How to Build a Website That Reflects Your Core Values

The first thing a potential new customer does when they hear about your company is look you up online.

Clearly, websites are a requirement for businesses in this day and age. But just having a website isn’t enough. Your website needs to immediately communicate who you are. Because, as the adage goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Over the past few years, web pages have taken on a modern, characteristic sameness. They all offer the same buttons, the same look, and the same feel.

Sure, certain best practices exist that help visitors effectively navigate (and purchase from!) websites. But an endless stretch of unvarying homepages doesn’t help brands communicate their value or help customers find what they’re looking for.

So, how can your web page design communicate your core values, your brand identity, and/or your unique selling proposition?

Here’s a glimpse into our process for creating brand-centric sites:



How Web Page Design Communicates Core Values, Brand Identity, and More

First, there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to websites. You need your company — your brand — to stand out against your competition.

At Metacake, we work hard to help clients develop a site that’s tailored to their brand and to the experience they want their customers to have. Our process follows three broad steps:

Step 1: Why This Website?

To begin, we ask our clients some seemingly obvious questions: “Why this website?” and “What do you want this website to do?”

By asking questions about why a client wants to build a website, we get to know their brand and their company better. As they respond, they’re telling us the story of their brand. We get a picture of what they’re like, what their staff is like, and what kind of products or services they offer. This allows us to develop a picture of their brand.

And newsflash: Your brand is important.

It may be the most important and valuable thing about your company. It’s what differentiates you from others.

Successful companies define their brands’ core elements and convey those elements at every opportunity, from the tone of their Facebook posts to the interactions of call center employees with customers to the greetings in physical storefronts.

Your brand should carry through to every single customer touchpoint, giving them the same experience every time. That’s how you build something valuable.

Your Website = Your Persona

Since your website is the first place people visit when they learn about you and the first touchpoint they have with your brand, your site should include your brand’s definitive autobiography.

This is your chance to shape how people perceive and interact with your brand. It’s your opportunity to provide a curated experience for them from the moment they hit the homepage. In fact, it’s the only place you have this opportunity.

At a call center or in an online store, there are any number of undefined variables. But on your website, you control the experience. At every scroll and click, you determine what the visitor sees.

What they see must be carefully crafted to communicate your brand message, your core values, and who you are as a company. It must engage customers with your brand, forging a connection with them that keeps them moving forward in your funnel.

Step 2: Define Your Brand

So, your brand is important, and your website needs to communicate your brand. But what is your brand?

The first step in defining your brand is getting a clear understanding of what your company is and what it stands for:

  • What distinguishes your company from others like it?
  • What are its core values?
  • How do you communicate your core values to your customers, partners, and employees?
  • What core elements define who you are?

The trick here is to understand your brand well enough to communicate it well, even in a few short sentences. Believe in your brand and embrace the ideals it represents. It sounds easy, but sometimes it’s difficult to strike just the right note.

Web Design That Meets Your Brand Objectives

If you want a website that reflects your company’s core values, just bringing in a designer or developer to throw code together isn’t enough. You need someone who actually understands branding.

Branding experts understand that your design’s concrete elements convey subtle impressions to website users. Your mark, your logo, your colors, your fonts — these are the visual representations of your brand, and they need to channel your brand’s core values and attributes. After defining key brand elements, the site design should then flow logically from the brand.

Having a team that includes a brand manager, developer, and designer working together to blend all the elements is essential to crafting a brand-centric website design.

Step 3: Now That You Look Good, Say Something!

The most successful brand-centric website designs come when content is primary, not secondary. From the wireframe stage, it’s important to populate each page with its core content. This is where you nail down your brand voice and your site comes alive.

Providing your designer with copy in conjunction with wireframes results in a much more brand-centric design. Wireframes populated with lorem ipsum simply can’t provide the designer with much brand-specific inspiration.

Think about it: You can dress someone to the nines, but unless they start talking, the impression remains incomplete. What are they here for? Who are they? No one knows until a conversation starts.

That’s what copy is — the brand’s voice. Make sure it’s your voice, and it says what you want.

How Web Page Design Can Communicate Your Core Values: Final Thoughts

Don’t just throw a website up because you have to and call it a day. Remember, your website is your digital storefront, and it’s just as important as a brick-and-mortar.

Take the time to figure out who you are as a company, define your brand, and follow these steps to design a website that reflects your core values. Consider how your web page design can communicate your core values, your brand identity, and your USP. Consult experts and leverage their experience.

Your website is your best opportunity to cultivate a relationship with your customers. Don’t let it go to waste!



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