In simple terms, your brand category is the type of service or product that your business provides. An example of this would be fast food or digital marketing services – whatever your niche or offering is. It is important to note that these categories include subcategories also. A subcategory of fast food could be healthy fast food or vegan fast food for example and each of these subcategories will have a distinctive look and feel that a potential customer should recognise immediately.
When you are selling your product or service online, the consumer has an expectation of what these category cues will look like. When people are in a rush to purchase a product or service online; cues such as colour, typography and shapes must connect with them the first time they come across them. Although you want to be different from your competitor, it is paramount that you stand out and the customer recognises what you are selling. Otherwise you will fail to capture their attention at all. This is one of the biggest challenges when differentiating your web brand online – the balance between category familiarity and brand unique selling point.
To gain success from your web branding you must fully understand your categories and subcategories by completing solid market research to learn what your successful competitors have in common. By speaking to your customers, you will learn first-hand what they find important and what makes them commit at a glance. When you have gathered a solid idea of what will be most effective for your online audience, show them to people (think of this like a focus group) and make sure that not only is it liked but most importantly that they know what it is.
Once you have optimised the web branding concept for your business you can then tap into the more enjoyable stages of differentiating your web brand by being creative and original. You can always create your web branding in such a way that allows you to stand out from your competition but the key take home it to always ensure that your category cues are distinctive and clear for your customers.