Does Your Website Reflect Your Brand’s Personality?
Creating a business website might end up being good for your SEO and local search results, but it will fall short if it doesn’t reflect your brand personality. Your brand’s unique personality can attract the right customers to your business and impact your bottom line. But it also helps differentiate your business from the competition.
According to Investopedia, brand personality is a set of human characteristics attributed to a brand name. This is ultimately how a customer relates to you and can help define who you are as a business. So while it may seem straightforward to figure out your brand personality and identity, it can be harder to translate that into an online presence with your website.
Unfortunately, you don’t have much time to make an impression with your website. According to the NN Group, the average website visit lasts less than 60 seconds, but the first 10 seconds are the most important in how your website will be perceived.
Does your website pass the first impressions test? Take a few moments to audit what your own website is reflecting to see if it passes the brand personality test. Here are some questions to consider, and brands that built websites with personality in mind.
Does It Align with Your Messaging?
Your website’s brand personality won’t resonate unless it aligns with your business’s core messaging. If your message is sobering and involves a serious issue like social justice, it’s wise not to use quirky graphics and fluffy copywriting to get your message across. Your design, colors and writing should reflect that same sobering message to immediately give the right impression.
On the other hand, if your company wants to be surprising and show off its know-how without taking itself too seriously, you can use bright colors and visuals to draw your reader in. For example, HubSpot used LEGO characters on a recent landing page to convey the message that their content marketing and sales company doesn’t take itself too seriously. The visual and copy clearly shows they have fun, but still generates leads and closes sales deals. HubSpot also includes a call-to-action (CTA) to encourage people to sign up for their valuable tips.
Use images, copy, colors and graphics to help create the brand personality you’re looking for that captures your audience’s attention.
Does It Reflect Your Unique Voice?
Your messaging and voice might overlap, but are largely two different things. Your messaging is all about the point you’re making, while your voice is about how you’re saying it.
Too many businesses and bloggers alike fail to really develop their voice and leave a lasting impression on their audience. Ask yourself if a visitor would know they were on your website based on your writing or how you’re using the latest trends in web design alone. If not, then you need to do more to develop your voice.
Gather inspiration from Old Spice – you may have noticed how the seemingly run-of-the-mill cologne company turned itself into a viral sensation. Their slogan, “The man your man could smell like” turns Old Spice guy Isaiah Mustafa from masculine to hilarious and charming. Their website encourages you not to “smell yourself short” and offers fun videos, coupons and swag.
Image: Old Spice
You don’t have to be funny and clever like Old Spice to develop your voice. But consider how all of the elements of your website are working together to create the voice you’re looking for.
Does It Resonate with Your Audience’s Personality?
How well do you really know your audience? Maybe you’re trying to target college students working to pay down student loans, but who still value their free time and lifestyle. Your online content, from blogging, videos, design and overall voice and messaging, should align with that type of customer personality.
Take a look at what Zipcar does to help align themselves with their audience’s personality. Their customers are looking for short-term solutions to their problems and want more control over those solutions. Some of their customers might want to rent a truck to move furniture, or get a sports car to get out of the city for a few hours before returning it. One of Zipcar’s campaigns features a college student trying to shove a couch into a flatbed truck.
It’s easy to identify with Zipcar’s copy, “Who needs movers?” and take in all of the wacky reasons their customers want cars and trucks by the hour.
Do Your Images and Copy Complement Each Other?
Your images and copy should complement each other and work in tandem to reflect your brand’s personality. Snappy, sophisticated copy should use images that match.
REI uses clever copy catering to outdoor enthusiasts with lifestyle images that make you want to dive right into the pages of their website. Their slogan, “Reimagine the Way You Camp” is followed by images of campers relaxing, indulging their outdoor foodie flair and enjoying hot coffee together. REI also uses to-the-point copy so shoppers know what they’re getting. “Snow Peak redefines roughing it. Change how you experience the outdoors with modern designs built to endure.”
Use your own product or lifestyle photos to convey your message, or rely on stock footage libraries to find suitable shots. A site like Pexels offers royalty-free images that you can use for commercial use. Whatever shots you use, there are ways to help enhance your brand, depending on how you use them.
Is It Consistent and Reliable?
Look for consistency in your web copy, design and even in the user experience. Your audience should be able to come to your site, know exactly what they’re getting and find their way around no matter how long it’s been since they’ve visited.
Building a consistent and reliable brand can build trust and help your audience feel confident with your product, service or blog. That type of consistency is especially important in industries that typically don’t garner a lot of trust.
For example, car brands don’t always enjoy a reputation for excellence. However, Honda built their brand around a reputation for reliability and cost-effectiveness. But they don’t just make cars. When a shopper goes to the Honda website, they immediately know by the product photos that Honda manufacturers the reliable cars they’re looking for, along with motorcycles, lawn mowers, aircraft and even racecars. Honda manages to stay consistent with their brand’s messaging for reliability while raising awareness around their other products.
Is It Mobile-Ready?
According to Entrepreneur, only 64% of small businesses have a website, and most reported needing a big technological upgrade. Nearly a quarter of businesses said their websites weren’t compatible with mobile platforms. This is bad news for business and your website traffic. In 2015, Google announced it would give websites optimized for mobile preference in ranking.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be tech savvy to create a mobile-ready website. Your website builder or hosting provider should offer a wide variety of mobile-ready templates that are already optimized for smartphones. But it’s also crucial that your mobile version reflects your brand’s personality, as mobile searches now outrank desktop searches.
Focus on the user experience of your mobile site by ensuring its navigation is intuitive and friendly, your images and graphics load quickly, and your copy is easy to read. While you don’t necessarily need to worry about your website’s mobile version looking exactly like the desktop version, it should still reflect its core elements for a consistent user experience. Buzzfeed is a good source of inspiration for a mobile site that is well-executed and reflects the brand personality.
Make it easy for your mobile audience to understand exactly what your brand is all about, even if it’s condensed on a small screen. In Buzzfeed’s case, their interesting and quirky articles like “My Dad Doesn’t Say ‘I Love You’ But He Makes Great Coffee” immediately tells the reader what kind of content Buzzfeed produces. Meanwhile, the user would have a similar experience if they visited Buzzfeed using their desktop.
Does It Feel Authentic?
Today’s consumers are savvy enough to know if your website’s brand personality feels authentic. One way to make sure its authenticity aligns with your business is by creating a brand story that builds trust. Your own brand story could be a compelling “About Us” page detailing a personal struggle, how you saw a need in the marketplace and worked incredibly hard to fill it, or how you give back.
Tom’s authenticity is immediate and obvious from the first moment you land on their website. Their copy “With every product you purchase, Toms will help a person in need” alerts you to their core mission immediately. At the same time, they have plenty of eye-catching product photos to remind you that their shoes and clothes are also worth wearing. As you scroll through their products, you can also read more about their brand story and charitable efforts. One of their projects resulted in over 500,000 people having their sight restored, and includes a video to explain their mission and how they did it.
You don’t have to be a charitable business or blogger to create a brand story based on authenticity. Rely on what makes your story unique and embrace it.
Your website is an incredible opportunity to convey the message of your brand’s unique personality. Spend some time identifying your core values and how you want to be perceived by the public, and build your brand personality and website simultaneously to create the online presence your audience is looking for.
How does your website reflect your own brand’s personality? Let us know by leaving a comment below: