Our friends over at FM Walsh and Associates always post great blogs and the latest is no exception. Its about the considerations companies should take into account when creating their corporate Internet brand:
When creating a web presence, many companies think of technology and web design first with marketing as an afterthought when in reality, their major concern should be the latter: after all the web site is often the first point of contact you have with your potential customer. Its imperative therefore to consider marketing (and branding in particular) a priority when creating your Internet presence. If you dont, you could risk damaging this substantial asset considerably. In part one of this two part series I provide some key points that companies must consider in order to create a successful internet brand:
1. If your brand is already working well for you, there is no need to reinvent the wheel:
In most cases companies have already made considerable investment in building brand awareness. Dont discard this; rather use it to your advantage. Always extend your existing brand image to your on-line presence so that people who are already aware of your brand recognize it easily on the web.
2. Consistency is key:
The company brand should be consistent across all touch points. Use existing corporate logos, taglines, fonts and colour schemes on your website to mirror the colours you use in your letterheads, signage and tangible marketing materials (or vice versa). Always include the internet domain or home page on existing corporate materials because driving traffic to your website will serve to further enhance your brand.
3. Brand Impact:
The top portion of your website is the most important area – its the first thing visitors see when they click through to your site: use it to your advantage and make sure what they see has impact. The company logo should be displayed prominently here along with a short tagline that describes concisely what you do. Content should be clear and concise and should quickly get to the gist of your offering. This makes it obvious to prospects immediately that they have come to the right place (or not as the case maybe) saving them time and effort.
4. Keep it simple and clear:
Many companies make the mistake of trying to put too much on their home page making it look busy and all that results is information overload – visitors are confused as to what the company actually does. Bear in mind that the most successful Internet brand is Google (link to www.google.com) whose classic website is plain white with the Google logo prominently displayed then the simple search functionality Ã¢â‚¬â€œ it seems stark, but it really works.
5. Your domain is part of your brand too!:
Your domain or url should either reflect your company name or your function exactly: I dont know how many times I have come across a company in a magazine or newspaper article and have tried to find them on the Internet using their company name but to no avail. When I do finally track them down it turns out that their domain is completely different and has no apparent similarity to the corporate identity. Had these organizations chosen a domain that encompassed their company name or at the very least one that describes concisely what they do it would have been so much more obvious and easy to find.
The keys to building a strong Internet brand include consistency, impact, simplicity and clarity – make sure that the look and feel are consistent with existing marketing efforts; that your message is obvious and apparent; that your brand has impact and your domain is obvious and as a result, your organization you will avoid potential pitfalls, ehance brand awareness and build more brand loyalty.