Friday, February 20, 2009

Your Web Site & Your Brand

Ask people for a definition of “brand” and the answer will likely be interchangeable with the definition for “logo” or “trademark”; something along the lines of “a trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer” as one definition on states.

Only part of that definition is correct.  A brand identifies a product or manufacturer; or person, or advocacy group, entertainer, assembly line worker, the crew of a dragon boat, a city, etc..  In short, a brand is identity.  A product is shown to be distinct from other similar products by its brand.

What constitutes an identity, or brand?  Not just a logo a trademark, but everything about an entity, everything it does, forms its identity (or brand). 

For example, how do you identify McDonald’s Restaurants?  By the golden arches? Or by the fact that their food has high fat content?  Or by the fact that they run a charitable organization that helps families of seriously ill children?  Regardless of your answer(s), for you, the McDonald’s brand, or identity, is the feeling you have about the company and that brand is affected by everything McDonald’s does, from the food they prepare to the programs they sponsor – and the golden arches too.

What is your company’s brand?  What comes to mind for your customers and prospective customers when they think of your company?

Now, look at your web site.  Everything about your web site is part of your company’s brand.  Not just the design, but the layout, words, links, images and its effectiveness at solving your customers’ needs. 

Does your web site support your company’s brand?

By Stephen Da Cambra

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