In one of the standout scenes of the 2000 film American Psycho, Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale) is overcome with near-crippling insecurity about what was once the quintessential king of brand identity: his business card. While inspecting a colleague’s, he examined it enviously —
“Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh, my God. He even has a watermark.”
For better or worse, there was a time when the business card (and the person who delivered it) carried the burden of establishing a brand’s perception for any company that wasn’t dropping boatloads of cash on advertising or sponsorships. Together they either built credibility or destroyed it.
Today, the business card has a much-needed companion to help lighten the load — the corporate website. In a recent study, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed suggested that a company’s website was the number one contributor to their first impression of a brand. This comes as no surprise given that my first stop when considering doing business with a company is their corporate website (I imagine yours is no different). Is it professional in appearance? Do they offer relevant information about their service offering and company leadership? Is there a physical address listed or are they working from their grandmother’s basement?
Somehow, in spite of this knowledge they’ve gained through their own buying behavior, we continue to encounter clients who neglect one of their most influential brand assets or mistakenly minimize its role in impacting the bottom line. Many say they don’t have the time or money to devote, while others can’t bear the thought of trying to gain consensus from the organization’s key stakeholders on a refined site architecture, updated design and compelling content. As such, it falls to the bottom of the to-do list or into the all-too-common category of “we’ll make it a priority next year.”
I encourage you to make it a priority now. And as with any worthwhile relationship, we wouldn’t ask you to do something we’re not willing to do ourselves.
The blog post you’re reading sits squarely within Spire’s recently renovated website. A website we’ve spent countless hours poking, prodding and tweaking to ensure that when potential clients arrive they quickly become confident we’re a competent and trustworthy agency.
While not exhaustive, here are a few key questions we considered along the way:
Do the existing imagery, copy and overall layout reinforce our brand positioning and set us apart from our competition?
How is our primary audience currently using our site? What can we change to improve their experience?
Is poor functionality of the site contributing to frustration for users and impacting the credibility of our brand?
Is it time to convert the site to a “responsive” layout so the user experience on mobile and tablet devices is aligned with our clients’ behavior?Consider this a gentle nudge to your organization to analyze, optimize and, most importantly, prioritize. And know that we’re here to help and certainly capable — even if our business cards don’t contain a watermark.