When it comes to building a memorable brand, one thing is clear: Your store has to look the part. Check out this post to see how you can improve your brand using design.
Building your brand is important. Really important. It can help build an emotional connection between your business and your customers, humanize your company and really set you apart from the competition.
So where do you start building your brand? Two of the most basic parts of branding are finding your target audience and keeping everything consistent. One Volusion merchant who really excels in leveraging these key aspects is eKids Rooms.
eKids Rooms has a brand that’s both unique and appropriate to their target audience. They specialize in children’s bedroom furniture, particularly bunk beds and novelty beds that look like princess castles and fire trucks. (Basically, every kid’s dream bed.) So, using eKids Rooms as an example, let’s take a look at how you can use your target audience and design consistency to build a memorable brand of your own.
Find your target audience
The first step is to ask yourself, “Who’s going to visit my site and who buys my products?” You need this information before deciding how to create a brand that will engage customers and set you apart from other companies in your industry. The key is not to create a brand that just appeals to you personally, but to think outside yourself and look at your business through a customer’s eyes.
Often times, when we ask our clients who their target audience is, we hear the phrase “Men and women, ages 0 to 100.” And although there’s a time and place for such inclusiveness, building your brand isn’t it. Instead, you’ll want to focus in on the people who will actually be interested and excited about your products. The more specific, the better.
Let’s look at eKidsRooms. Their target audience is the parents of young children; but more than that, it’s parents who want affordable furniture but aren’t willing to compromise on fun and flair. Getting to know the specifics of what your audience likes and wants is invaluable information when coming up with a direction for the design.
To speak directly to this audience, eKids Rooms does a few things very well:
- They use eye-catching colors and photos
- They advertise value-based callouts like “We Offer Free Shipping” and “See What’s on Sale”
- They use fun and upbeat language to make the shopping experience seem friendly and accessible
Consistency, or making sure all elements match up and work well together, is one of the foundations of good branding. If a graphic, font or color is used on one page that isn’t found anywhere else, it can create a confusing shopping experience, and a confused customer isn’t one who’s likely to buy anything.
eKids Rooms achieves great consistency in their branding by using the same color palette throughout their site (blue, coral, lime green, brown and a little yellow), using the same set of fonts and by repeating graphic elements like the cloud shape and the illustrated woodgrain texture.
So how do you achieve the same effect? A good first step is choosing a color scheme. To get started, select a few colors that complement each other and convey the mood you’re trying to create. A good rule of thumb is to choose no more than four colors in your palette, and to stay within your chosen set of colors on every page of the site. Too many different colors will compete with each other and muddle up your brand’s identity.
Typeface choice is another huge piece of the branding puzzle. eKids Rooms uses rounded, childlike typefaces that are also unique and bold. Like with your color scheme, you don’t want to use too many different fonts in your brand scheme.
Being consistent with font size and color is also very important to looking professional. Make sure the text on your “About Us” page or any SEO text in your categories uses a consistent font, point size and color as the rest of your site. For example, if eKids Rooms had a page with all 24pt purple Comic Sans text, it would look like a mistake, even though these choices may fit the “childlike” target audience.
When deciding how to design and brand you store, keep in mind that the key is to be consistent and unified in your choices. Whether that means defining your color scheme, reigning in some inconsistent fonts or giving your store a brand new look, taking time to build your brand or hiring some design help is a huge step to a running successful store.
What are some brands that you feel are doing it right? Let us know what you think in the comments!
-Camri Hinkie, Volusion