Everyone is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of branding. Customers interact with brands in a huge way these days and it’s not just a font, some colours and/or a jazzy logo anymore, it’s deeper than that. Customers can trust a brand, feel loyal towards it, identify with it on a personal level. Likewise, consumers can feel negatively towards a brand, often blindly favouring a competitor.
It’s important then to ensure you have a brand that engages customers positively and that they feel they can trust. When it comes to making a purchase, these factors are proven to be hugely influential.
Once you’ve built a brand that you and your customers are happy with, it’s then vital to ensure that it remains consistent across all of the channels you sell through. Aside from looking strange, inconsistency can have a negative effect on how your business is perceived. Your logo, fonts, colours, tone of voice etc. should all be recognizable as the same brand on anything you create, publish or attribute your name to. This is perhaps most important when creating a website to accompany your bricks and mortar store. Ecommerce success is largely about consumer trust, so to bring the loyalty and trust that you’ve already generated with customers in store to your online offering is essential to hit the ground running.
So how do we achieve this?
The Brand Aesthetic
OK, it’s obvious and basic but when building a website, you need to make sure that the visual design is perfectly in line with your brand. Your logo (no brainer) needs to be present, the fonts you use along with the colours and style of writing all need to match anything that exists in your bricks and mortar store. Consumers should get to your homepage and within a fraction of a second know and recognise your business from just a quick scan of how it looks – that, in essence is what creates the ideal brand aesthetic, recognizability.
Use What You Have
Any good website will use images and (increasingly) videos to give their pages that visual oomph. The temptation here can be to use stock, such is the ease of getting big, bright, beautiful images within a few minutes of browsing. However, we live in a personal and connected world in 2016 and this can come across a little dated. Not only is it impersonal and stuffy but using stock images stops you creating further synergy between your online and offline stores because you’re using images that aren’t of your premises or your staff.
What better way to reassure customers that the brand is the same they’ve already experienced, than giving them a visual hook. Like ‘hey that’s the store I bought those jeans in’ or ‘that guy served me when I bought that gadget’ (you get the idea). At Nublue, we use images of our staff, our office and our own servers consistently so that visitors to our site get a true feel of our business and how it operates.
Increase synergy, make your brand feel more personal and engaging and get a truly unique, bespoke website – don’t use stock images.
The simple fact is that you and your competitors often won’t have a huge amount of differences. So the things that do make you unique need to be highlighted both online and in your brick and mortar store. This could be any number of things, big or small. Whether it’s a customer benefit (which is of course, the ideal USP) such as free postage across all your products, a personalized shopping experience, or even a little quirk, for example, the way you present your products. The latter seemingly has no real benefit to consumers but is still something that can be used to make your brand more identifiable across the different channels you use. It’s all about creating little triggers in the customer’s mind that this is a brand they are familiar with and relate to and then ultimately, can trust.
The ideal branding is built on a strong idea of what your business does, what it stands for and who your customers are. This idea should be replicated throughout all of your sales channels and by doing this you create stronger brand loyalty, greater trust and as a result, improved sales.