The days of (Flash) splash pages are officially dead. They were once great wonders to enhance our web experiences, yet they were usually cumbersome to load, they provided virtually no search engine capabilities, and well, after one viewing, it challenged our intuitive online habits. But are they really dead?
Splash pages have evolved into Landing pages and they can act as an introduction to your website, providing new (even daily) dynamic and meaningful content to those audiences you want to connect with. They are now capable of delivering relevant search engine features. They can be specifically linked from Google AdWords, so that your Landing page is the very first thing your potential customers see, based on what they’ve searched for.
Landing pages can be bold, powerful statements about who you are and what your current proposition is. Unlike your complete and extensive website, they’re relatively easy to create, they can provide specific information about your (brand) message, they can immediately capture data for lead generation, and/or provide timely product or service announcements. In today’s digital world, one should never start a marketing campaign without a Landing page.
Be wise. Be dynamic. Consider the benefits of a Landing page today.
Since the introduction of template based websites, web design on the whole has become largely homogenous. Often the function of the template influences–or perhaps overrides is the better term–the design, restricting the opportunity for innovation and more personal business expressions. The following sites are examples that honor both functionality and unique design experiences within our Internet realm.
1. Split Screen Design
Vertical split screen design can bring a more dynamic look and feel to the landing page of a site and is an interesting and engaging alternative to the traditional horizontal layout.
2. HTML ANIMATION
The final standard of HTML5 animation wasn’t created until late 2014, but it has already been replacing earlier industry standards that were created in Adobe Flash. It has fast download features, is viewable across all browsers without a plug-in and enables an easy multimedia integration, all with SEO support that can drive more traffic/customers to your website. HTML5 websites are responsive and adapt easily to any screen.
The use of animation and video has opened the door to endless possibilities in creating an experience out of a website. Add this dynamic interactivity to the mix and you have an exciting recipe for engagement with the user.
The importance of diagnosing and servicing its performance.
How is your brand currently performing? Is it humming along in 5th or 6th gear, or is it stuck in neutral, not really knowing its intended power, capacity and the direction it should take? Are the characteristics of your brand aligned to your latest business objectives? And have you accurately determined the best way to “accelerate” them?
Like any vehicle, high performance or pragmatic and reliable, brands need to be diagnosed and serviced from time-to-time. When was the last time you lifted up the hood on yours? Is your brand fresh, expressive, and resonating with those audiences you most strategically want to connect with? Are your current brand assets contemporary in both meaning and aesthetic, or do they look worn out, even posing a liability when you communicate with your customers? Many times, Principals and Marketing Directors are so busy just trying to keep their brand running, that they rarely assess the performance and style (design aesthetic) it conveys to their audiences.
Our brands are vehicles in which we deliver trust to our customers. A brand’s assets provide any organization a clear road map of knowing where to go with all future marketing and new business initiatives. They build strength and assuredness, externally as well as creating greater employee morale internally. Even more than the type of vehicles we drive, brands are an extension of our personalities, of who we are – to ourselves and to our customers.
Are your brand assets currently performing effectively? Are they in need of a tune-up, or is it time to trade in the old model and upgrade to an entirely new one with more horsepower, greater reliability, or more accurately, one that your customer wants to get behind and drive? At Blik, we believe brands should garner attention, that their message should outperform the competition, and that they generate memorable experiences in the eyes of your customers.
When was the last time you had your brand serviced? For free (brand audit) diagnostics, call Blik today.
The Importance of Being Earnest About Your Brand
Nowadays every business, every organization, exclaims “branding” in their pursuits of marketing, sales, new business development, or even building employee morale. Yet inherently, their definitions of what a brand is and how they orchestrate them, are all too often quite different in their approach, how they’re applied and more importantly, how they evolve.
It’s really quite simple. Before any organization pronounces a brand or refreshes an old one, they need to understand and embrace the criteria, structure, and vehicles that will successfully articulate and communicate its features. As I have taught my upper-division Branding class students, if you embrace these straightforward precepts, you’ll be well on your way of creating and implementing a successful brand.
Clarify Your Strategy.
Any brand initiative should start with a brand audit and end with a summary of your intentions. This should include a history of your organization, any market research, interview of key stakeholders, and having it culminate into a written brand brief. Your brief becomes the foundation from which you visually articulate your organization and why you exist.
Creatively Define Your Brand’s Assets.
Your brand is not just your identity. Your brand is comprised of various visual components (assets) that cumulatively portray the image and message of your organization. These assets can always be categorized in the following manner: Your identity system; Photographs and/or Illustrations; Typography; Color Palette; Pattern or Textures; Key (Brand) Message Points. Create flexibility with your assets. This positions your business for change and growth and supports evolving market strategies.
Identify Your Brand Touchpoints.
Once you’ve refined your brand assets, you want to determine how and to what mediums (touchpoints) they will be applied. Create a wish list of where your brand messaging should reside. Your website is a given, most likely your business cards too, but what forms of brand communication are most appropriate for you organization? Print collateral? Advertising? Packaging? eNewsletters and Social media? Your office or store interiors? Your uniforms, signage, etc. all play an important (touchpoint) role in connecting your brand with those audiences you intend to reach. Be consistent in the way your clients experience your brand touchpoints, so they feel familiar with your brand.
Implement & Manage Your Brand.
Successful brands require enlightened leadership and commitment. You can have a great brand, but if it’s not managed properly, if the actual implementation is weak, you’ll never be able to generate the traction and therefore memorability of your organization’s brand. Everyone has a budget to work within. Identify your most important touchpoints. Based on your budget, develop an implementation strategy that provides the most direct and effective coverage your brand’s message. Review their effectiveness regularly. Evolve your brand with new campaigns that identify various attributes of who you are as an organization. If needed, adjust the ‘where’ and ‘how often’ your brand is conveyed within your respective marketplaces.
Whether they are true in reality, or not, market perceptions drive the success of any business. Your brand drives those perceptions. Don’t portray the obvious or cliché. Be distinctive about who you are and what you represent to your clientele. An appetition for research, smart creative processes, passion, and innovative technology, even humor are all effective components in creating and implementing enduring value to your brand.
Why does Socialism have such a bad rap, that it’s some sort of dangerous foreign import? We are all social by nature, tribal even, collectively espousing to a business, a church, a union, an environmental cause, a sports team, you name it. As we grow and mature as designers, as marketers, as humans, the most fulfilling reward is bringing people together and providing solutions for the greater good.
At a time when there is the largest disparity of wealth in America since the “roaring twenties” (hint), at a time when there are more and more families without shelter, at a time when many citizens lack basic healthcare needs, there comes the realization that we need to be more public than private, as we yearn to come together to explore the issues through dialogue and ideas. There is power in the “social” structure, where we share our concerns, as individuals and as a society. When we enact cohesive thoughts and ideas, when we help others, our awareness grows, ideas are fostered, and change occurs.
Our institutions, our public sector are in need of design skills if we are to stand a reasonable chance of reshaping who we are as a society. Design for the public good. Our challenge today, both politically and socially, lies in our ability to explore new ideas and uncharted paths, instead of trying to improve existing ones. New frameworks, new designs have associated risks, but doing nothing is arguably far riskier. It’s time we collectively, even socialistically come together. Design not for the one-tenth of one percent, but for all of us. It’s time to honor our compassion for all things, as neighbors, as a community, as a society, for the public good.