Why you need a strong brand before you start designing your website
Not every company has the time – or the money – to think too deeply about their branding.
I find this especially true for start-ups. There’s so much else to think about during the launch stage that developing a great sense of branding often gets pushed to the side in favour of registering trademarks, finding a suitable office space and recruiting the right people to help you get your idea off the ground.
I could list a million reasons why it’s so important to establish the bare bones of a brand from day one. In fact, if you’re just about to hit the ‘live’ button on your next venture, you might benefit from taking a look at my 5 vital branding principles for ambitious start-ups. But another thing that I’m particularly passionate about is making sure there is at least some essence of your brand’s identity within your new website design.
Because when potential customers land on your website, they need to get the impression you’re serious about your business.
If it’s clear that no thought whatsoever has gone into your branding, you may struggle to establish your company as professional or credible. And that in itself is not going to help you stand out from a sea of competitors, most of whom have been in the market for a lot longer than you and will have undoubtedly spent lots of cash on their corporate visuals in a bid to hook in potential customers.
So you see, if you’re keen to make a lasting impact on your industry, it all starts with your brand – and your website’s design will actually be guided by the outcome of your initial brand development exercise.
Remember, great branding starts with a brilliant logo.
Your logo is the most fundamental visual representation of your organisation. As I’ve mentioned in this article, your logo should be simple, classic, and appropriate – clashing colours, busy illustrations and offensive symbols are generally your enemies when it comes to developing something that is going to look instantly professional and showcase your company in the best light.
Once it’s been finalised and you’re 100% happy with what your brand identity designer has produced, it’s time to start placing your logo across your business assets. It’s important to make sure your logo is present on your website for three main reasons:
- Doing so will ensure your website is instantly recognisable to those who are visiting it multiple times
- When designed correctly, your moniker will be able to communicate exactly what your website (and business) is all about in a matter of seconds
- If the user has seen your logo elsewhere – for example, across your Facebook or Twitter profile – he or she will know they’ve arrived at the right destination and will feel instantly familiar with your brand
Your logo will determine your brand colours - and these will influence the general look and feel of your website.
Any brand identity specialist worth their salt will make sure you receive a set of brand guidelines when they’re finished with your branding project. These will outline the exact colours, fonts and other design elements that have been chosen to represent your business, and how, when and where they should be used for the best results.
It makes sense, then, to pass these brand guidelines on to your chosen web designer, so he or she can bear these tailored ‘rules’ in mind when creating the initial concept for your new platform. Tying the two projects together will make sure one of your greatest marketing investments will eventually reflect your company’s values and will be designed in a way that’s going to connect you with the right audience.
If I’ve opened your eyes to the benefits of settling on a strong brand before starting work on your website, you might want to get in touch with Design FX Studio to see how we can help you discover your unique brand identity BEFORE anybody makes a start on the web build. I’ll delve deep into your company ethos to find out what inspires you, what motivates you, and the kind of customers you want to attract. From there, I can develop a professional, eye-catching brand design for your business that will transform your website from a standard online shop window into something that’s both beautiful and memorable.