Throughout history, there have been a number of incredible product innovations and business ideas that have failed to realize their immense potential. There may be many reasons for this, from poorly judged timing to spiraling production costs that undermine any potential profit margins. Regardless of the precise reasons why, however, there remain a number of potentially ground-breaking products and services that have been unable to reach the relative sanctuary of the consumer market and generate income.
In today's age, one of the main reasons is the failure to create a cohesive and all-encompassing brand. There are considered to be three imperative cornerstones of successful branding, but knowing this means little unless you understand its overall purpose. Essentially, a good brand communicates the concept behind a business or product, using consistent messaging that underpins the components of both online and offline campaigns.
In terms online branding, your business website is the single most important component. This is the first point of contact for new and existing customers, and a failure to articulate your brand or engage their interest will cause you to lose customer. With this in mind, let's consider the ways in which you can develop a consistent and engaging website successfully drives your brand.
1. Partner with a Viable Web Design or Hosting Firm
Unless you have expertise in designing or developing websites, you will need to partner with a viable building or hosting firm. These resources, including this very good tool from 1and1.co.uk, provide considerable technical assistance and enable you to construct a site from a wide range of design templates. Once you have created a product that encompasses your brand you will then be able to publish the website and rely on advanced hosting services, which help to maintain the performance of the site and minimize down-time. Although this may require an initial investment, the benefits of having a reliable, engaging and well-designed website will soon repay this cost.
2. Use Text, Icons and Imagery in a Creative and Appropriate Manner
With a structure and design in place, the next step is to articulate brand using text and imagery. These components need to be used both creatively and appropriately, while it also crucial that they narrate a consistent brand message across every single page. Given the visual nature of consumers and the competitiveness that exists in the online realm, you may be better served by minimizing the amount of text that you use and interspersing this with high quality and relevant images or audio-visual material. On a similar note, you should also create visually prominent and actionable social media icons on your landing pages to ensure that visitors can connect with the brand with the touch of a button. After all, a prominent brand means nothing if customers' cannot reach out to it.
3. Ensure that your Branded Site is optimized for Mobile Devices
According to some reports, a staggering 73% of consumers accesses Amazon through mobile browsers or apps during the final quarter of 2013. This offers a fascinating insight into the rising popularity of m-commerce in 2014, and highlights the pressing need for businesses to optimize their branded websites for use across all forms of mobile media. This will have a huge impact on the visual layout used for each landing page and demand the use of striking imagery, while from a technical point of view you will also need to ensure that the website can load quickly when it is accessed through a browser. Research suggests that your branded website must load within 3-7 seconds if it is to capture the attention of consumers and reflect positively on your brand.