July 17, 2013
Branding is about repetition. When consumers are confronted with consecutive images and messages, they begin ingraining them in long-term memory. You want your consumers to think about you (rather than the competition or an imageless product/service) when in need. How are you facilitating the process?
Online marketing offers brands exciting opportunities to strengthen connections with present consumers and attract new ones. In modern times, it’s not just about hosting a website. Aside from a website, brands leverage other platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social sharing sites to engage and share information with consumers.
Consider the benefit of having more than one digital storefront. Aside from your website’s design, brands must solidify branding and recognition by aligning the look of leveraged properties.
Branding gurus champion the sentiment of repeated expression; therefore, brands need to ensure consumers are confronted with the same images on each social profile, matching the look of the brand website.
Read through a given platform’s website, especially the frequently asked questions section. Usually, sites instruct users on optimal dimensions regarding profile pictures. This way, brands may size and format profile pictures to shadow website logos and taglines.
Again, branding is about repeating expression. Design facilitates branding through visual elements; consumers need not only hear about a brand, but see it as well. Even if colors are similar, matching logos of different sizes may not be properly associated to consumers. Make sure impressions are consistent.
Proper alignment and ease of consistency is expedited through the original Web design process. If a brand knows which platforms are designated for intended use, a Web designer can produce several images satisfying warranted sizes.
Aside from situating a social profile to shadow a brand’s logo along with associated colors, taglines and shapes, ensure a social platform looks as much like the brand website as possible, creating stronger associations for consumers.
Does your chosen social media platform allow users to customize profiles? Most do, and many allow users to differentiate between a personal and brand-related profile. For example, Twitter options let users upload pictures to three separate areas of their profiles, optimizing opportunity to let the Twitter handle ‘look’ like it’s a separate page from the brand’s website.
Custom options make an incredible difference. You don’t want to confuse consumers, or go unnoticed, especially when you have their attention. Brands need to usher in consistency to make stronger impressions. Making a social handle look as much like a brand’s website is essential to the process.
Depending on the size of your business, you may have several workers leveraging social media profiles, helping the brand make impressions aside from the brand’s designated social profile. Having workers operate social profiles supports branding and aligns Web design with social media.
Let’s assume your brand is Coca-Cola. Ask workers to:
- Wear a Coca-Cola shirt in their profile picture;
- Use brand colors to customize their profile pages;
- Leverage the brand name.
For example, rather than ‘John Doe,’ a representative could be deemed, ‘Coca-Cola John D.’ Aside from his distinct personality, viewers experience the Coca-Cola name, solidifying branding opportunities. Depending on social platform, numbers and worker advocacy, a brand could have large numbers of social media profiles making impressions throughout the day and night, but it’s hugely important to ensure design and profiles are in alignment.
Sometimes, whether due to re-branding, time, or new marketing angle, brands modify or completely alter logos, colors, taglines, and so on. While, continuous change spoils pursuits of branding, sometimes a refresh is good. However, it’s important a brand maintains uniformity during an upheaval or change.
For example, it would be confusing for consumers to see colors and logos on a brand website inconsistent with former elements present on social media platforms. If you’re going to change, plan ahead, ensuring your web design is uniform with social media profiles. Otherwise, you’ll lose the branding traction gained, and it takes longer to compensate for the new look and possible consumer confusion.
In some cases, brands alert consumers ahead of time, giving them a preview of new shapes, colors, taglines, and associated elements. Otherwise, rebranding could be quite unsuccessful; research reflects consumers become accustomed, especially to long-standing brands. The slightest deviation from the expected could produce negative reactions. Some elements considered ‘trivial’ by executives, such as a brand mascot, could make positive impressions on shoppers. This reminds brands to value elements well-liked by consumers.
Online properties grab attention, educate and direct consumers further along a brand’s sales pipeline. The visual appeal of the Web allows brands to feature rich, crisp, and colorful Web design, but the impression images make does not stop there. Free, social media platforms, visited by millions of consumers each day, are there for commercial use; your brand can make impressions, engage and create life-long customers, but the process is more effective with consistent messages, achieved when design aligns with social profiles.
Charles Dearing is a business and SEO consultant. His articles predominantly appear on website marketing and SEO blogs. To learn about cyber-security for your website, visit the link.