How to Bring Your Enterprise Brand to Life on Your Website (and Beyond)
Your organization has a compelling story to tell. But is your website telling that story in a way that consistently reflects your brand? And is your brand identity reflected in all of your digital spaces so it’s instantly and easily recognizable to your audience?
Branding is about far more than colors, fonts, and word choices. It’s about the promise you make to your audience and their perception of how well you keep that promise. When you deliver a consistent and predictable brand experience, you build trust with clients and consumers. And when your audience is confident in what your brand is all about, they’re more likely to make the buying decisions you want them to make.
Here’s what it takes to create a rock-solid brand experience in a digital environment — one that resonates with your audience and compels them to take action.
Think About Your Audience First
Intuitive information architecture, useful content, and seamlessly accessible UX are all just as vital to your brand’s success as its aesthetics. Unfortunately, it’s common for businesses to spend a lot of time and money on their website’s visual design without digging deeper into how their audience experiences the site as a whole.
Understanding what your audience needs and creating user pathways that move them along on their journey is an essential part of creating a memorable online brand experience. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to ensure nothing gets in the way of connecting your brand to your audience.
- Identify your key target personas and conduct user research/testing to understand what your audience is looking for on your site.
- Think about each audiences pain points and goals then consider the overarching stories and narratives that will speak to those.
- Consider each target audience and envision their experiences on your website. Explore the routes they follow and identify the key points where they engage.
- Use tools like Hotjar heatmaps and Google Analytics to audit your existing site and discover where your audience might be coming up against challenges with your current site layout.
- Spend too much time talking about yourself via elaborate “About us” pages or blog posts that are more about you than about your audience.
- Organize your website and write content in a way that makes sense solely to internal stakeholders.
- Use jargon, insider language, and design elements that mean something to you but leave your audience in the dark.
Your brand exists to serve (and delight!) your audience. So if you truly want to convey your brand effectively, approach your audience with curiosity and design your website with their needs in mind.
Establish Clear, Flexible Brand Guidelines for Your Entire Organization to Follow
Delivering a consistent brand experience on your website and other digital platforms is key to differentiating your organization from the competition and building trust with your audience. And as a marketing leader, you’re adept at cohesively living and breathing your brand every single day.
But does everyone at your organization know how to articulate your brand? Are external agencies and partners consistently producing on-brand deliverables? And is everyone equipped to deliver your brand promise every time they post on social media, write a new piece of content, or send a promotional email?
The larger your organization is, the more challenging it can be to keep your brand consistent in all the digital spaces and places it appears. So if you’ve never taken time to document and share your brand guidelines, now’s the time to do so.
Spell out elements like:
- How to correctly display your logo in full color, black and white, and other use cases.
- Which colors, gradients, and fonts are permissible — and which are strictly off-limits?
- Voice, tone, and other style guide elements are fundamental to creating on-brand content and messaging.
- The overall story your brand is meant to convey.
When starting any new project, creating mood boards can help your internal stakeholders understand what you’re looking for. Furthermore, training content editors on how to use composable building blocks and templates in your CMS will give them the practical tools they need to bring your vision to life.
But remember: Your goal should be to foster consistency and creativity. Overly rigid brand guidelines become rote and uninspired. Therefore, consider how your framework can offer the kind of flexibility that’s essential to keep your brand fresh and interesting to internal and external stakeholders alike.
Infuse Your Brand Into Your Multi-Platform Digital Strategy
Creating a consistent brand experience for users who visit your organization’s primary website is critically important. But in today’s digital landscape, it’s only the beginning. You also need to consider every platform, channel, app, microsite, and avenue where your audience might interact with your brand.
If your CMS is currently functioning as a bigger-picture digital experience platform (DXP), you’re ahead of the game in this regard. That’s because DXPs make it easy to optimize content for the specific requirements of each channel (e.g., making sure images and text display correctly on Facebook) and deliver a consistent, on-brand experience every time.
But if you’re operating in a more siloed way, you’ll want to audit things like:
- Mobile apps (and your overall mobile experience). Is the visual experience on point? Is the user experience seamless, intuitive, and positive?
- Social media channels. Does every post look, feel, and sound like your brand? Are you responding to customer/audience concerns and questions in a way that reinforces your brand identity and promise?
- Videos. Are the images, people, and places you’re featuring in videos capturing the essence of your brand? Is the quality of each video in line with what users expect from your organization?
- How your website appears in organic search results. If someone clicks through to your site as a result of a Google search, will they experience your brand the way you intend?
Your audience forms perceptions and impressions about your brand every time they interact with it. So whether they see a Google ad, find your website as a result of a search query, or take note of a social media post, it should be clear to them who you are and how you can meet their needs.
Make Brand-Building Central to Your Enterprise Organization’s Website Strategy
For large organizations especially, failing to consistently and cohesively deliver your brand via every digital touchpoint can severely dilute your impact and jeopardize your market position.
That’s why you need a clear picture of your audience, well-defined brand guidelines, and a multi-channel delivery strategy. Without these, you risk conveying confusing, conflicting messages to customers and prospects. These messages can erode trust, make differentiation difficult, and ultimately cause your audience to disengage.
Thankfully, the opposite is also true. And by keeping your audience firmly at the center of your online branding strategy, you can propel your organization forward in a host of exciting ways.
Want to learn more? Check out these helpful resources: