It's July, 1799. The Nile Delta of Egypt.
Vision blurred from dripping sweat, a French army Lieutenant cursed the heat and the battering his fingers were taking from the rough stones he was piling up along the fort's outer wall. The dilapidated fort needs a few hasty repairs to render it defensible in advance of an attack by a force of Ottoman Turks. As he bent to retrieve the next broken grayish rock to lug across the parade ground to plug a gaping hole in the fort's facade, he noticed a strange pattern on one of its facets.
What he had just wrested from the dust was one of many reused stones now employed as fill for the walls of Fort Quaitbey, probably hauled there ages ago from a ruined temple further up the Nile.
This one, though was not only covered with the indecipherable hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt. One side featured the strange old pictograms sure enough, but the others had the very same text written in Demotic Egyptian (an alphabetic version of the language) and ancient Greek. It proved to be the key to unlocking the meanings of hieroglyphics, and the secrets of a long-dead civilization we're still fascinated with to this day. It became known as the Rosetta Stone, now a symbol of any key that unlocks the obscure and mysterious.
Boost Your Brand with your Website
How accessible is your brand, what does it represent? Have you tapped the power of website marketing?
How does your website work to package and represent your company character, intentions, personality, and associations you want to project to the world?
One job branding does for your company is set expectations in your audience. It's a complex process, but so important. And a
well-functioning site with thoughtful design can boost your bottom line.
Seven Essentials for a Memorable Brand
What are the elements to consider when carrying out your brand message in your website? Here are seven areas to think about when creating or refreshing your brand:
If your brand was a character in a book or movie, how would describe him or her? How would she respond or act in different situations? Your brand may set an expectation of caution, conservatism and stability. Or it might want to scream novelty, surprise, and creativity. Focus your brand on a personal quality your audience can identify with.
Sometimes giving your brand an anthropomorphic appearance can do this well. Consider the logos for KFC, Starbucks, and Amazon. On seeing these symbols, the viewer instantly makes associations with the Colonel and his secret recipe, the exotic, mysterious mermaid and the happy smile you get when your package arrives.
Another element of personality is the tone of your brand. The language you use or don't use is important here. A younger audience will respond to a more informal, down-to-earth style than will older demographics. How you say something can make a difference as well. What tone does your brand take on? Authoritative or fun and easygoing? Hard-nosed or accessible?
Large companies with comfortable budgets spend a lot to study colors in packaging, decoration, on-screen design elements, even text because the psychology of color can't be ignored. Don't just use your favorite color in your branding! Use colors that sell your product or service. Red captures heat, passion, energy. Blue is calming and peaceful. Green is increasingly associated with health, nature, but can also stand for "go" or for money. There are proven reasons shy McDonald's is red and yellow and Facebook's logo is blue.
Research the effects and people's unconscious responses to color in different contexts. Consider cultural associations, like black for mourning, but also for depth and formality.
In website marketing, the use of color is particularly important on any size screen, so choose carefully.
When carrying out your brand through a website, what emotions do you want your viewer to experience? What combinations of colors, personality, and graphic elements will elicit, say, excitement about new things? Or reassurance about old things? Lawyers need to evoke a fighting spirit- that they will not relent in getting a client what they deserve. Hospitals must project an authoritative but caring attitude. What does your brand need to convey to a viewer that will help them convert to being a lead?
How do people remember things? Repetition! That's why it's important to use the same symbols, wording, graphics, typeface and colors everywhere on your website. If a landing page has none of the design elements of the button they just clicked on, there will be confusion. A uniform appearance assures the viewer they are in the right place and reinforces their expectations.
One small but hugely important part of branding is your logo. It's essentially a pictogram like the hieroglyphics mentioned earlier- an illustration that carries a meaning related to your overall brand. There's a reason why most company logos are in the upper left corner of their website: it's where most peoples' eyes go first, especially those of us who have been taught to read from top left and across the page.
Make sure the size fits in with the rest of the design elements. Too big and it overwhelms, too small and it gets lost. Also- make it clickable on every page. It's an unspoken rule that clicking on your logo will take the user right back to the home page.
6) Value proposition
Where does your statement of promise to the customer appear on your home page? Do you have a short, sweet value proposition that tells the viewer that they are in the right place and can expect to have their first few questions answered? Your value proposition should say exactly what you offer that is of value to someone who ended up there as a result of a search inquiry, link, or social media post.
It should reside in a primary position, easy to see and read, creating the first impression you want. What makes a bad value proposition?
Tying the value you bring to one person, like the company founder. What happens when the company outgrows the abilities of the original owner?
Leading with "good" and "cheap." This locks you into having to produce with ch
eap labor and or materials. It certainly doesn't say that your value will last very long.
Promising both flexibility And quality. It's almost impossible to promise both of these all the time!
Instead, focus your value proposition on a "persona," a theoretical archetype of your perfect customer. Broad value propositions don't resonate with anyone.
It promises what you can deliver- is it quality, cost or speed? Not all three, usually
Your statement may even clarify what you don't do, causing the audience to clearly understand what you are able to promise.
How is your website the same or different from your competitors' sites? There may be reasons to match up with some similarities. But for the most part, you need to separate yourself from the crowd. Think about memorability. Our brains are wired to respond to novelty, or difference. One element we recommend to our clients is to answer the first two or three questions a "pre-lead" has about you. You might think that everyone does that, but look around at your competitors' website marketing efforts and you'll see a lot of content that the owner / manager wanted to feature that is not at all what a customer might want to know.
Branding Converts Visitors to Leads
Even small to medium businesses need branding. It only helps you attract and convert the customers you want. Your website can be a marketing machine for you, but there is a lot to think about. It can sometimes sound like gibberish or look like hieroglyphics, but there are easy solutions that can ramp up your revenue. Talk to our friendly staff at United WebWorks with your questions, because we have answers ready and waiting!