The perfect website II: The Web Brand




Person working on laptop

Would he exist? The perfect website? In this blog series, Baas & Baas will look at what would be the most ideal website. From the biggest ideas to the smallest details, we discuss everything. After the first blog, we move to the second question: the brand online.

How important is a strong brand?

In the business world, brand thinking has long been one of the most important things that exists. Without a strong brand, your margins are just lower. Moreover, companies, governments and even foundations are very poorly trusted in this day and age. A reliable brand is then crucial to be successful.

Yet online, however, it is a little different. In a busy world in which we want to make quick decisions, a brand on the web is often subordinate to the functionality of the internet environment. Especially when you consider that a lot of our web traffic takes place on that small phone screen nowadays, making building brand is extra tricky. And perhaps also a little less important than in a store, for example.

Functional and emotional design

It used to be no different. That conflict between functional design and emotional connections online has long existed. In the early days of the web, we were emphatically looking for new functionalities, if only to find out what we could all do with that brand new interwebsnet.

But one thing was different: we often came across these functionalities in great colourful environments. The websites of the time were brands in themselves, but completely different from what we have now. They were very free environments, with a lot of weird and funny pictures, as nerdy as you get them.

Actor typing really hard on keyboard

Perhaps the most fun thing to highlight is the then popular Netscape, the most widely used browser in the nineties, and a website that still looks the same as in 1994. It's a lot of information, with a few hyperlinks and a totally random image of a cartoony dinosaur, as if they knew they were going to be an Internet fossil. Compare that to Nike's current online environment, one of the strongest brands on earth, with photography and design leading the way. It has to be, because consumers should be emotionally tempted to make a purchase. Still... Again, the functionality wins it from the design, if it is narrow. The Nike website is more than just a site, it is best described as a complete web environment that is largely closed. A funnel. This is our topic for the third blog.For now we have a second indicator for the perfect website: it is always 49 function and 51 emotion.

Sander Baas is boss of Baas & Baas and web construction and marketing expert. Rogier van Kralingen is a writer at The Whole Story and co-author of Mediastorm.

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