The concept of brands already existed, albeit in a crude form, in the minds of consumers even before marketers comprehended its power. With each purchase or contact with the product, consumers weaved a perception around the product/company. Brand is what the consumers create in the first place rather than the company. The idea behind strengthening this perception (brand) is to have the perception nurtured in all possible ways in a constant fashion.
A constant connection with consumers in the present networked world is easily done via websites. Websites that are seriously wanting to improve the brand perception focuses on the overall experience the consumers get from it.
1. Experience Enhancer
Ultimately websites aim at lead generation, purchase and repeat purchase. Creative websites has a tough time providing the kind of feel that consumers experience during over-the-counter purchase. Considering that it only takes an average of 2.6 seconds for a visitor to form the first impression about your website and thereby about your brand, it is of utmost necessity that he gets an experience that attaches to the brand. This calls for websites that are more than just some texts and pictures. Marketers need to realize the extra mileage that a well-designed websites can offer their brands.
The colour, features, layout, etal should contribute towards brand building, however all these results in the experience that each visitor goes through. The difference between a visitor and a customer is the experience they get while they are at your website. Modern websites create an environment that mimics real-time brick and mortar setup. These designs are user-centered and are highly customized towards the user’s needs, goals and assumptions. The whole point is to create a lasting impression on the mind of the consumer about the brand.
2. Brand Enhancer
The design should be at par with the user’s perception and should never be based on products or services. Remember the products are established, hence the focus is establishing the brand.
Effective designs stimulate the users’ sensory receptors prompting them to stay on your site and explore. The perfect mix of colour, font, layout, and navigational aids goes a long way in keeping your users stick to your site a little longer. While multimedia files might slow the site down, proper placing of these could solve the problem.
Designs should enable users to find the way around your site and at the same time let them know their position on your site. Your user will appreciate if your design can tell him which all places in your site he has been. The point is ease of movement and find what the user requires.
Have your website provide only the sufficient information. Let the relevant information be at the beginning and be kept short. Needless to mention it has to be in plain legible language with proper alignment and spacing.
Intelligent designs understand user’s propensities and thereby try educating them via visual aids on the site. The brand image gets a major boost when users feel that they are being assisted with apt instructions to manoeuvre through the site.
7. Visual treat
Use due diligence in coming up with the colors, content placement and fonts for the site. Make sure they have major relation to the brand. Help links should be found immediately.
8. Humans err
Let the interface be intuitive so as to be indicative when users are about to go awry. Features like error messages, ‘undo’, ‘spell-check’, etc can be included in the interface.
No design completely accommodates these two variables, since users and the situation they are in, change. Therefore, design matures and continues to evolve upon the feedback provided by the users over a period of time. And so do your brand.