When you plan a website for your brand, you should think first about what you want that website to do for you. A brand website can have many jobs:
- E-commerce: Nowadays, even if you do most of your selling in retail stores, you might want to offer direct sales to consumers who are not in your distribution area, to supplement your retail sales, or as a outlet option for overstocks and irregulars. You might even consider e-commerce for the sale of the excellent market research it can offer you.
- Brand promotions: Arranging promotions with your retail buyers can be a study in frustration. Offering your online shoppers a coupon, running a contest for them, or sending them a premium in the mail when they input a code from your package can be very effective, and when you set it up online, you can turn it around quickly without waiting for printing and distribution.
- Brand awareness: According to Nielsen, consumers trust brand websites more than ads. A good website that really shows your company and your products at their best can drive demand. Make sure that you use blogs, social media, and other content marketing to increase awareness among consumers who don’t search for your product by name.
- Consumer education: Does everyone already know about your product? Your website is your chance to explain why your goods are better than your competitors, to help consumers get the most out of your products, and to disseminate accurate information. You’re not limited to 30 seconds, either. You can provide pages directed toward all kinds of customers at every point of their decision-making process, and you can use multiple messages and kinds of media to appeal to different demographics.
- Consumer engagement: Some shoppers may choose your product because it has the lowest price or the features they want, but some will choose it because they love your brand. Your website gives you a chance to make consumers love your brand.
Your site can do any or all of these things… but only if you plan it that way. When you’re thinking about your design or redesign, you need to ask yourself these questions:
- Who are we talking to?
- What do we want the website to do for them?
- How will we know if we succeed?
We often see brand websites that have no conversion points: no way to measure their effectiveness. It’s easier to build these things in than it is to add them later, so consider these points early in the process.