Branding is an essential element in every website. It gives identity to the website and allows users to identify the brand it represents. Each person visiting your website should be able to correctly identify the brand. Coming up with a unique branding is not a simple process. However, there are several branding guidelines to follow in order to make your brand stand out on your website.
1. Logo Placement and Usage
The company logo should be used consistently throughout the website. It should be placed at the exact same position on every page and should contain the same colours. It’s easy to forget about the logo but it carries a lot of weight. Most companies can be identified by their logo only.
You should keep in mind that your brand’s logo is a crucial piece of marketing collateral. That’s why you should protect how it is used and impose restrictions on its usage. This means detailing the colours it should have, the background, size and where it should be placed.
For example, the brand guidelines on slack pay a huge emphasis on the use of their logo. They’ve clearly stated that their Slack hash logo be used on a white background only. If you use it on a different coloured background, you should use the black or white monochrome logo. They’ve taken these measures to ensure that their brand remains recognisable everywhere it is mentioned or featured.
With this in mind, always make sure that the logo is a high quality graphic that isn’t fuzzy. Also pay attention to the colour combinations and stipulate what is acceptable and what isn’t. If your logo doesn’t seem right, you should consider re-branding it.
Colours play a crucial role in branding. In most cases, people already associate certain colours to a specific brand. In this scenario, the company’s brand colours should be used to determine the colour palette for the website. A good example is Coca-Cola. We’ve all learnt to associate their brand with two colours, black and red. Naturally, their website would have to incorporate these colours for the users to identify the brand and feel comfortable with it.
Different colours also represent different emotions so it is important to put this in mind while branding. For instance, pink is associated with feminine qualities, white is associated with light while black is associated with mystery. The colours you choose will communicate a certain message and depict your brand in a specific way. You should stipulate the exact hue of the colours that are used for that brand everywhere. This means detailing the CMYK, hex, Pantone and RGB colour codes to be used every time.
Apart from colours, white space can also be used to complement the colours on a website. Coca-cola users their two brand colours and a lot of white space on their website and it works perfectly. Once you choose colours that represent the brand correctly, make sure that they are consistent and work harmoniously on all pages.
3. Domain Name
The domain name of a website is also part of its branding. In most cases, the best way to go is with the company name or a derivative of the company name. This makes it easy of clients to find the website when they search the internet. You should be careful not to use long or confusing names that customers might forget. It’s also a good idea to use a popular extension such as .com since it’s what users will guess or remember easily. Another option is to have multiple domain names that users might confuse for the main website and have them redirect to the main website. Of course, you’ll need to know how to correctly point multiple domain names to one website and avoid search engine problems while at it. Just make sure that you keep the domain name as simple as possible and ensure that it fits the brand.
4. Fonts and Typography
Consistency in brand is crucial and it also comes down to the fonts and typography used. You should identify and the fonts and typography to be used on all website pages and social media platforms. This is an important part of branding that can be easily overlooked. The use of the same text style makes users identify the brand instantly once they spot it. Of course, it has to be consistent across all web pages and methods of communication. This is a great way to build brand recognition.
Even with a consistent and outstanding logo, colour palette and simple domain name, your website means nothing if it isn’t functional. Functionality plays an important role in ensuring that users are happy with your brand. Some of the things you should check include navigation and load speed. The website should be easy to navigate. Users should be able to get from one point to another without getting lost. Part of navigation includes having a clear, visible menu. This allows users to easily move from one point of your website to another. The website should also load as fast as possible. Slow loading agitates users and they might not visit the website again. There are several things you can do to ensure that your website loads very fast.
Still on functionality, your website should be mobile responsive. Currently, a large number of people own smartphones and other portable devices. A mobile responsive website maintains the integrity of the brand. It ensures that users are able to interact with the website on different devices, from smartphones and tablets to personal computers and laptops. Remember to make the mobile version consistent with the web version.
Once you follow these branding guidelines, you should create a brand guide. This is a document that shows others what your brand is made of and how they can use it legally. A brand guide helps in maintaining the integrity of your brand even when other people use it or refer to it on their own websites or publications. Ensure that the brand guide can be found easily on the website and you can even include a downloadable version.