I’ve recently started working with a new retail client. They do manufacturing and sales of trophy-type products. They are making some mistakes that will be easy to repair and will make for a more cohesive brand. I thought I’d share some of this because I’m betting some of you are making some of these mistakes as well.
When I first started doing the background research on them, it was a challenge. They serve two distinct markets and on their website, you have two options on the main screen (picture the option of turning left if you are one type of customer or turning right if you are another). This is fine. But left and right were branded completely differently from the home page. The e-commerce page was its own look as well!
Then, because we are big on video and storytelling here, and because they are craftspeople of sorts, I went looking for their story. Incredibly dry and hard to find. I did a Google search and found out they have a promotional video on YouTube but NOWHERE on their site. Why? Anything you can do to make customers appreciate the artistry in your product should be front and center! There was no link at all to the YouTube video.
Blog? They had one. I found it by doing a search of one of the owner’s names because I was looking for a bio. It isn’t a personal blog, but a company one. As a customer, I would have never found it. It was nowhere on their website. And, of course, it had a completely different look and feel from every other page I had been on.
Next up, social media. Twitter? No. Facebook page? No. Their owners were not on LinkedIn (and many business people would be interested in their products-as would brides-to-be on the other sites).
1. Make sure your branding is cohesive. One look across all digital and print media is far more professional.
2. Make sure you are using marketing tools effectively. No point in blogging or shooting video if no one can find it. Make your online information easy to find.
3. Get active on at least one major social networking site. For a business like this, I would recommend Facebook (and owners should definitely be active on LinkedIn).
Most of these changes would involve working with a Web designer over a week long period. The content is there. It just needs to be pulled together. Are you struggling from the same issues. We’ve got some good conversations about branding and website design going on in our forums.
by Steven Schlagel