Skip to main content

What Is The Connection Between Branding, Your Website and Customer Growth?

Update July 9, 2014 - Grace wants me to make it clear that lets you put your logo into your invoices. I told her that I don't endorse anyone. And they aren't paying me to write this post. However at this point, I now know who they are! 

To be fair to Grace, because she has been so persistent, I did do a brief Google Search on "Lifehacker" and "Freshbooks," because Lifehacker is what I read when I want to know how to do something. That also is not an endorsement, just a fact. As it turns out, Adam Dachis recommended back in 2011, and underneath the article somebody commented that Freshbooks is good if you want to "save logos, templates and client info." Back in 2009, Sarah Rae Trover, writing at Lifehacker as well, actually did recommend Freshbooks

The issue with Freshbooks, from my point of view, is that they charge money. Back in 2013, Mashable had an article with dozens of free tools (I don't know if they are still free.)

I don't do all that much freelancing, so perhaps I'm not Grace's audience. I do work with freelancers, and frankly we don't care what the invoices look like. 

Anyway, I think I've exhausted my intro to this piece by now. You can still read the Q&A below. If you are a freelancer, good luck and G-d-speed! Do you hate administrivia as much as I do????



The other day I got a nice email from Grace at FreshBooks asking me to answer some branding questions. (Good marketing tactic, by the way - it got them a mention!*)

Here's the question:

Share your thoughts on the importance of a brand's appearance when building a customer base: 

  • How does the look and feel of a site impact a potential customer's purchase? 
  • Do the tone and voice of your blog match the product/service? 
  • Is the customer experience polished and professional from start to finish?
Step one - get clear on the four distinct concepts involved.
  • Brand appearance vs. website aesthetics: In this context, "brand" and "website aesthetics" are used relatively synonymously. Technically though, most people would think of the former as the logo, and the latter as a design scheme that can change regardless of what one does with the brand's name and associated visual symbol.
  • Website experience vs. customer acquisition: This is the difference between someone liking your website and someone making the leap to actually buying something from you. In this post we will talk a little bit about the significance between these two things.
Step two - a general sketch of my personal opinion:
  • The #1 consideration for an online consumer is whether the merchant is safe to buy from. In the past the top spot might have gone to the cheapest merchant or the merchant offering the most features. Today, in light of how busy people are and how prevalent cybercrime is, I'd argue that trustworthiness is key. (Aesthetics, in my view, matter very little when it comes to making a purchase.)
  • From the perspective of trustworthiness, the website needs to establish that a caring, helpful merchant is behind the virtual wall. Consistency of voice and quality of experience contribute to a positive impression on that front. Those two things are also fundamental to the brand.
  • Branding helps to drive the customer to the website in the first place. This includes every activity associated with the business, not just the marketing activities. If you do it, it's part of who you are - and thus a part of your brand.  
Thanks for the opportunity to answer these questions. If you're reading this, feel free to send me some more. I'll do my best to answer them, if they seem relevant and if I have time.

*No endorsement expressed or implied. All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my agency or the federal government as a whole.

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …