Many small businesses, even established ones, don’t know where to start when it comes to branding, website creation, and marketing. They do not have an internal department to handle these activities nor the time/knowledge to do it themselves.
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The importance of doing things in the right order.
The purpose of this article is to define Branding, Web Design, and Marketing and to put them in the correct order in which they need to be performed.
In fact, let’s do that right from the start.
- Branding – creating words and creative assets. Core to this is how your target audience should feel when they interact with your brand.
- Website – the cornerstone of your online presence that contains your branding, company services, and messaging.
- Marketing – activities that tell the world to do business with your company and give the reasons why they should.
If you want to be successful with your business understanding the roles of branding, website creation, and marketing is essential.
The first thing you need to do is establish a brand for your company.
Step #1: Branding.
Whenever you think of a company or a product, its name, logo, packaging, slogans, spokespeople, and identity are the first few things that will come to your mind. These things are collectively called the branding of a company, business, or product.
Ideally, your branding has been created so that anyone interacting with your brand feels certain emotions.
For example, if you are creating branding for your plumbing company it would be a good idea to elicit competence, trustworthiness, security, and reliability. After all, if you had a broken pipe you want someone who makes you feel secure and that they are reliable, trustworthy, and will get the job done.
Be warned, your company is going to fall on its face if it does not live up to your branding. Solid branding can not make up for breaking the promise of your brand.
Branding starts with your company name, slogan, colors, fonts, and logo.
Why is branding important?
Branding is the baseline for your website’s design and the first step in having your target audience be aware of who you are. If done correctly, it will help people distinguish you from the other similar companies and products by highlighting your services and presenting you in a positive light.
Successful branding presents your company as a better option than your competitors by promoting your best features. It builds your reputation among the targeted audience and dwells in their subconscious.
If you want to be successful online you must invest in your company or product’s branding.
Following are the few things that will tell you why branding is the first step in the service order for your company:
Branding becomes identity.
A company without a reputation and characteristics features to promote will find it challenging to earn recognition for itself. There must be a name, a logo, a motto that is pushed through publications and advertising to make you stand out among the masses.
It is recommended to make your company’s logo easy to remember, and its name easy to roll off people’s tongues. It should be something that should stick within the minds of the targeted audience.
We recommend testing a company’s name with your target audience. There are basic questions you can ask to make sure they are not confused about what you do and to make sure they can remember it after only a few mentions.
Branding spreads awareness.
Impactful branding makes people aware of your company’s services at a glance. The more people are aware of your services and products; the more likely they are to lean into the sense of familiarity at times of need.
There is a sense of dependability that can be established once people are aware of what your company represents.
Branding creates trust.
A well-thought and elaborate branding strategy present your company and product as trustworthy in the marketplace.
The more professional you appear in front of your potential customers, the more likely they are to trust your company and services.
Branding helps in advertising
Branding your company and product will help you advertise or market it better in front of the audience. You will have a logo or name that you can use in your marketing campaigns and promotional material to spread awareness and build trust among the audience.
Most advertisements follow a specific color theme or target people from a particular background to promote their services, and all of that is predetermined by branding.
Why can’t branding can’t be skipped?
If you decide to skip or invest too little in branding your company, brand or product, the next two steps in your process Website Creation and Marketing will be drastically hindered. You won’t be able to establish trust between you and your potential customers as people will find it hard to rely on a nameless brand.
Without branding, people won’t know what to expect from your company and product. They also won’t understand why they should choose you over your competitors that- unlike you -have invested in a professional branding strategy.
Branding is an effective way to tell people who you are, what you stand for, and what you want to promote as a company. It reveals your company’s immediate intentions as well as long term goals to let your audience know where you are headed as a business.
Without branding, you will find it hard to devise an effective marketing strategy as well as the theme of your website.
Step #2: Website Creation.
For the last 10+ years, almost every company that has wanted to thrive needed their brand online in order to be successful.
Once you brand your company, the next order of services should be the creation of its website. If you skip this step, then you are bound to lose business opportunities and potential customers.
A website is a 24/7 sales tool. It helps your business grow by making your company or product’s information easily accessible to the audience all around the world.
A professionally designed website with messaging that speaks to your targeted audience can bring in major business. The problem most companies run into is they don’t invest in a website that actually converts. They cut corners everywhere and then wonder why the leads are pouring in.
The website extends your branding and it is the place where many users make their final decision whether to reach out to you.
90% of people do research online before hiring a company. Your website allows them to make sure your services match up with exactly what they need. You need to showcase your best portfolio of services and products with professional copywriting and a design that compels the user to act.
How does branding define the design of your website?
Your company’s logo, name, and messaging all determine how you want the world to perceive you. After branding, your website is the advocate of your image and must present only the best version of you.
Even if you skip branding, you’ll have to brand your website by creating a logo, name, and design for marketing purposes.
You might be short on funds and want to skip the process of branding, but sooner or later, you’ll have to consider branding your company, business or product. It might be hard to digest, but there is no way of marketing your business without branding it first.
As stated earlier, branding determines who you are and who you will be serving with your services in easy to grasp concepts and words. If a prospect can’t find the answers to their basic questions regarding your services, then your investment in branding and website creation all mounts to null.
Afterall why send people to a website that does not convert? You will only be wasting your money on your halfhearted efforts.
This is where most companies fail. They hire companies that are very inexpensive that don’t spend the time or don’t have the skills to properly brand your company and create a website.
And then… they fail to market it at all.
Step #3: Marketing.
Marketing through promotional materials and advertising is the final step. Many people will mistake marketing with branding and vice versa, but there is a significant difference between the two.
Branding initially is a brand’s identity, and marketing is when that identity is used to spread awareness about a company or product via different tools of communication. The terms are so interconnected that it isn’t surprising if people can’t tell where branding ends, and marketing begins.
Marketing evolves with the means of communication and advancement in promotional techniques. Whereas branding can’t be changed as frequently as marketing and most companies prefer to stick to their identity for years to come.
The purpose of marketing is to let people know about the services that you are offering and how it will benefit them in the long run. There isn’t a fixed formula to market your company or brand, and you can either be humorous, serious, or professional while promoting your business.
There are various ways to market your brand, but the most effective way is the one that speaks to the pains and desires of the targeted audience. A marketing strategy with all its intents and purposes aims to bring forth results in terms of sales and profits.
A marketing strategy is the most effective when it is built upon the already established perception of your company and product by your branding. It can not differ from your branding as it will create a drift between who you are and what you are promoting and will make people lose their trust in your brand.
So what happens if you do things out of order?
Marketing without Branding
Issue #1: Your marketing material won’t be consistent.
A product or company’s marketing campaign must be consistent in its digital assets but not in its means.
Consistency in your marketing strategy might seem unnecessary, but when you promote your company’s identity, then the core values should remain the same. If you don’t pay mind to this small detail, then you’ll be developing a campaign that will be riddled with conflicting facts and values, making your targeted audience confused and question your credibility. A lot of this happens in the subconscious. Consistency and simplicity are many times more powerful than complicated and varied messaging.
Issue #2: Your marketing campaign will lack direction.
As noted earlier, branding is an attempt to elicit certain emotions when interacting with your brand. Without branding, your marketing will lack an emotional direction and won’t connect with your audience.
When you hire a marketing team, they will want to know what values you want them to promote as well as what goals you want to achieve through your marketing campaign. All these things are planned during the branding process and should be adhered to strictly while planning a marketing strategy.
Branding defines what your targeted audience is along with your long- and short-term goals. A marketing strategy that follows the direction set by branding is likely to bring in more conversions as compared to the one without it.
Marketing without a Website
Issue #1: Advertising won’t be enough.
A digital ad is only useful when it leads a viewer to your website for them to learn more and take action. An ad has limited space to promote only the core values of your idea, and the rest is the responsibility of your website that entails converting a lead into a customer.
Issue #2: How can a website convert a lead into a customer?
The content you put up on your website determines whether a lead converts into a customer or not. For this, the design of your website page should be attractive and engaging enough to hog even a casual viewer’s attention as well.
Written content, explainer videos, and interactive graphics are the few things that play a crucial role in the success of any sales funnel. That is why one must hire the most competent and professional team to create their business’ website.
Issue #3: Where can people go in the future? Where can they send their co-workers/boss/friends?
Another purpose of a marketing campaign is to make your product or company the talk of the town. It does so by employing techniques of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), writing gripping content, and dealing in referral articles with different sites.
Social media is one of the most popular ways of creating a buzz about your company and product. The more people talk about you, the more successful your marketing strategy will be. But if you don’t have a website, then all that buzz will be for nothing as people won’t know where to direct their curiosity.
Issue #4: You won’t know what is successful.
Believe it or not, a website allows you to track the return on your investment. It can tell you exactly how someone came to you that filled out your contact form, newsletter, or called you. You can figure out how long it took for a visitor to use your services, what made them lean towards your services, and what pages attracted them the most by calculating a lead’s stay on individual pages.
Branding, website creation, and marketing all have a particular place in the service order of any company or product. If you skip or invest too little in any of these steps, your business cannot succeed online.
For instance, without branding your business, you will find it challenging to design your website as well as plan an effective marketing strategy for it. Similarly, without creating a website for your business, your marketing strategy will struggle to meet the demands of digital advertising.
If you want to be successful as a business follow the correct order of services for your company, branding, website creation, and marketing. While you are at it, try to spend optimum time and efforts in making them a success because a halfhearted investment is the same as no investment at all.
Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design and marketing agency from Seattle. Contact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCity, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.