This question comes up a lot in our discovery process. “I don’t really have branding or a brand guide. Do I need to have a branding guide to design and develop a website for my business”? If you’re wondering what in the world a branding guide is, keep reading!
Every branding agency on the planet will tell you to start with your brand. A lot of website agencies are brand-first, or do a lot of branding discovery before entering into the website process. Many times it does make sense to start with branding, but let’s face it, sometimes you might need the sales or have an opportunity where you have to do something fast so you can start selling. Those sales could allow you the budge to do a full branding discovery. So what do you do?
Let’s start with the all-important question: What is your brand?
Aside from being a really popular buzz-word, your brand is WAY more than a logo. Your logo is a representation of your brand. It’s one ingredient in the recipe. But the branding recipe is how you communicate your company to the world, or more importantly, your potential clients.
Branding encompasses your voice, style, appearance, heart, passion, and the reason you do what you do – that’s all part of your brand. Your colors, font/type choices, competitive analysis and many other things will play into your brand.
If you don’t have a target audience, a way of saying things, and an appearance, your website definitely won’t perform as well as it could if you had those things in place.
Okay, I get it, but do I need a full-blown brand discovery to build a website?
In a perfect world you’d be able to easily afford both, but let’s face it, it typically doesn’t work out that way. We approach startup websites and/or small businesses without branding a little differently if you don’t have an existing branding guideline.
We start with a basic discovery process. This identifies content lanes, voice, and target audience. We can even develop a logo for you to get the ball rolling. We walk you through some basic discovery exercises and help you get a 1.0 brand out there. All of that foundational information plays into your website content, so it’s necessary whether you have full-blown branding in place or not.
So, can I address the branding later?
Yes, definitely. We lay the foundation upfront to ensure that you have a very successful website. Later, when your business starts “killing it,” we can bring in one of our many branding partners to help you really pull everything together. Once you get a fantastic brand created, we can turn around and re-apply to your website.
Branding is valuable to your business, no question, but in the end, it isn’t necessary to get the website ball rolling. Don’t let the absence of a branding discovery stop you from having an engaging website. Get your business moving, develop your presence, and then adjust as your branding comes together.
Let us know how we can help you in your journey. Whether you have a brand guideline or not we can definitely help get you online with a professional and performant website. Don’t let the process rob you of the fun – work with us and we’ll make it FUN and EASY!
Are you struggling with your brand voice or your website? Connect with us so we can help!