Byline: AJ Hightower
When starting your own business, you need to get your name out there to create awareness and establish an individual brand identity that reflects your entire personality.
The first thing your customers will see is your brand name. How you have chosen to illustrate this reinforces what sets you apart from the competition. Many small businesses and start-ups do not spend enough time thinking about their brand and this can have a serious impact on their business.
Along with your brand identity and logo, your website is your next most important branding tool as your customers will visit to gain more information about your brand and the products and services you offer. A good website is part of your brand experience and works as your online shop front to advertise you to potential customers.
Below are four reasons why you need good branding and a website when starting a business:
- Website and branding build credibility
A website is crucial to a start-up as it’s where you sell your products and ideas, make a connection with your customers and build trust. These days having a website is a basic requirement, if you can’t be found online or your web presence isn’t up to standard, then you can wave goodbye to your credibility and getting the attention of new customers who rely on your website to learn about you. Without a website that is easy to find and easy to navigate, you cannot expect your customers to find out information about you and your products.
Consider your website like your storefront or a showroom, it has to be visually appealing and professionally designed to attract visitors. Think about how you want your brand to be portrayed and reflect this in your web design as your potential customers will judge you on first impressions.
To make sure your website reflects a professional image that is inviting and engaging consider the below:
- Test to ensure your website looks good and performs well in all browsers including Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla.
- Ensure your website looks good on a mobile device. Increasing mobile usage means your website needs to be optimised for mobile viewing.
- Website and branding can present a unified message about your company
A solid branding strategy builds a unified message across all your marketing channels from your website, to social media to printed materials like business cards, posters and mail outs. A branding strategy often incorporates colours, images, fonts and language to convey to your target audience who you are, your brand personality and values. It is important to share this message consistently across different marketing platforms and even if you sell different products or services, so that your audience know simply and quickly who you are and what they can expect from your company.
- Website and branding allow you to stand out against competition
A strong, easily recognisable brand makes it easier to cut through the clutter and help you stand out from the competition. Whether it be a particular colour combination you use, or a font and image, this sets you apart in the minds of your customers.
- Brands generate referrals
Word of mouth is one of the most popular ways a brand can grow its customer base as people love to give and receive recommendations. Especially in today’s digital environment where we are all so connected, word of mouth is extremely important. Today our friends and family can easily share recommendations through social media channels or we can access social media influencers for recommendations. This is why it’s so important to create a strong brand that is memorable in your customer’s mind, is easy to recall and recommend.
A good website and a good brand give your customers a reason to engage further with your brand. Remember, that while your goods and services might be a great idea, they cannot stand on their own. First impressions count, so how your portray yourself through your branding and website is your chance to make your company shine.
AJ Hightower is the owner of both 121 Creative Geebung and Kwik Kopy Geebung with over 15 years of business experience. Since opening both businesses, he has gone from strength to strength, winning design and print awards, and nurturing a growing and diverse client portfolio.