Ensure your community has a brand

by Martin Reed on 3 July 2007 in Articles

Brands are important – they are what separates one service or product from another. Your website should be no different; it should have a brand and a positive brand association to go with it.

The importance of branding

The importance of brandingThere are billions of websites online and this number is constantly growing. I have already written about the importance of differentiation – branding helps you do just that.Your community needs a strong brand if it is to be remembered by those that visit.

Repeat visitors are crucial to your success – if your brand is strong enough, your site will be remembered and people will return time and again.

Recently I heard someone talking about the Orange Savings Account – I had never heard of this product before, but presumed it was from ING Direct due to the way their brand is associated with savings accounts and the colour orange.

If your brand is weak or unclear, it is likely that your site will be forgotten or passed over during the journeys of the average Web surfer – do not allow this to happen.

Effective branding methods

  • Colours
  • Logos
  • Personality

Colour association with brandsThe image on the left is of a red soda can. What brands spring to mind when you see this image? My bet is that amongst your first thoughts is the ‘Coca-Cola’ brand – this is due to their association with the colour red.

Colour is an extremely strong branding method. Just think of how many companies use it – Virgin also love to use the colour red and EasyJet have a strong association with the colour orange.

Colour can be used as a fantastic trigger; people may think of your brand as soon as they see a strong emphasis on a particular colour – you can use this to your advantage by choosing a strong, attractive colour scheme for your site and using this as part of your branding campaign.

Logos can also be used to strengthen your brand – often, they are the most prominent and eye catching part of your website. It is essential that if your branding is to rely on your logo, you design one that is perfect for the message you want to convey. Remember that if you want your brand to be associated solely with your logo, it will be a challenge to change or update your logo in the future.

I would argue that the community of your personality can also be considered a brand. If your community has a unique personality you can use this to your advantage and continue to brand and develop your site in that direction.

Your thoughts on website branding

Have you considered branding as a way of marketing your site? What methods have you employed? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this article by leaving a comment below.

Share this community building advice


Similar Posts

Previous post:

Next post:


Smiley July 4, 2007 at 12:41 pm

Come to think of it, I don’t have a logo!

But, I am famous for being a tad obsessed on the colour blue. Everything has to be blue, of course. The site design, the chat software, the message boards. Blue, blue, blue.

And I always use my slogan. “Your friendly e-community”


I guess even the “e-community” part is a brand. I always use that term when referring to the site, and the users aren’t users, they’re “members of the e-community”

Just tiny little things like that to try and make them feel appreciated and valued, which they are! Without users your community isn’t a community at all!

I like to tell my users that the site/community is THEIR community, I simply provide it, and the rest is up to them.

Of course, I guide the community, but I think my approach makes them feel important and like they’re actually part of the site and are the ones building it.

My kind of banter is kind of a brand in its own. It seems all new users tend to pick it up and after a few weeks are using my lines and joining in with my banter on the boards!

I may have to think about a logo.

Martin Reed - Blog Author July 4, 2007 at 4:15 pm

A slogan can definitely be used to strengthen the brand of your community, as can your use of the colour blue.

My articles are primarily designed to get people thinking – it looks as though this one has succeeded in doing just that!

Russ July 6, 2007 at 1:36 am

I think that creating something that will remind people of your site is very important, whether it is a colour, a logo, or anything else. The hard part is decided what that should be, and implementing it throughout your site and elsewhere.

If it can work, then you have a very powerful tool.

Martin Reed - Blog Author July 6, 2007 at 1:55 am

Thanks for your comment, Russ. I couldn’t agree more – deciding on your branding strategy is extremely challenging. If you do it properly though, the rewards can be immense.

Andy July 6, 2007 at 6:51 am

Interesting stuff Martin, especially about colour.
As it’s hard to differentiate with basic and boring blues, I went with a bold reddish-pink for my website.

I’ve tried to use colour and design to push the site as an exciting, youth-oriented place to be for both guys and girls.

Still, my dad told me he feels the colour red is confronting. Do you think that was a consideration for virgin/coke ?

Martin Reed - Blog Author July 6, 2007 at 12:19 pm

Thanks for your comment, Andy. I think that bold colours really can make a site stand out from the rest – as long as the overall colour scheme is effective and attractive.

Your colour scheme certainly is bold and memorable which should really help you to brand your product. Perhaps it is a little confronting where you have used it as a background colour outside the header, but overall I think it is great.

I definitely think that strong colours were a consideration for Virgin and Coca-Cola – especially when you consider that Coke’s product has to sit on a shelf of competing products. Drawing a consumer’s eyes to your own product definitely gives you an advantage.

John July 6, 2008 at 5:52 pm

I never really thought of how important color can be. The ING Direct example is great. Everytime I see Orange I think of them.

Martin Reed - Blog Author July 17, 2008 at 1:21 am

John – That’s a good example, and demonstrates the importance of consistent branding!

{ 1 trackback }