Brand consistency is more crucial now than ever.
Brand consistency includes several factors. It starts by having a profound understanding of your business, your customers, and your story – the way your brand appears and connects with people.
There is no doubt that brand consistency is the foremost sign of trusted and well-known brands. Inconsistent branding can adversely impact customer experiences and reduce your trustworthiness. It also causes reputation damage and creates confusion in the marketplace regarding your offerings.
Today, most of the business opportunities are received online, and a majority of customers search for products and services on the internet. Therefore, ensuring brand uniformity in website design is an area where brands have to be very careful. Uneven elements in website designs can make your website difficult to remember and navigate. Your inability to stay in the mind of the customer can cause complete brand erosion in the long term.
This article, therefore, focuses on the utility, importance, and need for ensuring brand consistency in website designs. Let us go through the key aspects related to brand consistency on web versions of your business.
What is Brand Consistency on Web Properties?
A simple definition of brand consistency on web properties is — keeping recurrent elements the same throughout your website. This includes fonts, colors, size of buttons, symbols, icons, animations, appearance, layouts, etc. When your brand engages customers on your website, social channels, emails, and other online venues, the matching elements make sure that your brand stands out from the crowd and people are able to recognize your brand. In short, repetitive exposures must be consistent.
Why Ensuring Brand Consistency in Website Design Critical for Your Business?
With this single image, one can answer-Why Brand consistency is critical to businesses? Even when I have taken the liberty to erase the name of the brand on the above bottle, I bet you know what brand it is. That’s the power of consistent branding. The World’s most valuable brand Coca-Cola’s core design has been the same and consistent on all its supplies universally. This has made it easier to recognize. With similar designs and patterns on its bottles, it has narrowed down the elements that people need to remember and thereby, making it more visible. In today’s oversaturated market, poor brand visibility can be disastrous for your business. The greatest and the most successful businesses keep it simple and uniform—for instance, Nike’s logo or Facebook’s like icon, or McDonald’s’ logo.
Branding consistency leads to 23% higher revenues.
Website brand consistency will ensure more visibility and better customer experiences. Consistency in website design will ensure visual, functional, and navigational learning for your users. It reduces the churn and bounce rate on websites and increases repeated visits.
You want your website visitors to learn about your website. Consistent patterns, fonts, layouts, and colors are easier to learn. Therefore, ensuring consistency of visual elements with modern web design tools will help your customers recognize and remember your brand distinctly.
Offering predictable elements throughout the website makes it easier to use. For example, suppose adding the user age on different contact forms of the same website is in the below formats. Three different formats on the same website can cause a poor user experience, and the user will find it difficult to use the website’s functions.
When you open websites on mobile devices, you must have noticed the ‘hamburger symbol.’ The hamburger button is placed at the top corner of the mobile versions of websites. It opens the menu when pressed. Now, most web visitors know the usage of this button and how it works. So, putting the same in your web design will help you utilize the existing know-how of visitors to improve your usability.
Or, for instance, take the Asterisk (*), which is popularly used for denoting mandatory fields in the forms on the web. Using such familiar design components makes your web pages universally consistent and therefore easy to navigate.
Building and Retaining Trust
Whether your customers perceive you as reliable and elegant or as coarse and unfocussed should really be your concern. Perfect sites that match the universal web designing standards are able to win customer trust and confidence. Trusted brands are more followed and remain profitable even during pressing times. Even a simple logo mistake or design blunder can cost millions of dollars. We have examples such as icon8 (one of the largest icon provider companies) that lost its customers when it changed the design for the icon request service page. Old visitors were used to a feature that was removed in the new design. The bump was short-lived for icon8; however, it shows us the criticality and relevance of website design in retaining customer confidence.
How to Ensure Brand Consistency in Website Design?
Brands should anticipate the type of experience, interface, and layout their users will appreciate. Brand design should be equated with user demographics. Armed with such information, brands can carve out the most appealing design for their website. The best way to ensure brand consistency in website design is to envision and lay down clear guidelines for brand design. Brand guidelines are critical when you outsource marketing and communication collateral as they prevent the web design from becoming warped and disjointed. Clear brand guidelines go a long way to ensure your brand design doesn’t deviate from the base even when you have employed multiple web designers or have multiple creative teams.
Brand design guidelines are the set of rules that document:
- The template designs that your brand can use
- The style guide that your designers should adhere to
- Color palettes for your brand collaterals
- Typographies for all web content
- Size of images, logos for various content forms
- Rules for modification in existing web assets
- Permissions and authorizations for brand management on the website
Organizations should have a compliance team that makes sure that brand guidelines are duly followed. Your design teams or small businesses can also use industry-grade website design software that comes with features to keep your website designs free from inconsistencies. Hiring a branding agency will also be beneficial. Branding agencies know everything about the ins and outs of the online branding process and can help you create consistently designed web pages that truly resonate with your customers.
Branding is all about consistency and chemistry. So, leverage your visuals, know your audience, be self-evident, let your design, offering, and approach be consistent across all mediums, and above all – match “who you are,” and “what you say.”
“A brand is something that has a clear-cut identity among consumers, which a company creates by sending out a clear, consistent message over a period of years until it achieves a critical mass of marketing.” Phil Knight
Your website is a ubiquitous touch point and a prominent channel for marketing and customer reach. Ensuring that nothing is stretched out of proportion in website design elements and creating awesomely designed websites can take your business to another trajectory.
Guest Article by James Mordy
James Mordy is a content writer for GoodFirms (a leading Software research company). A voracious reader, an avid researcher, a logophile, and a tech geek, he loves to write about the latest technologies shaping the world.