This is often an area where new enterprises and business owners can struggle. Branding is more than just a quirky logo – it drills down into the very essence of what your business is about and its important to get right.
What is a Great Brand?
According to marketing expert Seth Godin:
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
One of the most recognisable brands on the planet is McDonald’s. When you pass one of their thousands of restaurants and see that memorable logo, it tells you several things.
You know what you are going to get at each of the restaurants, you know it’s fast food and quick service and you can expect your burger to taste just the same in Watford as it does in Edinburgh. McDonald’s is a clean, well-run fast food restaurant chain where all the family can have fun.
The logo itself doesn’t say this. It’s the brand story that has built up around the organisation and which has seeped into the public’s mind that has the power. The logo is simply a trigger – you see it and it sets off a series of thoughts and emotions.
The Benefits of a Strong Brand
People take just a few seconds to form an impression of a company. If they’re visiting your online store, it might just be a blink of an eye before they make up their mind whether they’re going to buy from you or not.
A strong, easily recognisable and trustworthy brand increases the chance of attracting customers to your site. It helps you stand out from the competition and get noticed on social media. It means people will talk about you and tell their friends and family what a brilliant site you have.
If you have a recognisable brand, people begin to forge an emotional relationship with you that can strengthen over time. That’s important in the world of selling because that connection creates the platform for loyalty, with customers coming back, again and again, to buy from your business.
Developing a Brand for your Cardiff Website Design
Branding can be challenging to change if you don’t get it right the first time around. It’s important to nail your ecommerce store identity before you go to the website development stage.
You first need to understand who your customers are and what they are looking for. People are more likely to buy from a brand that aligns with their values
Customers are a lot more sophisticated nowadays and are not easily swayed by a business that throws its values out there and then fails to reflect them. The most notable thing we see are ecommerce stores that trumpet their wonderful customer service but don’t deliver on expectations.
Set your brand values clearly and authentically and stick to them. This works best when you align your business to your passions and values. In other words, don’t pretend to be something you’re not simply to get more business.
2. A Clear Identity
The purpose of a brand is to give you a clear, unique identity that people recognise. Take a look at the competition and think about ways that you can set yourself apart.
New brands take time to embed in the mind’s of customers – some estimates suggest that it can take as many as 7 separate engagements before your brand is likely to figure more prominently in someone’s life. It’s easier if they can see what’s different.
3. Bring Your Passion
Many newbie ecommerce entrepreneurs treat brand creation as a box-ticking exercise. It’s not.
The businesses that tend to succeed with their online stores are the ones that are the most passionate and bring that across in their branding. If you care, you create something meaningful. If you don’t, you tend to just add things to your brand that you think you may need but which have little value.
4. Matching Branding with Design
Once you’ve decided on the direction of your brand, the next step is to develop the design, including that all-important logo. Matching the two together is critical and you should take your time over this stage.
Working with a branding specialist certainly helps but many ecommerce stores operate to tight budgets and can’t afford one. Whatever your resources, spend time on this stage and try to get it right the first time. The last thing you want to do is start changing your logo or colour combinations once your Cardiff website goes live.
5. Write it Down
Finally, it’s key to document your branding and produce style guidelines. This is going to be important if you need to hire a marketing company or take on additional employees and it makes sure that you maintain consistency across all media.
How to Tell Your Brand Story
Telling people about your brand is important and that’s where storytelling comes in. This is the narrative that led to the creation of your ecommerce business, what you are trying to achieve and where you see it going in the future.
An example in Australia caught our eye recently. The site is called Lily Blaze and it sells, of all things, dog poop bags. The owner got the idea after touring Asia and seeing the number of street dogs and the lack of animal shelters that were often underfunded.
Her brand became not only the sale of sustainable and environmentally friendly dog poo bags but a commitment by her company to support animal shelters in these areas – donating 50% of the profits from the business.
Make your brand story exciting, relevant and engaging and it gives customers another reason to support and buy from you.
Brand Continuity: It’s Important for Your Cardiff Web Design
The big thing with branding is that it needs to be consistent across all media. It’s vital for your ecommerce website but it’s also essential to maintain your brand voice and vision on social media, pay per click advertising and other marketing activities that you might be involved in.
Find Website Design in Cardiff
If you live in South Wales, finding a local web design company has several benefits. You’re more likely to work with a developer that understands your needs and can provide the personal touch that you are looking for.
At Nick Walsh Studios, one of our key focuses is helping local entrepreneurs realise their dreams of creating amazing ecommerce websites. We’ll work closely with you to bring your brand to life and build an online store that not only looks fantastic but stands out from the crowd.