When it comes to the world of commerce, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s all about that bottom line. Making a sale and moving on to the next one is the name of the game… right? Wrong. Now, more than ever, having consumers actively engaged with brand advocacy and loyalty to their favourite retailers (whether on or offline) is what almost all businesses should be aiming for.
Keep ‘em coming back
Repeat custom is almost always more valuable in the long run than one-off purchases — just ask Amazon, one of the biggest companies on the web and one that sees the most return custom. The reason? You could say it’s a matter of pricing and customer service, but really what it boils down to is having customers who become brand advocates. Apple is another great example of this; ever heard anyone say ‘You need to get the new iPhone’? That’s brand advocacy in action.
Who benefits from generating advocacy and loyalty?
Just because the world of business is heavily focused on the web, there is no reason for non-online companies to assume this can’t work for them. It’s a concept that’s as old as the hills. Even if you’re a butcher in a small village in the middle of the countryside, by having a strong brand identity and actively engaging customers, you’ll keep them coming back. In the case of online retailers and large commerce companies (like supermarkets or high street clothes shops) garnering loyalty can be a different animal — in such cases loyalty schemes can be very useful.
Build your brand, build your business
If you’re scratching your head and wondering how you can cultivate loyalty for your business, it may be a good idea to think about hiring a branding consultancy. By working with specialists, you can find new innovative ways to create loyalty within your client base. It is always a good idea to do your research and look at how the top design agencies help define their clients’ brands. Their websites are full of case studies and examples of their work, so don’t hesitate to check how they approach brand building.
Whether you end up deciding to create a mobile app with a ‘points’ incentive for repeat custom, or you simply engage a branding consultancy to help you, every step is a strong one. The first is understanding the importance of brand advocacy in the modern age, the second is making it happen.
Today’s web design agencies have to move faster than ever in order to stay ahead of the game. This is due to fierce competition in the industry, but also because deadlines and clients’ requirements are becoming increasingly demanding. One major part of achieving good results is based on how people work together. Are the processes in place helping teams move forward or do they create more barriers? We’ve compiled a list of ideas to help streamline and improve work processes in order to help achieve better results:
Use meetings to improve the design agency’s work flow:
- When it comes to meetings, the emphasis should be on quality rather than quantity. People often complain that too many meetings take place in their web agency. This is a sign that clear objectives are not being defined and important decisions are not being made.
- Identify the meeting’s objectives and arrange its schedule based on the decisions that need to be reached.
- Once the decisions needed are clear, only invite the people that can add value to the meeting; the people who have the power to action the decisions, and the ones that can help the decision process through their knowledge or role.
Make your processes work harder for your business:
- Turn your process around so that end users are involved in the development and design of products or services. Their perspective will allow the agency to gain an invaluable advantage.
- For specific projects to move forward, create a core team with a maximum of 7 people to make key decisions. Once the important decisions have been made, the core team can delegate tasks to as many people as needed to complete the project.
- Avoid using meetings to become an expert on the issue. Brush up on the necessary knowledge first, then have a meeting to solve the issue.
Use risk assessment to create better processes:
- If you base the design process on short and measurable experiments, risks will be managed more effectively.
- Use lighter, less costly developments based on technologies such as HTML before committing to more expensive development solutions.
- Use a base scenario that will help to visualise the solution such as: our (customer) wishes to solve this (issue) and we believe that this (solution) is the answer. We will know we have succeeded when (measured goal).
Depending on who you ask, you’ll get many different answers when it comes to the most important element of good web design. On the one hand, it’s quite a subjective area, on the other, there are some things that we can all agree on. Typography, for example, is an element which, when it’s done well, you barely notice it, but if it’s done badly it can ruin an entire website. For this reason and more, typography could easily be one of the most essential components of any good website.
Why typography matters
If your design services company is involved in building your website, one of the first things that they’ll settle on is the font family they’ll use across the site. It really is that important. Ask any web agency and they’ll likely tell you the same thing; good typography improves legibility of a site, making it easier to use, which leads to a more successful outcome when it comes to conversions. It’s not the whole picture, but it helps.
Sites live and die by typography
It doesn’t matter how great your colour scheme is, how sharp your copy is, or how eye-catching your images are. If your design services company has chosen to include the wrong typography, it can ruin everything. Of course it’s an aesthetic choice, but don’t forget that it has to be read and understood by a wide range of potential customers. If a percentage of them find the content difficult to read then you’re in trouble.
Typography: the bottom line
Any web agency worth their salt will always recommend a time-tested and well-used typography choice. It’s always a good idea to ‘beta test’ your font choice, for both body copy and headers. Different people read in different ways, but one thing is vital to remember: the right choice of font and typeface can make your website something truly special. So whatever you do, don’t skimp on web typography. Buy the right fonts!