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Article: Does Your Website Have a Great Personality?

Your five marketing ‘P’s’ are strong and healthy, your Web site presents a beautiful face to the world and yet another ‘P’ enters the equation. The dreaded personality ‘P’ can destroy the most beautiful of creations.

What is your Web sites personality? Every successful company has its own Persona or "Personality," and just as human personalities are complex, so too is your company's Web site personality.

If you are going to be 'the person behind the website' are you going to try and sell yourself or your corporate personality? As with any first meeting, people use their life’s experience to prejudge your personality and character. The way you dress; unkempt or tidy; education; facial balance, etc., all convey an immediate reaction to the viewer.

The same holds true when a user accesses your website, a first impression occurs. That impression is critical. It should convey immediately your Web site's usability, readability and personality. Every aspect of your site, from the functionality to the logo design and logo placement, immediately communicates your personality and brand.

In fact, studies have shown that 82% of e-commerce buyers make their purchase decisions based on recognizing a familiar personality and brand. Web sites with multiple personality issues seldom are successful.

While it is true to say colour and graphics are needed to establish an identity and basic emotional undertone to a web site, it is probably safe to say that most web sites are communication failures. One common problem appears to be a fascination with, and overuse of, graphics and colour. Even the most expensively designed commercial web sites often lack any coherent logic or user friendliness.

The other main communication problem is a real lack of written communication skills. While it is not unusual for companies to use professional web designers for the graphics, they often write the content themselves or use existing company printed copy. Beautiful but dumb or ugly yet interesting is immediately reinvented on the web.

Your website ‘Personae’ or personality is your corporate identity, your logo and ultimately your web brand.  Remember, the purpose of branding is to get people to recall your company, its product and service from memory. It is your identity; it is how you position your company and how your company positions itself. You want people to instantly identify your company in your market.

The ultimate aim is to get people to trust you more than the competition, and to think of your Web site before they think of the competition's Web site.

Branding isn't just for the big companies. It's just as important to you the small business entrepreneur. Within your logo, company name and personality is held all of your investments, because it is this clear, identifiable aspect of you and your brand that the consumer uses in selecting your company or purchasing your products.

The Web allows you to build one-to-one relationships with your customers. What is more important is the quality of those relationships. Your Web site's personality and its ability to engage your customers and facilitate an ongoing relationship with them is the real key to successful branding on the Web. As in life, good looks and a great ‘P’ersonality will take you far. - John Shenton - June, 2002
 

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N.B.** The articles were first published in the Times (Montreal, Canada) and written by John Shenton as special contributor to the Times Technology Section. Articles and Reports written by us may be printed or displayed on your website providing they are kept intact and a link/attribution to this website or Internet Merchandising Systems plus authorship is displayed.

 

 

 

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