Branding an Identity

If you want your business website to be successful, stunning web design is not enough. The design also needs to reflect your brand identity. When you create a website, you need to make sure that the colors, the texts, the images, the navigation and everything else is geared towards an optimized representation of your brand.

Think of brand identity as the set of values and ideas that you want people to associate with your company’s identity. Design can help you express these ideas to the public. Google, for example, is using a simplistic design that conveys simplicity and supports their techie image. Ben & Jerry’s, on the other hand, are doing a fantastic job in creating a playful, witty and fun identity that relies on crazy color schemes, childish icons and wacky copyrighting.

Your website is the most important component of your online presence, so it needs to be in sync with your brand identity. Here are few helpful tips for creating a website that shows the uniqueness of your business and that establishes your brand:

Optimized Content

If you want your brand to stand out as being awesome and substantial, to have meaning and reflect a certain feel, then you need high-quality content to show it. Eye-catching high-definition photos and graphics, compelling and valuable information and anything else that’s original and credible would fit the bill.

You want to demonstrate how relevant your brand is to the lifestyle of your target audience and how it meets their needs. Engaging your site’s visitors is one way to achieve it. In fact people love to maneuver their mouse around the page to see what else they can click-on, so be sure to give them something of value, something that will get them coming back for even more. Update your site regularly with images, texts and content that is appropriate for your target market; but don’t overdo it — too much can ruin your intent and cause confusion; keep it simple.

Remember, prime content is also greatly appreciated by search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, so on top of establishing your brand, you will also benefit greatly by securing an improved SEO (Search engine optimization application).

Logo Design

Pepsi, Nike, Audi, McDonald’s – when you hear these words odds are you will automatically picture their logos in your mind. There’s no overstating the importance of a great logo for branding. If you haven’t yet got one designed, World Nexus can certainly give you some ideas and in the process help you create not just a good website design, but a great one. A strong logo is an important part of your branding strategy and we know it all too well. It needs to be the visual synonym of your company’s name, so make sure you also position it in a prominent place on your website, and that it appears on all pages.

Call to Action

This term refers to directing customers on how to interact with your website and complete your desired actions. You need to create large and clear text messages for example ‘View our catalog,’ ‘Download Now!‘ or ‘Enter to Win.‘ Once users understand how to engage with your site, they will capture the full experience of your brand.

When you create a website, think about your ‘call to action’ as a crucial element in the user experience. To draw attention to your call to action (aka CTA), leave a some blank space around it, don’t clutter it with other text and emphasize it with color and shading so that visitors will be drawn to it.

Colors and Fonts

Make sure that fonts and colors on your site complement not only your brand but a color scheme that will set it apart. If you are in the gardening biz, for example, opt for relaxing greens or bright flowery colors, and combine them with earth tones; and the font clean and simple. If you sell surfing gear, on the other hand, you would like the colors and fonts of your website to reflect the spirit of your products as something a bit wild and perhaps grungy.

Apps and Widgets

There are endless apps (applications) and widgets (inserted coded programs that run independently) that you can add to your website to enhance the user experience; if you need help selecting what would be relevant we at World Nexus Publications have a lot of experience and can certainly help you out. Remember though, it’s the quality of the application or widget that counts, not the quantity. Selecting these apps can be tricky is in knowing what would specifically fit your target market, and thus set the tone of your brand. For example, a Facebook comments widget will fit a musician’s website, but not work too well with a law firm’s site (unless the lawyers chase ambulances of course). An event calendar is a must for a comedy club’s website, but does a dentist really need that as well?

There are many available web apps on the market today (and they keep changing), many are free or are offered nominal price. Finding the right ones for your website can create a great website, however locating them can be difficult when you’re not sure what’s available or what your needs are when establishing your website and brand. That’s where World Nexus Publications certainly can help; whether you’re implementing a WordPress site, or require coding in PHP, CSS, HTML5 or Java.

eMail Identity

While strolling on that inter-network thingy, you quickly realize that there is one mandatory identity certificate required to establish your brand . . . an email address.

It is not possible anymore to be active on the web without an email address any more, as most services require your email address to validate it’s you. Which is a good thing in that email has the following unique properties: it’s decentralized (not tied to any provider), it’s as standardized format that can be easily implemented, and it’s easy to share as a human-readable string of text. It is also possible to have multiple email addresses from various sources, meaning there’s no enforcement to have a one-to-one connection between a real-life identity and a web identity. (Because of that too, it can have its drawbacks. For example, spammers and hackers often hijack email identities to fool their targets into believing it’s you sending out unsolicited email. Thus many websites ban public email address from their mail servers such as gmail.com and yahoo.com email accounts for that very reason.)

Today, there’s a increasing need for a more complete web identity, including the ability to share your personal profile, chat on-line with you, social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, etc.), or learn about you and your business. That’s why more and more services are allowing you to connect with your Facebook, Twitter or Google accounts.

Web identity

Is a Facebook account a good web identity? My French-speaking readers know that I don’t like Facebook. What’s the biggest problem of Facebook in this context? It is centralized. It is tied to one and only one company. It is not standardized. It cannot work. It, hopefully, should not work.

What should your web identity look like?

It could be either our email address (user@your-web-name.com), an HTTP address (http://your-web-name.com/user) or something entirely different.

The email address is obviously the best solution as people already have one. Extending the available features of an existing mail address seems to be the easiest way. The limited success of OpenID (seriously, who has an OpenID on his business card?) demonstrated that people are identifying themselves to their email address. Most website now use your email address as a Login ID.

We at World Nexus Publications believe that, in order for your branding and identity to succeed, a web identity should be directly linked to your email and URL addresses; and we can certainly help you with that as well.