There is much more to a website than ‘just’ the parts visitors can see and interact with. Indeed, the overall design (front and back) has an impact on a lot of elements of your business. The impression that your online presence gives is one of the more important things that you need to keep in mind. Keeping to consistent branding is going to give a positive impression.
Consistent branding forms a familiarity between your business brand and your website. When this happens visitors, users and customers begin to feel much more comfortable in doing business with you. Why does this happen? With consistent branding, your business looks much more legitimate.
It is important to understand that when we talk about branding, we mean logos, fonts, colours, your brand message…. All of this must be the same, consistent, across your physical and online presence. Your premises, if you have them, must reflect the same visuals as your website design. Your media is the same – letters, emails, business cards, flyers… consistency in your branding is crucial.
The more consistent you are with your branding, the easier it will be to build trust. People tend to do business with companies that they can rely on. If your website branding is different to the branding on your social for example, then people are not going to feel that they can:
- Take you seriously
- Trust you
- Rely on you
For these reasons alone it is easy to see why there needs to be a strong focus on consistent branding.
The importance of consistent branding
Your brand image consists of more than logos and slogans, it includes all methods of expression; video, images, music etc. they all come together to affect the way opinions are made about you, your business and your brand- and whether those opinions are positive or otherwise.
Within the realm of the digital, creating web content is a relatively simple task. With the tools we have at our disposal, an idea can quickly go from concept to finished article, so to speak. When content creation and publication is as easy as this, would you be surprised to learn that many businesses ‘forget’ to check for consistency, or that others will wilfully ignore it in their need to get the content published?
You should never allow yourself to fall victim to the belief that quantity is somehow more important than quality. There cannot be any variation in interpretation, presentation or ‘tone of voice’. Any business that keeps changing its brand is not going to build the trust and legitimacy it needs to convert visits (assuming it still gets them) into sales. Larger, and more successful business will rarely change their branding – precisely because they understand how damaging that could potentially be.
3 reasons for consistency
1 User interface & user experience
These two elements of website design have many aspects of their own, but the main objectives are predictability and convenience. Buttons, for example, should be instantly recognisable as being actual buttons! There is no sense in getting cute with design if nobody knows how to use your website. Also, the buttons should be in the same design and the same place on all pages. Visitors will then quickly learn how to navigate your website and enjoy a seamless as possible experience.
2 Actual branding
We keep singing this tune, but we are going to say it again – consistent branding is the difference between success and failure. A crystal-clear connection needs to be made between your brand message, logo and colours used. Connections like this are very helpful, and it can even help a lot where the name of the business has very little, if anything, to do with what the business does. For instance, nobody could be expected to be able to make a connection between a certain chocolate bar and the name of a planet.
3 Communication of information
When it comes to information communication, consistent branding is just as important. Users, visitors, and customers are going to have a hard time finding any information they might need if it is buried in random spots around the website. You need to aim to be as clear and as simple as possible.
You also need to take with things such as your fonts, especially italics and bold. Some companies use these font elements inappropriately – this makes text confusing, so be sure the text being highlighted in this way warrants it. Though, you should probably just stick to plain text.
Consistent branding across your business allows your visitors and customer feel familiar and more comfortable with you, your brand and your business. This is a crucial step in creating brand awareness as well as building trust and legitimacy – when was the last time that you did any kind of business with a brand you felt you couldn’t trust (whether they were trustworthy or not)? Exactly. Keep that in mind with your own business and you will do just fine.