Welcome back to my short series on “Giving New Life to an Old Website: How to Build a Website.” Over the next few weeks, I’m taking you through quick facts to revamp or build your own website with one of our newest clients, Laguna Coffee, as our case study. This week is all about clarifying business brand and creating  website home page options.

(As a refresher, last week I shared the site’s existing look (the “BEFORE” look!) as well as our initial brand strategy meetings with the owners and managers of this iconic coffee shop.) See details here

Phase 2, Step 1: The Real Business of the Business

Last week, after getting initial, “50,000-foot level” answers on where Laguna Coffee is and where it wants to be, we met again for a more detailed Brand Identity meeting. Now, many folks think Brand Identity is only about their logo, but Branding goes well beyond that. A Brand-Centered Marketing Model encompasses questions and discussion on:

  • Classification of your target customers
  • Defining your value proposition (what I often refer to as your USP – Unique Sellling Proposition)
  • Humanizing your brand, which creates a deeper, longer lasting level of client engagement
  • Ensuring consistency in your messaging and identity
  • Positioning your brand so that it stands separate of the rabble of your “competitors”

Sometimes our Brand Identity meetings require just a few hours, and sometimes they require several back-and-forth meetings as we step through the foundational activity of making your “brand” a great and memorable one.

Once we’re clear on the Brand Identity, we produce a Branding Document that details the conclusions. In many cases, we begin Brand Logo Design at this point. (To see an example of BEFORE and AFTER work on Brand Identity, see this previous blog post from another great client, WebAuctioneers.

Then, I set to work on taxonomy of the website – the website home page for starters – based on what we’ve just determined is of primary importance to the brand and value proposition.

Phase 2, Step Two: Designing the Web Site Home Page

Website taxonomy refers to your basic navigation on your site, from the primary navigation buttons to secondary/footer buttons and other items we include on the website home page and inside page layouts. Normally – and in Laguna Coffee’s case – I create two hand-made sketches with an accompanying synopsis on features and pros and cons of each option.

We want to create the easiest ability for your incoming readers to see what they want immediately. Usability studies show that the trend is definitely  “less is more.” We want to give your consumer the easy ability to drill down to sub-features. In other words, we’re not putting every single category and navigation button on the website home page anymore!

In the option Laguna Coffee chose (our favorite as well), we have the ability to post new content and photos, which automatically feed to the slider image on the website home page. This changes things up and keeps everything fresh for the reader, while notifying the search engines every time a change occurs – always a great thing!

Now, it’s time to write the content (also based entirely on the Brand Identity we’ve decided on) and bring this puppy to life!