Even though the concept of business branding has been around ever since the general public began buying goods, the literal definition has undergone vast changes since the introduction of the Digital Age. In our current digital marketplace, when you’re managing or designing a website, you must always focus on how the content and design elements within the website work together in order to brand your business or service, also known as branding.
In order to effectively utilize branding in website design, you must first understand what branding actually is. There are two commonly accepted definitions of branding. The first definition is the concept that a brand is the visual manifestation of a product or service. It is something that can be utilized to create an identity that is instantly recognizable when viewed. This can be accomplished by your website name, logo, color scheme, and even how your content is written.
The second definition of branding involves calling upon the reputation of a business or product. By utilizing this form of branding, you’re relying on the various expectations a customer has when he or she thinks about your website, product, or service. This is one of the more interesting elements of branding as the expectations can differ from consumer-to-consumer.
Within the Digital Age, the majority of branding techniques revolve around maximizing user experiences. We all desire an experience when we interact with a website. The level of experience can dramatically vary based upon the purpose of the website; however, as website designers, we must actively work on not only navigating these experiences, but allowing user experiences to be organic and customized.
Because websites must rely on experience-based branding, there are several components that must be weaved into the actual design elements. These are broken down into three primary components:
Component #1 – Visual Design
The visual design of your website is the first experience a visitor has with your business/organization. Therefore, it must be able to convey your business personality, professionalism, and goals within a matter of seconds. Along with providing a glimpse into your website personality, the actual website must be professionally created to support intuitive navigation and ease of use, or usability.
Component #2 – Tone/Voice
Within the realm of branding, the term “tone” refers to the actual style of communication a brand uses to interact with visitors. This not only refers to actual content, but also how messages are delivered across the platform. Moreover, modern Internet users demand a certain level of personalization within how the website communicates with them. While this may not mean actually personalizing messages for a specific person, it does mean personalizing the tone and voice of a website to satisfy the unique requirements/needs of your target demographic.
Component #3 – Behavior
This component refers to how a website actually behaves during specific situations. These situations refer to selling products, engaging through content and how the website behaves after a sale is made (specifically for eCommerce websites). Your website should actively express your brand within the physical actions of a website.