What draws you off the pavement and into a store? Is it the elegant signage? The carefully curated window display? The interior colour palette? The promise of a unique shopping experience? Or is it the story that these tell about the brand? In the age of e-commerce, websites are the new shop windows and the best ones know how to use every tool at their disposal – from design and navigation to content, tone and texture. Creating a powerful brand story that delivers an immersive brand experience.
Are websites still relevant in 2023?
Yes. Even more so. Social media has trained people to expect a story from brand and service provider encounters, not a sales pitch. And while social media may be great at offering bite-sized glimpses of your services and brand personality, it can’t tell your whole brand story – who you are, what makes you unique and why you do what you do. But your website can. And should. Your website is not only the central hub of all your digital activities, it’s the place where people go to find you – all of you. Unlike social media, a website visitor is 100% focused on you and your story. You are not another page or handle, so best you reward that small attention span with a compelling story that they will want to engage with and be part of.
It all starts with visual storytelling
Design is not just a pretty font
Visual components like colour, images and infographics, are one of the first things a visitor notices on a website. Used strategically, visual elements can help unpack a brand narrative and take visitors on a guided tour, laying the foundation for a memorable brand experience. Start by asking what story you want to share with the world and how you can use these various design elements to enhance and unpack that story, one element at a time.
Videos aren’t just for adverts
Thanks to social media, videos have become a popular storytelling device. And there are so many ways to leverage their high-impact nature to unpack your brand's story and connect with your audience. A personal greeting from your CEO? Employee backstories? Whatever you choose to do, just remember to keep them short, both from a bandwidth and attention span perspective. Less is more when it comes to using this powerful medium. But use it you should.
Every piece of content is a chapter in your brand story
Put out the welcome mat
The story of your brand begins as soon as someone lands on your home page. Make sure you use the opportunity to grab their attention and capture their imagination. Like a trailer to a great movie, give your visitors just enough information to understand what your brand is about, but more importantly that they are the hero in your brand story.
What are you about? Who is the “us” in this story? Your "About Us" page should tell your full story – why you got into business, what problem you are trying to solve and the struggles you overcame along the way. As Simon Sinek says, “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Remember that your story is unique. People want to hear about your personal story as a brand – building empathy, authenticity and trust with people. This is also a good place to show and tell the stories of your people and what they care about. Seeing the faces and knowing the stories behind your brand is as important as knowing how and where to connect with your brand.
Consider these questions:
Where did your company name come from?
Why do what you do?
Who or what inspired you?
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
Case studies and client feedback
Your case studies and client feedback are key to building trust in your brand and the people your clients will be dealing with. Just make sure you tell the full story – don’t just talk about achievements and outcomes, speak to the challenges you faced and how you overcame them by putting your values and work ethic into practice. Clients need to know they can rely on you to have their back, in good times and bad.
In 2023, a website that tells a story doesn’t just generate leads and complete sales, it acts as an ambassador for your entire brand.