Pause then swing

Tactical brand assets – like a new website or marketing campaign – might feel like your most pressing demand. But it pays to get your brand right before you start.

Branding, Essentials | 3 minutes read | Michael Gough

Pause then swing
Pause then swing

Your website is more than a platform. It’s your digital front door – and usually the first place people will discover everything your brand does. This means it needs to work hard to present your offer to the world in a way that’s compelling to your audience.

Read your About Us page. Does it speak directly to the concerns of the people you’re trying to target? Or is it just a list of what you do?

Often, we find it’s the latter. Websites become a place where brands talk about themselves, listing products or services instead of benefits to the user.

And this is a problem. Because if you’re not speaking directly to the needs of your audiences, it’s an easy click or tap to go somewhere else.

 

It’s not as simple as sticking a slick new design over your old site

As you think about updating your website, your first instinct might be to appoint a digital agency.

A digital agency will help you think about improving user experience. But it’s worth keeping in mind that a brand agency will also help you think about who your website is for, and crucially, why they should care.

By taking a more holistic approach, you can maximise the opportunity to reconnect with your audiences.

The best way to start is to understand the people you want to connect with.

 

Understanding what your audiences think of you is an easy first step to improving your brand and web presence.

Take a step back and ask yourself some big questions – the answers will help shape how you position your brand and design the content of your site.

Questions like:

– Who are we talking to?

– What do they want to know?

– What language does our audience use to describe what we do?

– What do you want people to do as a result of being on your website?

– Simply put, if you don’t understand what your audiences want, you can’t design an effective website.

 

A quick win: see what else is out there

Here’s an easy way to understand if your brand cuts through the noise in your market.

Take another look at your About Us. Copy and paste it into a document alongside the statements of a dozen or so competitor websites. Highlight all of the repetitive words. Notice how many there are and how similar the statements all sound.

Many established organisations struggle to articulate what makes them different. Instead, they rely on tried and tested themes which only send them off into a sea of sameness – we’re friendly, reliable, trustworthy, market–leading, the number one choice…

There’s always going to be crossover in what you and your competitors do. And while striving to look or sound ‘unique’ is almost certainly a fool’s errand, there will always be a small kernel of difference that sets you apart. Your company’s history will often hold something thoroughly compelling, which can be said clearly, concisely and relevantly.

 

Don’t let outdated design or muddled language stand between you and your clients

Understanding what your audiences think of you is an easy first step to improving your brand and web presence.

At Sparks, we regularly run website reviews for our clients. This gives you an impartial, outside view on what’s currently working well, and where the biggest opportunities to strengthen lie. The result? A chance to reconnect with your target audience in a meaningful way.

If this sounds interesting, get in touch to find out more