When most people hear the word “brand,” they think of a company name or logo. They may even picture a specific, popular brand, such as Coca-Cola or Kleenex.
Following this logic, many entrepreneurs and business owners think of their company brand as purely visual—how the product and marketing looks and feels. But a business brand is much more than colors, fonts and design. A brand image is the entire experience a user has when interacting with your business, including their emotional experience, their mental associations with your business, and their interactions with customer service. Ideally, this brand image closely matches the company’s mission and vision. If not, it may be time for a redesign or brand overhaul.
When creating or upgrading a company website, branding is one of the most important elements to consider. If your website branding isn’t strong, engaging and consistent, you are guaranteed to lose out on leads and customers. Sometimes a complete website redesign is necessary, while in other cases, small, strategic fixes can make a world of difference.
Here are five proven ways to strengthen the branding on your company’s website to boost your brand image and bottom line.
- Simplify your content. Most company websites contain walls of text that overwhelm and distract the user. Typically, website users are trying to access information as quickly as possible. Shortening and simplifying your content down to its most accessible form will ultimately be more engaging for users.
- Maintain a consistent tone. Your design and content should represent a consistent tone across all website pages. Whether your tone is casual, professional, creative, cheerful, serious, or something else entirely, make sure all your website choices reflect that style.
- Focus on the user. Your website is about your user, not about you. All branding choices on a website, including design and content, should focus on the user’s needs, pain points and experience.
- Make it easy. The most popular brands are easy on the eyes and on the brain. Don’t make the user work too hard to see or understand who your company is and what you do. Use simple, complementary colors, fonts and design choices that don’t distract from your main site messages.
- Engage. Today’s consumers, particularly millennials, prefer brands that are friendly, conversational and engaging. Your website should incorporate user engagement strategies such as feedback forms, live chats, contact information, social media feeds and customer testimonials.
Over the past year there have been dramatic shifts in the way business runs in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the economic landscape and affected consumer habits and priorities. It has also altered the infrastructure and internal processes of many companies, leading to an increased focus on remote employment and digital services. Some industries—such as hospitality and tourism—have experienced major financial setbacks, while others—such as healthcare services and social services—are flourishing and expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
This means that B2B companies need to reorient themselves to the current business climate and pivot their marketing strategies to address the needs and priorities of 2021. We are living in a new type of society with new values, and experts predict that many of the pandemic-related changes are here to stay. For example, studies show that nearly 50 percent of consumers are avoiding leaving their homes and are purchasing more goods and services online. This shift will affect businesses of all types and sizes—whether they offer a digital-based product or not.
Here are five tips for B2B companies that will help them keep up with the times and tailor their marketing strategies to more effectively reach their target audience.
- Create new buyer personas. Perhaps you have already identified your target demographic and analyzed them in great detail. Well, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Because of the pandemic, businesses now have different priorities in reaching their customers, which means your B2B company needs to reevaluate your target audience’s pain points, needs and channels.
- Optimize your website. More than 80 percent of shoppers visit a company’s website before purchasing a product or service. Business buyers also conduct thorough online research before moving forward with a particular company. In addition, the online spending of B2B buyers has been steadily increasing. This means that if your B2B website is not updated and optimized you will be missing out on leads and leaking potential profit.
- Focus on social. One study found that 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives rely on social media to make purchase decisions. Social media engagement and interaction can potentially have more impact than cold outreach, such as email marketing campaigns, so it is important to heavily invest in social.
- Consider video and virtual events. A recent study by Cisco estimated that online video content will account for more than 82% of consumer internet traffic by 2022. Circle S Studio also predicts that virtual events and conferences are here to stay. If your B2B company isn’t taking advantage of video content and online events, you will be forfeiting leads and profit to the competition.
- Improve buyer enablement. In today’s digital-first world, buyers are seeking a personalized, self-directed buying process that focuses on their needs and allows them to lead the conversation. Buyer enablement means reducing friction in your online marketing channels and creating user-centric design and content that seamlessly leads prospects through the awareness-consideration-purchase process.
ATX Web Designs offers branding strategy and digital brand development services. For more information, drop us a line!
No matter how innovative, effective or successful your brand, you will always have competitors. Original concepts rarely exist—if you believe something is a great idea, chances are someone else thought of the same thing.
In a competitive market, what often sets your company apart is not the quality of the product or service, but the quality of the branding.
Branding creates the emotional experience for users interacting with your company. Effective brand strategy can generate new leads, increase sales and strengthen customer loyalty.
So how do you differentiate your brand in a fast-paced and ever-evolving digital marketplace? Here are five tips to get you started.
- Find your niche. The more specific you can be in defining your target audience, the higher chance you will have of distinguishing your brand. Today’s consumers, particularly millennials, prefer brands that feel personal and customized. Narrowing your focus will help you market more effectively and effectively.
- Implement strategic campaigns. Instead of paying for generic, catch-all advertising, design your marketing efforts around strategic campaigns. Research audience trends and build your campaign around a particular demographic and value proposition.
- Appeal to values. Consumers are more likely to be emotionally moved (and consequently financially moved) by brands that appeal to their values. Find out what your audience values—such as security, ease, or status—and design your brand around those concepts.
- Engage with your audience. In today’s digital world, consumers are more likely to interact with brands that are personal and responsive. Your brand’s online platforms, such as your website and social media accounts, should be friendly, helpful and actively engaging with your customer base.
- Don’t skimp on design. Users will leave a website within a few seconds if the site doesn’t appear credible, useful and easy to navigate. Website design, photography and videography are not areas to cut corners if you’re looking to differentiate your brand. One poorly designed web page or sub-par photograph could make or break your brand image.
ATX Web Designs offers digital brand consulting and strategy services. Contact us for more information.
Solopreneurs—or entrepreneurs who run a business on their own—are on the rise in the United States, numbering more than 40 million. Whether by choice or by necessity, solopreneurs wear every hat in their company, from CEO to accountant to customer service representative.
As busy people who are often operating on a tight budget, solopreneurs and small business owners sometimes overlook the importance of marketing their product or service. There is a common misconception that marketing requires a large financial investment, so many solopreneurs see strong branding as a luxury rather than a necessity.
Regardless of the size of your business or ad budget, you can build a brand of your own. You may not be a Coca Cola but you can still think about your message and how you want people to remember your service or product.
Here are three branding tips for solopreneurs that won’t break the bank.
- Create an emotional experience. Branding has largely to do with the type of emotional experience you create for customers and potential customers. How do you want your audience to feel? Safe? Excited? Elite? Entertained? Use this emotional experience to determine everything from the look and feel of your logo to the tone you use on your website and social media posts.
- Make it personal. Two advantages solopreneurs and small businesses have over larger competitors are personality and personalized attention. By making personal connections with customers and giving your digital content a strong personality, you can develop a strong brand that users are eager to follow and engage. Be sure to reinforce your brand personality across multiple platforms (such as website, social media and printed materials).
- Use keywords.. What terms or words perk your audience’s attention? What phrases do potential customers use to search the internet for the type of product or service you offer? By honing in on keywords you can achieve a better search engine ranking and more effectively engage your target audience.
You may not have a $250,00 ad budget, but as a solopreneur, you can still work on building organic traffic and generating attention for your brand. This, in turn, will lead to more leads, sales and brand loyalty.
Your website is likely the first place consumers encounter your brand, and the design not only conveys information about your products and services, but also speaks to your values, style, and relevance.
In an article published by Inc., ATX The Brand Founder Daniel Griggs responded to five common website design myths and shared the reality behind good web design.
Myth 1. Your website can’t serve multiple audiences
There may be gaps in technological knowledge and aesthetic taste, but that doesn’t mean your website design can’t appeal to multiple demographics. Work smarter, not harder, to engage with each of your target audiences by finding the areas where their preferences overlap. For example, the baby boomer and millennial generations may both prefer large font and less cluttered design.
Myth 2. Content is content
Not all content is created equal. The average website visitor will leave a page after 10 to 20 seconds if they are unable to access the information they need, so your site should convey your main message as quickly and simply as possible. Be as bold and blatant as you can about answering the three W’s—Who are you? What do you do? Why should a user do business with you? If your website has a high bounce rate, this could be an indicator that you are not keeping it simple enough.
Myth 3. You need to tell your whole story on your homepage
Your users’ first interaction with your website should make them feel like it was designed for them. Avoid overwhelming site visitors with details about every facet of your product or service and instead create clear calls to action that help specific audiences quickly and easily navigate to the content they need.
Myth 4: A well-designed desktop version is good enough
A well-designed desktop version of your website is important, but research shows that the mobile version is crucial. The Pew Research Center reports that 28 percent of millennials are smartphone-only internet users, meaning that nearly one third of the country’s largest consumer demographic will be viewing your website solely on their phones.
Myth 5: You don’t need a website audit
Quality website and mobile app design requires a professional set of eyes. A website audit is a comprehensive review of your design and content that will help determine whether you are reaching your target audiences in the most efficient and effective way possible. A full audit will help expose weak spots and improve the usability of your website and mobile app to ensure you are reaching the greatest amount of people in the most effective way. This will help conversion, which means more leads.
You are going to fail in business. The question isn’t “if,” but “when.”
Hopefully you enjoy more success than failure, but there will always be bumps in the road along the way. No matter how hard you hustle, when you have a lot of balls in the air we will inevitably drop one.
ATX The Brand Founder Daniel Griggs published an article on Forbes that lists his top tips for how to respond when that ball hits the ground.
- Take ownership When you do inevitably drop the ball in some way, it is important to take ownership of your mistake. When confronted with a misstep, we tend to want to shift blame or make excuses for our actions, but claiming responsibility can be an important part of reaching a resolution quickly and effectively. If you are going to point the finger, point the finger at yourself.
- Create realistic expectations Being proactive by creating realistic expectations at the outset of a project is critical, and it is just as important to identify clear deliverables and limits when something goes wrong. Be careful not to overpromise in an attempt to rectify a mistake or mitigate discomfort. If you need to recalibrate, set a realistic scope. It is not about what you and your team are capable of accomplishing, it is about how well you can meet the client’s goals while working within their parameters.
- Over-communicate There is no such thing as too much communication with a client. Just because you said something one time does not mean your message was received or understood. If you said it once, say it again. And again.Do not avoid a client because they are upset or because the mistake is awkward or uncomfortable. Stay in constant contact so the client knows you are on their side and are taking every necessary step to correct the issue. Dropping the ball is never fun but it does not have to be the end of the world. If you respond to failure by taking ownership, setting realistic expectations for addressing the problem, and communicating clearly, you will be able to bounce back in no time.