Branding on the Web: A Matter of Balance

A new website design must enforce the brand while appealing to the consumer

Seth Romanow
Compaq Computer Corporation

Designing, redesigning, and deploying websites is part art, part science, part emotion, and part common sense. A site operates on many levels. For many visitors, the site simply serves as a useful tool to check a shipment, evaluate product features, compare prices, or buy a product. On another level, the site expresses the brand by its design, organization, quality, and relevancy of content and corporate communications initiatives. On a third level, users respond to the site based on functionality and performance.

Each of these elements, separately or combined, serves to paint a more complete picture for the customer of the brand than any other medium. It says something about the company if the design doesn’t support the brand image, if the performance is annoyingly slow, if the site is difficult to use, or if the content is not well written and organized. A poor experience will eventually affect brand image, loyalty, in tent to purchase and ultimately sales. The trick is that all of these things must come together, and come together well, to create an optimal user experience.