What makes a company special? There are hundreds of organizations that sell fast food, but only one McDonalds. You’ve probably also come across dozens of technology companies, but none of them inspire the same kind of loyalty and commitment as Apple. So why do people fall more in love with some companies than others?
Most of the time, it all comes down to one thing: the essence of the brand. Brand essence, or brand identity, represents all the unique components of your business that separate it from the competition. It’s not just about your logo or the brand colors you choose for your website. The essence of your brand involves all the visual assets it uses and those less tangible concepts such as brand values and personality.
When your customers decide which companies to buy from, they are not just looking for another company with the cheapest products. Instead, your audience wants to buy from a business they feel connected to. That’s where your brand comes in.
Infusing the essence of the brand into your website helps give your digital presence that extra touch that differentiates it from other similar companies.
So how do we start?
Your brand essence is a collection of core characteristics responsible for defining your brand. More than a single asset, your essence encompasses everything from your unique tone of voice, brand image, message and even what it represents.
When you are trying to increase your chances of sales, the essence of a brand helps to create a kind of affinity with your customers. Your customers see aspects of your character that they can identify with, such as a fun, modern image or a commitment to sustainable practices. It’s that affinity that convinces your customer to choose your company over your competition time and time again.
Your website is one of the first places your customer will visit when looking for answers. They may come to your website by searching for a key phrase on Google or stumble upon it from social media. When they arrive at your product or home page, everything there should help them make an immediate emotional connection.
The only problem?
Representing a unique brand identity through a standard website template is a challenge. If your site looks the same as a dozen other online stores, how can you convince your customers that you are better?
Why your website needs brand essence
First impressions are a big problem.
In a perfect world, your visitors would land on your website and instantly fall in love with what they find there. Therefore, everything from the unique design of your home page to the images on your product pages should delight and impress your audience.
Unfortunately, if only one element is wrong, then it could also give the wrong impression to your customers. Add elements of brand essence to your site:
- Build trust with your audience: your brand should be a constant component of everything your company does, from product sales to customer interaction. When your consumers arrive at your website, from the logo to the colors chosen, they should be reminded of who you are and what you stand for. This consistency will lead to better credibility for your business.
- Make it stand out: How many other companies like yours are on the Internet today? Your brand essence helps you differentiate yourself as someone special by showing what is truly unique about you. It is an opportunity to remind your audience of your values and make them forget about your competitors.
- Create an emotional connection: brand essence that showcases your unique values, mission and personality will help create an emotional bond with your audience. Remember, people fall in love with the human characteristics behind the brand!
Easy ways to add brand essence to your website
Since there are so many elements that add up to a strong brand essence, there are also a variety of ways you can add your brand to the web. Whether it’s using specific colors to elicit an emotional response from your fans or adding your unique tone of voice to your content, there’s no shortage of ways to showcase what makes you special.
Use corporate colors wisely
Brand colors are an important part of the essence. Enter Target and the bright shades of red will instantly fill you with energy. Similarly, when you see a McDonalds, that golden arc logo might instantly remind you of joy and nutrition.
The psychology of color plays an important role in every brand asset you create, from the packaging you choose for your products to the shades in your logo. With that in mind, you should also use colors effectively on your website. Stay with the same shade selection in all online digital environments.
Remember, it has been psychologically proven that the constant use of color helps improve recognition by up to 80%. So let your colors shine.
Know your typography
Your colors are just one component of your brand essence.
Fonts and typography are other aspects that your customers use to recognize and understand your business. There are many different font styles, and new ones appear all the time. However, your company should have a specific selection of fonts that it uses throughout.
In addition to that, you can also use one font for the header text on your website and something slightly different for the body text. The headline and body text must be extremely clear and easy to read on any device if you want to attract your target audience.
However, there is more to getting the right fonts than choosing something readable. The fonts you choose should say something about your company and what it stands for.
Images are key
The archival images seem out of place, cliché and fake. If you cover your website with images like that, then you won’t earn the respect of your customers. Instead, it’s up to you to make sure that every graphic on your website conveys the feel and personality of the brand.
Bringing the essence of your brand to the design of your website means thinking about how it can convey its values in every element of that site. From photos of your team showing the real human beings behind your products and services to the images you use on your product pages. If you have dedicated brand colors, you can even include them in your photos.
Of course, the most valuable graphic on your website should always be the logo. This is what you should include on every page of your website to make sure your audience knows who they are shopping with. So make sure that no matter how much visual content you have on your page, your logo still stands out.
Use the right tone of voice
It’s easy to get stuck focusing on things like logos and colors when you’re trying to make the essence of your brand shine through on your website. However, one of the most common things your customer will recognize you by is your tone of voice.
Your brand’s tone of voice is what gives personality and depth to the content you share online. It can manifest itself in the type of words you use, including slang and colloquialisms. In addition, you can add humor to your voice (if appropriate) and even include emojis if it makes sense for your brand.
With formal words, you can make sure you appear confident and sophisticated. With informal words, you are more likely to convince your audience that you are friendly and approachable.
Everything from the length of the sentences to the humor in the tone of voice helps convey something unique about the brand.
Like all elements that bring the essence of your brand to your website, your tone of voice must remain consistent wherever your customers see it. Make sure your customer service agents know how to use their voice in chat with customers and include that personality in social media as well.
Focus on your message
The tone of voice and personality you display on your website and content are crucial to driving the success of your business. However, underneath all that, the most important thing you need to do is make sure you are sending the right message. In other words, what do you want your customers to think and feel when they come to your website?
Making sure your message can get across correctly means learning how to use all the different brand assets you rely on consistently and effectively. Everything from the colors on your website to the way you place trust badges at the bottom of each page makes a difference in the relevance and credibility of your message.
Don’t copy the competition
Exploring other website designs and ideas created by your competitors is one of the easiest ways to get inspired. Competitive analysis gives you insight into the trends and design strategies that are most likely to work for your target audience. It is also an opportunity for you to learn from your competitors’ mistakes and what they are doing right.
However, it would be best if you never let your initial research and exploration go too far. In other words, when you see something great that your competitor is doing, don’t copy and paste it into your own website. This is more likely to remind your customers of the other company and send them to that brand.
Instead, focus on making your website unique to you. If you have trouble with this, start by looking at your “About” page. How would you describe your background and mission as a company to someone who had never heard of you before? What makes your company different from all other organizations out there?
Take the unique features that excite you on your About page and the personality you’re trying to convey through your employees and incorporate them into the rest of your website design. The point of bringing brand essence to your web design strategy is that it helps you differentiate yourself from other companies.
It is a good idea to protect any assets that other people may also try to steal from you. Copyrighting your logo, your name and other essential components of your brand will prevent people in your industry from trampling on it too much.
Make the most of your brand’s essence
Your website is one of the most valuable tools you will have as a brand. It is an opportunity for you to share your products and services with the world, capture the attention of your target audience and potentially make sales as well. However, it is important not to forget that your website is also an opportunity for you to show what your brand is really about.
Through the essence of your brand, you can share the values and unique messages that make your company special. But more importantly, you can use those components to build a deeper relationship with your audience, the kind of connection that leads to loyal customers.
Once you have identified the essence of your brand, the next step is to make sure you know how to connect with your customers on a consistent basis. If you want to outsource this service, at Acorn we are experts in branding and design, and we can boost your brand. Shall we talk?