In today’s business climate, a strong b2b web presence is a must-have for growth. When potential customers want to know more about your company, they start with your website. If they don’t easily find what they’re looking for, they’ll move on faster than you can say “Hey, Siri.”
So how do you connect with the right prospects and keep them engaged? It all starts with a strong brand strategy. A strong brand strategy, rooted in customer insight, provides the critical foresight to create a website that is searchable, navigable and relevant—and is, distinctively, a true expression of your brand.
Here are 4 fundamental principles of brand strategy that are building blocks to create a strong web presence.
1. It’s not ready, fire, aim.
More than sweet graphics and slick microinteractions, a strong web presence is achieved through a targeted focus on your relevant audiences. With the way the modern web functions, you must truly understand your audiences’ emotions, their needs and why they’re coming to your website. ‘Voice of customer’ insight allows you to foster trusted relationships and connect meaningfully with your audiences. Additionally, it guides the creation of a strong user experience that generates search equity. Meaningful engagement by relevant audiences tells Google that your website is a valuable resource, so you move up the search rankings. So, aim first. Talk to your audiences, and let their insights guide the creative and functional direction of your website.
2. It’s a museum, not a warehouse.
It’s not enough to have a website that simply places everything you’ve got on neatly organized shelves. Or worse yet, in a dusty dump site. A strong web presence requires creating an intuitive user experience that guides visitors through a carefully curated narrative. This is achieved by understanding your brand architecture. Brand architecture is the taxonomy used to organize your products and services into a logical and cohesive selling story. It’s the foundation for the wireframe planning of your website. Remember that your website is often the first resource for prospects, clients and potential talent. Don’t just show them what’s out back. Give them an experience they can connect to.
3. Position by design, not by default.
Why you? What’s the unique value that your company brings to the marketplace? How are you different, better or stronger than your competition? That’s your Brand Position. If you don’t clearly define it for your customers, they’ll define it for you. Every day your potential customers take to the web when looking for a solution for their needs and problems. There’s inevitably a myriad of solutions, but that doesn’t make every one of them the right fit. Your Brand Positioning statement and supportive key messaging—your story—must clearly express the unique value of your company and connect with your audiences as the solution they need.
4. Look & Feel is instant. Results are long lasting.
You know it when you see it—a website that causes you to think, WOW, and pulls you in. It’s practically instantaneous. Strong impressions are made through visual design that inspires an emotional response to your brand. The way people feel about you is just as important as what they think. A good brand strategy defines a true visual expression of your brand’s position, its values, and its differentiating qualities. Your brand look & feel needs to be designed to distinctively signal your unique brand and create lasting impact.
To see these four principles in action, check out the work THIEL has done for Hufcor. Guided by a researched understanding of Hufcor and its unique audiences, we created a website that expresses Hufcor’s brand as it truly exists in the hearts and minds of its customers. Instead of simply building “a website,” we designed a web-based brand experience tailored to the specific needs and expectations that Hufcor’s audiences told us they have for a website in the operable wall industry. By exercising the four fundamental principles explained in this blog, THIEL has ensured a valuable experience for each audience and has reinforced Hufcor’s promise of customerization. As expressed through their strong web presence, Hufcor is truly shaping your experience.
In the next installation in our series, we will dive deeper into the power of distinctive brand messaging and how it can strengthen your web presence. If you missed our first post, catch up and read about common web pain points.