It's hard to believe that in this day and age, some companies still don't have a (strong) online presence. Some don't even have a website! For some out-of-this-world reason, companies that neglect their online presence have not yet realized that most customers visit their websites before making a purchase. A website has a far more extensive reach than any other form of advertising and is (or should be) often at the center of a business' communication strategy.
A Brand is...
One of the main reasons any company should have an online presence is to increase its credibility and position itself properly. There are zillions of brands offering similar products or services out there, and a well-designed website (as part of a holistic digital strategy) is crucial to differentiate between brands and communicate vital information.
Let's take water, for example. The product is basically the same all over the world. The only thing that differentiates it is branding. These brands' communication strategy and touchpoints should reflect their positioning clearly and provide a relevant and appropriate brand experience.
Evian focuses on its origins, exalting its freshness and pureness. This really nice short video below conveys different brand characteristics and values with a well-humored message.
Perrier is all about lifestyle. The brand positions its water as being sexy, hype, and bubbly.
Their websites (which are far away from being great) are an essential marketing tool that helps make their positioning clear.
... what its consumers think it is
What do consumers think about a brand when navigating its website? What feelings does it evoke? Brand perception is the sum of these thoughts and feelings when consumers hear, see, or interact with a brand's touchpoints. A website is one of the most significant opportunities for consumers to interact with their favorite brands and feel connected to them. The ways content can be structured, presented, and interacted with online nowadays are overwhelming and, if well done, can ignite engagement and boost positive brand perception.
But the opposite can also occur. Not even the most well-planned digital strategy can succeed with a website that looks amazing but can't be used. Similarly, when a website works flawlessly but still looks like it did 20 (or even 5!) years ago. The whole thing has to work AND look remarkable — hand in hand with the brand positioning and corporate identity.
For example, a machine manufacturer with a state-of-the-art website that looks and feels fantastic and works seamlessly will most likely be perceived as cutting-edge. And its products, therefore, also. If they are, in fact, or not any good is another question entirely.
On the other hand, its competition (right image) decided not to invest much in its website, videos, photos, 3D renderings, etc. In your opinion, which brand stands more for technology, innovation, and digitalization? This first impression can determine a company's success or failure.
Stir it up! Our recipe for success
As experts, some of our favorites when designing our products for our clients include information architecture, content plans, user research & usability testing, content production, motion design, user experience & user interface design, design systems, coding & SEO strategies, and much more.
When talking about UI, specifically, to help your brand stand out and achieve its tangible and intangible objectives, we rely on visual hierarchy through grouping, size, color, and typography; motion design; augmented reality, fantastic imagery and audio; storytelling; and spot-on copywriting, for example. Custom illustrations are another excellent way to help a brand become unique and unforgettable. Our illustrator Marília Cichini wrote an article that sheds some light on this for you.