Your website (or other online asset) is more than a source of information, it’s a brand building tool too! Here are a few tips for making the most of your brand online.

No company can exist these days without having some sort of digital presence, whether it’s a website, mobi site, app or any other online asset. Given the number of companies out there competing for eyeballs, the one sure-fire way to get noticed and attract (and retain) customers is by making sure your brand makes a lasting impact and has built in ‘shareability’. Your brand needs to offer a memorable online experience that stands out from competitors but in a way that’s relevant to them and that they can spread and connect around.

Here are a few simple tricks to get your online presence off to a good start and help build your brand at the same time.

1. Get inside your customers’ headspace online

Every brand is different and your brand may have a few very different audience segments worth targeting online – each with its own unique needs, usage patterns and measures of success. For example, a successful visit from a media/blogger might result in an article or post while a visit by a prospective customer might result in a sale. The important thing is that all these audiences relate to your brand in a way that enriches their lives and is aligned with the brand and builds (genuinely) on your brand’s strong points, values and lifestyle attributes. You want to provide your customers with something that is of particular importance or relevance to them that goes beyond just the product or service you are offering, while always staying true to your brand in the process.

2. Don’t get in the way

Make things easy for your customers – brands that make things overly complex or try to dictate their own terms or usage patterns generally irritate customers. You need to deliver your brand but on your customers’ terms. Customers use different devices with different intentions. For example, if they’re searching for you on their mobile phone they’re probably looking for contact details or directions, and not to read the “About us” page. Arranging your content might not seem like an obvious consideration when it comes to your brand, but if you want them to like you, or better yet not hate you, do the thinking for them and give them the information they require without them having to search for it.

The digital space gives us the freedom to think out of the box and push the boundaries a bit. By cleverly leveraging this, your brand will be perceived as forward-thinking and innovative. On the down-side, if you get too clever and playful and things don’t work like people expect them too, you won’t be viewed too favourably by your users. In a nutshell, think outside of the box, but don’t make your customers think too hard.

3. Be consistent

These days a brand often has to live in both the offline and online environments, and usually across a variety of touchpoints too. While the obvious way of keeping things consistent would be with a uniform use of your logo, this isn’t always practical, and sometimes not even recommended. While the online space gives you the freedom to be a bit playful with your brand, from icons in the app tray, to background images, device-dependent logo rendering or even the avatars on your social media profiles, these variations need to be recognisable and consistent and speak with a tone synonymous and consistent with your brand. Have rules that govern how and where your brand appears, right down to the typeface and font size, and stick to them.