Table of Contents
- Why B2B Companies Need Strong Website Branding
- Essential Website Branding Elements
- 1. Nail the User Experience
- 2. Be Transparent About Who You Serve (And Who You Don't)
- 3. Build Trust with Social Proof
- 4. Incorporate Brand Narrative and Personality
- 5. Focus on Your Target Customer's Pain Points
- 6. Utilize an Easy-to-Follow Site Structure
- 7. Employ Consistent Branding On- and Off-site
- How to Leverage Amazing Website Branding to Build a High-Converting Site
Ryan's experience ranges from higher education to SMBs and tech startups. When not doing digital marketing, he's sure to be enjoying some kind of nerdy pastime.
More than likely, you been to at least one website that made you think, "wow, this is awesome!"
But you've also been to a lot more that were just frustrating.
You see, Website Branding is about a lot more than logos and colors. Branding is more than aesthetics, and the same is true for your website.
Think about your favorite brands; their colors and logo are why you recognize them.
But that's not why you like them!
Think about your favorite websites: not the ones you've looked at for design inspiration for your brand. That's not a fair comparison. When most people are looking for websites they "like," it's almost always graphical.
I'm talking about websites you love to use!
For example, have you ever tried to navigate Apple TV app? Compare that with Netflix, and it's not even close. The Apple app is too confusing to find anything, while Netflix is, well, easy.
That's why "it just works," was one of Steve Job's best quotes - because that's how Apple felt compared to a PC.
How does your website feel to your customers?
It may be beautiful. But how does it feel?
Your website must be more than aesthetically pleasing. It must radiate your brand. It must feel like a natural extension of the DNA of your brand.
If it doesn't, it will always feel like an afterthought to the worst possible crowd: your customers.
Let's look at some examples that got it right!
Why B2B Companies Need Strong Website Branding
Branding is the characteristics that give your company a personality, a voice, and unique attributes that set you apart from other companies. As it pertains to website design, great branding will effectively master a look, feel, aesthetic, and messaging that tells your customer who you are and why you deserve to work with them.
The companies that build these types of websites don’t always need a massive budget because of two reasons: they know who their customer is and they want to help them solve their problems.
Here are a few of my favorite website branding and design examples from companies that do this exceptionally well.
Essential Website Branding Elements
To guide our exploration of our list of strong website branding examples, we’ll discuss seven essential elements you need to have a strong site branding. If you can build a website that incorporates all these elements, you’ll have a site with top-tier branding.
The elements, which we’ll discuss in more detail below, are:
- Nail the User Experience
- Be Transparent About Who You Serve (And Who You Don’t)
- Build Trust with Social Proof
- Incorporate Brand Narrative and Personality
- Focus on Your Target Customers’ Pain Points
- Utilize an Easy-to-Follow Site Structure
- Employ Consistent Branding On- and Off-Site
1. Nail the User Experience
The first thing you need to master when you create your website is the user experience. To achieve this you’ll need to understand your customer and take appropriate steps to design a site that gives them exactly what they want.
Reebok has an awesome UX with messaging and imagery that conveys two things:
- They’re a fresh, trendy company
- They want to help you be trendy, too
Their customer is someone with one goal: to feel good about themselves. They’re trying to do this by wearing awesome sneakers, whether to look more fashionable or to look more fashionable while participating in a sport. It’s about status. And Reebok understands that, so they have a website that leverages bold website content and intriguing video and images.
2. Be Transparent About Who You Serve (And Who You Don’t)
No experience is universal. No brand is universal, either. By trying to simultaneously target all the markets under the sun, you all but guarantee that you’ll end up with a bland and boring site that attracts no one.
Alternately, you’ll find yourself inundated with unqualified leads that you need to waste your time sorting through to find the diamonds in the rough. Instead, you should focus on building a site that tells visitors who you are in a way that weeds out unqualified leads and attracts only your perfect customers.
Sometimes, it’s so difficult to know whether or not a product, service, or platform is the right fit for you. For example, there are a lot of people who want to build a new website, fast. That’s why a big part of our branding for SprocketRocket is about working with HubSpot and our beliefs in buyer journey websites.
We want to attract someone who will purchase HubSpot (non-negotiable) and wants to increase or improve their lead generation efforts. To avoid attracting the wrong customer, we use specific messaging to explain what we are and what we’re not. We also ask qualifying questions upfront. And instead of having the visitor fill out a form with a ton of personal information, we use a series of yes or no pop-ups.
3. Build Trust with Social Proof
People are hesitant to engage with a product, service, or brand unless they know it works. If they’ve never worked with you before, the surest way to show them you can walk the walk is to provide credible examples of customers already crushing it with your help.
In short, your visitors are more likely to engage with your site and your brand if they see proof that others have already done so. The idea is to build trust and authority… without bragging.
There isn’t a single potential customer that doesn’t ask, as soon as they learn about your offer: How do I know this will work for me?
Baker, the leading CRM for the cannabis industry, answers that question with a lot of social proof and strong statistics. The show the revenue people earn using Baker, the average conversion rates customers can expect, as well as how their average order size can increase. They also share various dispensaries that use Baker and personal testimonials from some of those current customers.
As a result, any potential customer will believe that Baker is an authority in the cannabis industry that they can trust.
4. Incorporate Brand Narrative and Personality
Your company has a personality and an identity. What’s more, your brand has a story. There’s a reason you exist—you were trying to solve a problem. Guess what? Your target audience is grappling with that same problem right now. What better way to connect with them than sharing your story?
Incorporating an engaging story with authentic messaging and branded imagery is a great way to attract the right potential customers to engage with your site.
You’ve probably been to a few websites that use fun and colorful iconography and illustrations. It’s a popular tactic in website design to make sites more engaging. But if you want to use this approach to introduce your customer to your brand, you also need to tell them a story. You can’t just throw some fun imagery up there and call it a day. You need substance, which is why I love the Klientboost website.
It’s easy to understand, very quickly, what Klientboost does (improve PPC performance) expertly aligning effective copy and vibrant images to tell their brand story. I want to work with them after coming to their website because I have a strong sense of who they are and what they’re going to help me accomplish.
5. Focus on Your Target Customers’ Pain Points
We touched on this a little in the past bullet, but your customers are looking for sites like yours because they have a problem they need to solve. Building your site to highlight those pain points will:
- Show your target customers that you understand their plight
- Give you the opportunity to demonstrate how your brand can make their lives easier.
At the beginning of any buyer journey, a potential customer is looking to solve a problem. They’re not ready to buy, which is why companies that are aggressive about the sale and use brand-centric language alienate their target audience. They don’t care that you’re the #1 in your industry and they’re not going to respond to fluffy or vague language about what you do.
Customers don’t care. They want to know that you can help them. And Qualio, a quality management software, earns the trust of prospective customers with messaging that reflects their challenges. Since their target customer is people in quality assurance roles, they address issues such as preparing for audits and improving the quality of medical devices.
Because when one of these professionals first seek a QMS, these are the problems they’re looking to solve. By focusing on this, Qualio positions itself as a trusted brand with a lot of expertise, instead of a company trying to sell you a platform.
6. Utilize an Easy-to-Follow Site Structure
Have you ever clicked onto a website, become overwhelmed with the number of graphics or menu items, then simply clicked off and looked to see if another brand could get you the informaiton you needed in an easier, more direct manner?
Spoiler alert: You don’t want to be that website.
Instead, you want your site to be like a roadmap for your visitors: So well-laid-out that it makes it easy to find what they need in seconds.
PayPal has a ton of competition now, from apps like Venmo and Zelle to the ability to pay using Apple Pay and Facebook. However, a lot of these sites focus on the social aspect of paying for things, which PayPal doesn’t do. In contrast, the PayPal site is lean and easy to use.
It’s a simple experience that personally, saves me a ton of time. I hop on, I log in, I deposit funds from my Etsy store, or I send money to one of my writers, and I’m done. I’m PayPal’s target customer because I don’t care about a NewsFeed that shows payments going back and forth between users (Venmo) or paying from my iPhone (Apple Pay). I want to get stuff done.
That’s why on PayPal’s site, there’s no fluff, no unnecessary bells, and whistles. It’s just a simple and straightforward experience. In my opinion, this is an excellent way for PayPal to express that they’re a secure, reliable solution without unnecessary frills.
7. Employ Consistent Branding On- and Off-Site
Even if your site follows the first elements to the T, there’s still a chance you’ll stumble at this final hurdle. The truth is, many of your site visitors will encounter your brand long before they make it to your website. They may see your social media channels, drive past a physical location if you have one, or encounter one of your paid ads.
The only way to ensure you’re getting maximum benefit out of all your disparate efforts on and offline is to ensure you maintain consistent branding across all your efforts. Consider imagery, messaging, color scheme, and more. Leave customers with no doubt about whether or not they’re interacting with your brand, regardless of where they find you.
Example: Planet Fitness
Planet Fitness nails branding consistency to the point that their color scheme might be one of the most recognizable in modern advertising and marketing. But Planet Fitness nails their consistency beyond just their brand color palette. Let’s take a look at how.
Planet Fitness’s target customer is the Average Joe looking to adopt healthier habits. They position themselves against more “intimidating” gyms, presenting themselves as friendly, approachable, and accessible.
Note the consistency between the hashtag in their Twitter bio and the slogan on their website homepage. The voice also matches between the homepage copy and their Twitter profile, using slang terms like “fitacular” and “glow.”
In short, if a customer encounters anything from a print ad to a Tweet to the website homepage, they will know undoubtedly that they are engaging with Planet Fitness.
How to Leverage Amazing Website Branding to Build a High-Converting Site
Know your customer. It’s common advice that I guarantee you’ve heard. You’re thinking that’s great, Melissa, but how does that turn into a high-converting website?
In my experience, it’s with an in-depth website strategy and a strong investment in website content. You need to fall in love with your customer’s problem and identify when they buy, why they buy, and why they won’t buy from you. You need to tap into their fears and motivations.
The Website Transformation Toolkit is exactly what you need to transform your website into a conversion machine. The kit will help you craft a highly compelling buyer journey, develop stronge content, and build a more intuitive, natural site flow. You can access the templates we use accessing the Website Transformation Toolkit here.
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