I’ve heard more than one business owner complain that “My last web designer didn’t get my business.” To me this means that the web designer wasn’t successful in capturing the essence of the business. Immediately, I know that this person needs something more than design and technology. They need brand positioning.
Most owners operate in a competitive environment. So their website needs to convey their unique value, and how they are different than their competitors. And this brand strategy requires a deeper dive.
In my 20 years as a brand consultant and web designer, it’s become crystal clear that a website brings together everything about a brand. But what if you haven’t done any real branding for your business yet? Branding includes a well-defined and articulated mission or purpose, core values, brand promise, and value proposition at the very least.
If you haven’t done the work to bring your brand to life, a website project will expose all of these holes — and this isn’t your web designer’s fault. It simply highlights the fact that you need some help with your brand position. This is how you uncover the unique essence of your business.
Here’s an example.
When a consulting firm hasn’t yet articulated a mission, it’s almost impossible to expect an average web designer to figure that part out. Neither the firm nor the designer has the skills for that, let alone the time or budget.
Have you wondered what to put on your website?
I sure did back when I was starting out as a graphic designer in 2001. My services were widely varied and my niche was too broad. So I couldn’t articulate the value I delivered. The problem was with my basic business strategy. It wasn’t something that any amount of web design would be able to solve. And I was in competition with every other “full-service” graphic design firm in the nation. Sigh.
Now, back to you.
Without a thoughtful brand position, prospects are going to have a hard time “getting” your business. That kind of branding will cost you, of course — anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000. It will include a series of meetings as you work with a branding consultant to clearly define your niche and value proposition. All of which will absolutely pay off, because after that, a writer will have a much easier time crafting persuasive messaging for your website.
The reality is, most web designers and graphic designers can’t pull off successful branding (beyond possibly designing a logo), because they don’t have skills and talent in branding. And branding is grounded in business strategy, which informs marketing strategy, which informs a website. Do you see?
So what is your business strategy? You’re doing yourself and your business a disservice to expect great results from a new website if you don’t know the answer to this question.
Here is how I see it:
Web designers deliver visuals (logos, graphics and layouts) and web coders deliver technology, such as PHP, HTML and CSS in the form of WordPress websites. Both of these are important for a successful website, but you also need someone who’s going to “get” your business, which must be non-negotiable if you want results from your investment.
Branding + design + technology = success.
Hope this clears things up for you.
If you think you might need branding help, check out Mighty’s consulting services here. If you’ve got your brand voice nailed, check out our web packages and give us a call if you want to work with us on your next website.