Is Your Website an Island? Ensure a Strong Brand Presence Online
Aren’t websites great? More than likely, your organization’s website tells visitors who you are, what you offer, why they should work with you, who you have worked with, and possibly a lot more about you. For many companies, large and small, a website is the foundation of their entire marketing platform. Without it, many companies would simply have a skeleton of a presence in the marketplace.
If your organization is determined to use its website as a major touch point or promotional tool to support the sales team’s efforts, then before reinvesting time and resources your organization doesn’t have into making changes, get the brand message right. Use the redevelopment of your website as an opportunity to step forward and complete the due diligence necessary to truly define and integrate your brand wholeheartedly into the organization.
In the past three months, I have witnessed a number of companies, across a number of sectors including IT, who have updated or changed their websites without giving much thought to brand development. It’s become commonplace for organizations to modify their websites, yet neglect to determine if their brand message is powerful and relevant. (When I speak about the brand message, I’m mainly talking about the customer’s impression of an organization, why they buy from this organization and how working with this organization benefits the customer.)
Is your organization planning on updating its site in the near future? Have you asked customers why they value doing business with your organization? If not, then you are missing the most critical step in the entire process. Although companies speak with their customers all the time, conducting a brand conversation to find out what motivates them to buy from you may bring some surprises. For one thing, customers rarely state price as their primary reason for buying from an organization.
From my seven years’ experience as a marketing alchemist and consultant, these conversations are more effective when conducted by a third party or at least through a methodical process. A brand conversation can happen in person, on the phone, or in some type of written/online survey process.
It is equally critical to conduct a similar brand conversation within the organization because defining your corporation’s brand means aligning the inside world with the outside world. If these two worlds are at different ends of the spectrum, then the brand and its message are weak and both need to be strengthened.
There are many benefits to conducting a brand conversation:
- Customers tell you what they value most
- You see your business through the eyes of your customer
- You discover how others within the organization see things
- You find out how those in your organization are communicating their perceptions to others
- This process gives you an advantage over your competitors
- You have valuable information that can be crafted into a powerful message
- The look, feel and message your website communicates will change for the better
- How your organization markets itself will have a greater impact on producing top line results
Going through this process allows your company to develop a strong and compelling message, increases your connections with customers and prospects, and lastly, ensures the message on your website is congruent with the culture of your organization. The integration of these two worlds is an important part of the entire Brand Attachment Process, a process I developed and walk my clients through prior to them investing time and money into revamping their websites.
Once this part of the branding process is complete, an organization can retrofit its core messages into all aspects of its sales and marketing initiatives, including a website redesign.
Jen DeTracey, founder of Lift Strategies Inc., helps organizations accelerate their growth and manage that growth without overextending their resources or their people. To find more articles, tips and information about Jen DeTracey, visit www.liftstrategies.com.