When it comes to your community, does branding and design matter? Companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonalds and Apple put an insane amount of time into brand identity. Why? Because it works. Branding is more than just logos and colors, it's a trigger to the emotional connection your customers have with you. When you see the golden arches on a red background, it's hard not to think about how much you love those fries.
Shouldn't your online community have the look and feel of your website and reinforce your brand? Whether you are adding a widget or an entire section to your website, it should be consistent with your branding. It shouldn't be what your software vendor thinks looks good. Here are five ways to ensure you create a community to match your brand:
- Make sure your community offers the same navigation, the same fonts and the same colors, as your main website. People should not feel like they are on a different website.
- Do the badges you give users or icons you use on your community remain consistent with the creatives in your product, website and marketing materials?
- Is the language you use consistent with your brand? Maybe the Category names have your personality in them? Can some labels be replaced with fun insider jargon?
- Beyond looks, does the community feel have the same personality as your brand projects to users?Does it elicit the same emotional response as your website?How community managers interact with members and the kind of interactions they encourage will play a big part.
- Is the content your team produces for the community consistent with your messaging?
When you create a amazing community experience, it should fit seamlessly into your ecosystem. It can also be a powerful tool in building customer loyalty, satisfaction and bringing your brand closer to your community. Making the conscious effort to focus on making your community look good is worth the effort.
Vanilla Forums offers a cloud based solution that allows you to create a completely themeable community to look exactly like your website. Try Vanilla Forums Cloud Solution free for 30-days.