Let’s cut to the chase – the internet is crammed, markets are getting saturated, and all we want to do is stand out. While the exact number of websites keeps on increasing from one minute to another, a rough estimate was 1.1 billion in March 2022. The noise is no better at where your customers hang out either – be it in the online world of social media or the offline realm. So how do you stand out?
To answer that question and more, we talked to our Art Director, Vitaly Tsygankov, about standing out in the ocean of brands and the importance of investing in your website.
Let’s take a peek into Vitaly’s brand journey. From taking the bus to successfully interacting with a company’s website. All in less than 5 minutes.
Website is the New Business Card – Make it Look Good
10:24 Bus stop. I listen to some music on my favorite music app and scroll Instagram.
Nowadays, websites have become the online version of business cards. Not having a website falls in the same category as not having a business card at a networking event. You wouldn’t take a person seriously if they didn’t have a card to share. With the same logic, you wouldn’t necessarily develop instant trust for a business without a website. Something feels sketchy, right? At the same time, you might argue that social media presence is the most critical outlet as it allows your target audience to get to know the brand and communicate and associate with it. Sure, but it all depends on the market.
The website still has a unique role. Being so easily lost in the ocean of social content, the website helps prospective clients quickly get to know the brand and/or use the service.
Social Media Presence vs Website
10:25 I hop on a bus and commute to my office. When I see an eye-catching brand ad, I search for the brand on Instagram. If the first impression is successful, I consider learning more about the brand and visiting their website. A few taps and clicks on my smartphone, and all the info I need is there.
The importance of a website is best understood when comparing two brands: one with a website and the other without or with a poorly executed one.
The modern user has extensive experience interacting with brands. Therefore, they are tempted to discover, learn more, compare, and make the best decision based on the information they can acquire. Confronted with two similar choices, it is without a doubt that the user will opt for a brand that instills more trust. In other words, how you present yourself online truly matters.
When it comes to the startup world, regardless of whether you are a pioneer or not, it is unlikely you’ll be alone in the market for long. You must stand out to your investors and clients in such competitive. Of course, you believe in your product and have great ideas, but the most significant difference between startups that succeed and those that don’t boil down to branding.
Website Design Done Right: Why Does It Matter?
Both investors and clients are looking for the best opportunities. For investors, that means investing in a product/service/idea that will yield favorable returns, but it is not only how great your product or service is. Will it sell well? Will it appeal to the target market? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
Trying to stay afloat in a competitive market and develop your startup in a period of time will be tricky if you ignore branding, however frivolous you think it is. You will not appear as a more appealing and safer option if you are not well branded. As such, you might not look like a safe investment option.
Prospective clients will ask different questions before purchasing your product or service. We all have our preferences. These especially come to light when making decisions. In those times, the visual package helps sway decisions by attracting the person and instilling trust in them.
So, what is your audience looking for? Again, depends on the market, but generally speaking, no noise and a fresh package one can understand. You should be aiming for a clean website that delivers a message the audience needs to make an informed decision.
Serious Tip: Dress for the occasion. Branding is… everything.
Website Design & User Retention
10:26 If the website doesn’t open correctly on the phone, then I (and everyone else) hop off, and we forget all about the brand. But if the mobile version is OK, I form my impression from the first screen: is this what I expected or not?
The modern user expects communication messages from the website, which in an obvious way will help them understand whether this brand suits them or not.
The market has already formed the design tradition of entire categories. You will definitely distinguish a financial service website from a charity organization. But this makes the task of differentiating within a category even more difficult. No one wants to be just another brand on a list of identical service sites. And everyone wants to be unique.
On average, a user spends 45 seconds on any given website. You only have a few short moments to grab their attention and get your message across. Their first impression counts, so your task is to provide a balance between design and messaging. You’ve got to be new, fresh, useful, and instill trust in under 1 minute. How?
As much as it is vital to put the best foot forward, it is also imperative not to chase trends and the ‘wow’ effect. Instead, the goal is to be yourself while ensuring that your website visitors enjoy the experience without having to work to get information. So again, straightforwardness is the way to go.
Users Take the Bite
10:27 I liked the logo right away; otherwise, I wouldn’t even look at the website. Live photos and custom fonts convinced me to read the messages carefully, making sure the visual communication matches the text. All of this was mainly subconscious. The brand in question takes responsibility for physical and digital emissions. Even their website design is made as lightweight as possible. And since this is important for me, I’ll go back to Instagram and follow them.
Today, the user, in a blink of an eye, decides whether to buy a burger, watch trailers on Netflix or look at his credit card balance again, as they have long dreamed of a new Fender. And with a few quick taps on a screen can do all of that.
Brands always live in a competitive environment, so their most important task is to struggle for and win the audience’s attention.
With a few seconds to catch the audience’s attention, it is essential to be clear and honest at this point. The brand’s visual language works faster than any words, which is why design is so important, as it will tell more than a couple of hundred words of explanation. The brand’s goal should always be to ensure that their product/service can enrich their lives in the best way possible, and you cannot do it without immaculate design.
10:28 I Played the next track in the recommendations. I wonder, who is this artist? Cool cover. Love that hoodie that the musician is wearing – I need to google this brand.
Website Design For The Win
It might sound like we are parroting by this point, but denying the power of branding and website design is a short trip to losing investors and target audience. Wherever the website fits in your sales & marketing funnels, ensuring it is designed with the target audience in mind should be a must on your to-do list.