The Critical Role Brand Plays in Your Website Redesign5 min read
“If you’re building a SaaS company today, you can’t win on features—you have to win on brand.”
This quote comes from David Cancel, the current CEO of Drift, and it’s been ringing in our ears nonstop.
Here’s one of the difficult things about what he’s preaching:
“Brand,” in and of itself, is difficult to measure.
But it is, nonetheless, one of the most important things to consider in this day and age as you look to redesign your website.
Once upon a time, loading your website up with everything that you do and what made you different was enough. Today, companies are starting up left and right providing your same service for your same customers’ needs. And that is David Cancel’s point -- when your “features” are no longer unique, how do you win?
A prime example is Uber vs. Lyft.
Uber was first, set the standard, and executed features flawlessly, while Lyft came later and existed quietly in the background. But as the feature sets became identical, corporate ethos and brand became the only differentiating factors between the two.
When is the last time that you had a conversation with someone on the “technical software” or “UI” differences between Uber and Lyft?
Today, you talk about brand because Uber’s public relations took a tank last year with systemic sexism and harassment, among other scandals. Lyft seized the opportunity to position itself as the warmer, fuzzier, and more ethical brand with charitable giving and a generous donation to the American Civil Liberties Union during the #DeleteUber campaign.
Our point is this:
Let your brand sell for you.
As you look to redesign your website, make sure you are considering brand as thoroughly as you are considering your features or services.
Why Marketers Shy Away From Branding Efforts
Data and hard numbers are a marketer’s best friend—they give us insight to tell us if our efforts are really working. And for most of us who have managers that want “proof” that you’re doing your job, these numbers are the backbone of the very work we do.
But that’s precisely why putting effort toward your brand can be difficult to justify. Brand strength takes a long, long time before it even starts to show it’s working. Even then, it’s still difficult to measure “brand strength.”
Building your brand takes money for presence and outreach with a combination of inbound and traditional marketing tactics, and every minute spent on brand could be spent on something else that grows those numbers we all love.
Don’t get me wrong, though—there are some numbers and facts that have been crunched on this issue:
- Apple, Nike, and Nintendo are the US’s most “emotionally-connected” brands.1
- 6 out of 10 of the top emotionally-connected brands are in technology.1
- 77% of B2B marketing leaders say branding is critical to growth.2
- 78% of consumers believe that companies focused on custom content are more trustworthy than companies who church out generic content.3
- 48% of consumers report that they’re more likely to become loyal to a brand during the first purchase or experience.4
Favored Brands Sell More
With a professional, sharp-looking and modern website redesign and brand that spans your whole marketing and web strategy, you can build credibility and demonstrate the value of your products and services.
Think about how you or your friends make their purchases. In addition to taking reviews into account (like when purchasing on Amazon), a familiar logo can seriously tip the final purchase decision in their favor, right?
There’s nothing sexier or more envious than a sleek, light-gray Apple product. Do you ever see a Dell in movies or TV shows?
MailChimp is the winning brand for email services. If your back is against the wall, can you name 3 of their direct competitors?
Weebly may be taking a turn for the better with their brand, but SquareSpace has a stronger presence and is the preferred web-hosting platform for most users.
These brands didn’t become popular overnight—but they understood they were not going to win on the features that made them different.
Where Can Effective Branding Start? A Web Redesign.
Nowadays, your website will be the first brand impression on someone before they buy from you.
If your brand, from fonts to colors to logos and everything in between, is anything but professional and memorable, your sales will simply fall short.
In fact, 75% of website visitors admit to drawing conclusions about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.
If you’re ready for a brand makeover—you’ll need to consider your values, your vision (both past, present, and future), and get your entire team’s buy-in to complete a brand and website redesign.
“Okay, but what are all my steps?”
We’re not here to sugarcoat anything—building and maintaining a strong brand is a hell of a lot of work. But even if the fruits of your labor don’t show within a few months or even a year, we promise it will be worth it in the long run when your brand has a strong following and lots of evangelists.