada) found that a brand has 50 milliseconds to make the first impression upon entering your site. Just to paint the picture of how little time this is, the human eye blinks once every 400 milliseconds, which means on average it blinks three times per second. The time it takes to make an impression on your website is eight times faster than the blink of an eye. Not only that, researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, found it takes another 2.6 seconds for that viewer’s eyes to concentrate in a way that reinforces a first impression. So in only 2.65 seconds your brand’s impression is made…or not.

How you showcase your brand is the hardest part, but before you learn how, it’s important to understand your brand. It is important to take time to develop your brand. It’s about how your products or services exist in the world. It’s who you are and what you do for others; how you add value to people’s lives, ease their troubles, meet their needs. When you know who your company is, you can focus on how to share this with your customers.

Showcasing your brand allows your audience to connect with you. It shows them your company as a real, living, breathing entity with people who can bring real solutions and value to them. Be sure your website is authentic, original and serves the customer.

Once you know what your brand stands for, the “how” becomes much easier. Some ways you can showcase it.

Tell a compelling story across all mediums.

Whether through writing, photos or video, you need to tell your story. Use a mix of mediums because people learn differently; some visually, some prefer audio or podcasts, and still others love to read long-form written pieces. Stories are 22 times more memorable than facts alone. Additionally, the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Just to make sure you understand the importance of mixing mediums; 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Create consistency throughout your website.

A consistent visual message gives your customers multiple touchpoints with which to become familiar with your brand, building a natural loyalty.

Go beyond your logo.

This is not to say that your logo is unimportant, but your brand is more about your service or your customer experience than your logo. A logo seeks to identify a company while a brand explains the heart of the company.

For Example: Apple reflects their brand.

Apple customers feel the same whether using a device, visiting a store, or on their website. Apple built their company and all public-facing channels, on six pillars:

Craft:

All Apple entities from an ad, to their stores, to their website are built to showcase the intentional craft the goes in to building their products.

Empathy, Focus, and Impute:

Empathy, Apple wants their customers to feel something when they use their products. Focus, they knew they needed to make the necessary happen and push aside the unimportant. Impute, people judge, it’s a fact of life. So they needed to design something that was desired, felt creative and professional but kept up the brand promise of elegant and simple design. Every detail was created with this in mind. Their site is clean, friendly, and fun and only gives details that are needed. Their navigation is simple and only includes necessary actions.

Friendliness:

When you are on their site, there isn’t much guesswork. You can find what you need, when you need it.

Simplicity:

When it comes to Apple the brand, they execute every level of their marketing with an eye to the value of simplicity. Apple fully realizes the value in rising above the complicated. Due to their clean design you enter their site, find exactly what you were looking for, and focus on that product. There is nothing extra to distract the mind, drive the eye away from the design, or interrupt with pop-ups. The white space they employ on their site allows the user to fully appreciate the craftsmanship and design of the product and grasp, subconsciously, the brand’s intention. The user naturally follows the visual and message hierarchy; moving easily to the intended conversion.

Now that you have an example of how you can optimize branding to create a positive customer experience, think about your own company. How will you make the first impression count? Evaluate your brand and the story you want to tell through your website design. Next time we will dive deeper and discuss the importance of having a responsive design.

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