Joey Hoskins, Creative Director at Giant Peach, demonstrates the need for your brand to permeate your online presence.
Here’s looking at you
The design of your website says a lot about your business. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to the internet, we’re a pretty shallow bunch and if you don’t look good we’re certainly not swiping right! It’s important to have a presence online, preferably one that packs a punch. Every second of attention from a potential customer counts and that’s why it’s vital that your website is a true reflection of your business.
It’s not enough just to have a good website. A ‘good’ design might have one of the latest trends – a burger menu, a full screen banner (or both!) but once you’ve gone past that and dug a little deeper is it still as convincing? Does it say anything about your business or is it more like a template? Creating a presence online is so much more than a website, it’s an extension of your brand, something your clients and prospects can identify with.
On closer examination
So how do you do it? Agencies worth their salt (us) start with research, not just into your business but your sector and your audience too. Only then can we begin to make design decisions, pulling out and revealing the right amount of personality and giving a true reflection of your business. To put it simply, users are fickle and now, more than ever, your brand needs to align with your audience.
Give it a voice
The tone of voice is important. If your brand could talk who would it sound like? Would it be personable and fun or professional and reassuring? A good design will help articulate these personality traits, highlight key words or phrases and will build trust. This goes far beyond your website, all of your communication should have the same consistent message.
The imagery used throughout the design is also incredibly important (and often overlooked). Having professional photography is more relevant than ever – everybody knows what a stock photograph looks like and the truth is they can look stale. If your images aren’t coming from you, they’re not telling your story. So if your content is geared towards how real, different and unique you are but your images don’t match up with you brand and values, what message are you conveying?
Take Nevs for example, a London-based modeling agency. We’ve taken inspiration from fashion magazines and editorial layouts to craft a unique layout that makes use of the super imagery they’re able to use. When it comes to articulating a brand’s personality and story, things typically fall apart on the listing (category) and detail (model) pages so we’ve based the model page on a new experience that sees a completely new layout providing content like photos, videos and engaging imagery. Throughout there are small, subtle features that make the website more memorable e.g. the lightbox feature and the ‘social’ grid.
So you’ve designed a fancy image-based site, but what about corporate business? Change Recruitment Group are a global consultancy; as well as working with them to produce a new brand and slick, easy to use website, we also provided them with their own unique photography style. Each photograph is part of an extensive library that uses a unique blending mode and colour enhancements to define them. The result is modern and mature images that stand apart from their rivals’ obvious use of stock images.
By building consistency online, injecting your personality and using the correct tone of voice and imagery you’ve begun aligning yourself with your audience, which they value. By understanding your position you can build trust, credibility and respect, and that is the difference between just having a website and having a presence online.
Need help defining your audience or brand? Not sure how best to represent your business online? Come have a cuppa and a chat.