Why have a website? Real benefits and uses Series help organisations and individuals reconcile their professional goals with the many solutions offered by digital platforms. So these are real benefits and uses of a website?
- A digital presence in the digital age
- Getting to your audience everywhere
- Visualising a Unique Brand
- Multimedia, multisensory experience
- Control and ownership
- Understanding visitors and customers
- Eco-friendly and money-saving
- Optimising the efficiency of operations
- Showcasing your expertise
Why have a website: Real benefits and uses – 3. Visualising a Unique Brand
A brand is more than a name and a logo. Sticking those using respectively a domain like mybrand.com and a logo no matter how nice unfairly under-represent the brand. Most of the rules that govern the brand in the physical world apply to the digital world and a lot of the time, they will apply even more on that platform, as the attention span is even shorter on the screen. The digital world has its own rules also though which have to be factored in. So carrying the brand online also means that certain factors must be taken into consideration.
Brand guidelines are a set of rules that provide a company, their website developer and their content creator with a framework within which to create their digital presence. They go from making sure that the style (colours, font, etc) used are consistent with the image and identity of the company to ensuring that the language used (e.g. professional, cool, jargony, etc) corresponds to the laguage used and expected by the company’s audience or the company’s convoited public. The guidelines can also offer templates that dictate the structure of content, especially regular articles and posts such as a movie review in an online magazine, news in a corporation, how-tos in an informational or instructive blogs, and so on. They allow consistency throughout the digital presentation and presence of the company, giving the user a sense that they are within a particular organisation. When well written and enforced, they create a psychological link between a certain way of looking and doing things and the company. Therefore they are not just important, they are an essential strategy to presenting the company in the light that fulfill its main goals, and at the very foundation of its marketing.
One of the rules of the digital medium is that customers can stumble upon or purposedly visit your website at any time including when you are not in service. This asynchronicity means that you cannot always reply to any concerns or further questions immediately, although companies are increasngly employing round the clock support and such ways of bypassing this. The argument though is not about having someone there in case there is a further question: this has its use but should not cloud the opportunity underlying this apparent disadvantage. The digital medium requires the branding exercise to be more thorough, plan more, test a lot and anticipate as much as possible through those means.
Providing thus a visual representation of your business gives your potential customers an idea of whom you are, what you do, where you are and how they can start having a conversation with you. But more than that, it forces the company to thoroughly strategise and to review itself through actual user testing. Such an appropriately branded website reflects the brand’s unique story, unique selling point and their place in the market and appeals to their exact audience, reflecting exacting why they should be buying from them.