Make it Personal

For most websites, success online can be measured based on how the site connects with its users. Regardless of what your business is providing your clients with, your brand personality will determine how your existing and potential clients view your company. First impressions are of upmost importance online, and chances are you won’t get a second chance if a user just isn’t interested. But how you convey your message, through text, images, tone etc can spark a paradigm shift in your users on how they view your business.

The first step in making your corporate identity personal is finding out who your target market is, and what they like.

  • What does your average user look for
  • Why are they coming to you?
  • What are their expectations in your marketing material?
  • What tone conveys your message most effectively to this group?
  • What are the benefits of choosing your business over your competition? How can you inform your potential clients of these benefits?
  • Are they looking for specific information when they come to your website?

The list goes on – basically you want to ensure that you know exactly what your average user wants from you. Take Virgin Mobile as an example. Their target market is cell phone users ages 16-30. So what is it that these potential clients want, what are they used to? Virgin Mobile’s research team determined that this age group is looking for a few key elements, including simple easy-to-read content, great photography, and tons of perks like discounts to their favorite stores. To their target market, this is what makes Virgin Mobile a no-brainer choice over other cell phone providers.

Let’s look at another example, one that’s a bit trickier to come off as anything pleasant. Many families are having to adjust their financial future because of the economy, and certainly not by choice. Key Invest Lending Services has done a great job at making their site personable, and inviting using quick, to-the-point content and a few key images. By using a ‘handwritten’ font, the key information on their homepage is easier to read, and lets the user know right away all of the benefits to choosing their lending advisers. By displaying their awards and associations, it provides the user with a sense of trust and reliability. Making a few adjustments to their brand results in most users’ negative experience of borrowing money into a positive one.

Darford Pet Food also did a great job at reaching out to their target market, being middle-aged women who love dogs. It didn’t take much research to discover that this particular group connects most efficiently through the use of pictures of cute dogs and graphics, before ever looking at the titles within the content. So in order for Darford’s site to be an effective part of their marketing material, cuteness had to take priority over the written content. It was also especially important to show the benefits of their products and programs right away to catch the users’ attention.

Tourism New Zealand did a great job at changing the content based on where the users are from. This is great, considering that different users are likely looking for different information. They provide relative content to what the user may be used to.