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Build a Better Website…for Your Customers
By: Janet Kalandranis
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As companies look to create strong brands, having a digital presence is not merely a topic of "Can we afford it?" but more about the cost of entry. Whether your customers are everyday consumers, targeted niche individuals, or other businesses, a website plays a large part in brand perception. Customers are looking to do some preliminary research and answer top-line questions before making a final decision. So does a website make the sale or does the brand?

Customers are more informed than ever. They're looking for brands to feed their need for information much more quickly and deeply than in years past. The idea that a customer would simply pick up the phone or stop by a location to ask initial questions is not always the norm. With busier lives, customers want information to be accessible online and help them determine what brand is right for their needs. This creates an important job for the all-encompassing website. Should it talk about brand messaging, product details, locations? How should it look and be organized?

In order for a website to represent a brand correctly, there’s a balance of design and information that should be considered. Customers expect a website to deliver specifically what they need and the challenge is to please as many as possible while still delivering messages that strengthen the brand. Websites that are too focused on delivering brand initiatives or those that are strictly information-laden don’t reap the benefits of being number one in the mind of a customer. Customers should feel that a company’s digital presence is an extension of the person on the other end of the phone or the associate at the nearest location.

When looking at websites like Kohler.com, a customer is presented with an easy homepage interface that lets them choose the direction of information they would like to receive. However, in this process, any visitor to the site also experiences Kohler as a brand. Instead of being forced to read brand statements, the brand is described in the design, yet interwoven through the information. It’s the idea that these two purposes of a website, when done correctly, can serve to be just as important as associate training.

Whether or not sales happen online or in-store, a digital presence is important in sculpting the consumer mindset. With more competition and less time, customers are using company websites to aid in the purchasing process. A website that delivers the specifics and represents the brand is an expected resource for today’s customer and one that can prove to profitable, too.  


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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