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Website Branding: Experience Counts

Website Branding: Experience Counts



A bad web experience for new visitors to your website will kill your brand. Experience is critical. Examples from college and university websites.

A bad web experience for new visitors to your website will kill your brand. Experience is critical. Examples from college and university websites.



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    Website Branding: Experience Counts Website Branding: Experience Counts Presentation Transcript

    • Building Respect for Your Brand Online: Experience, Experience, Experience ©Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D. 2008 Adult Students: You Best Option for Enrollment Growth The Aslanian Group Boston, MA November 29-30, 2008
    • Your brand is… What people think about you and say about you when they hear your name… Every organization has a brand… Even if it isn’t always what you want it to be
    • Sometimes you just know a brand…
      • BMW is…
      • Harvard is…
      • Pepsi is…
      • New York City is…
      • France is…
      • Ikea is…
      • Superman is…
      • Amazon.com is…
      • Volvo is…
      • Notre Dame is…
      • Coca Cola is…
      • Los Angeles is…
      • Norway is…
      • Wal-Mart is…
      • Spiderman is…
      • eBay is…
    • Some colleges claim a brand position…
    • Experience… more important than the claim
      • Experience often starts at your website…
        • The power of your website as a branding tool is determined by the experience your visitor has…
          • your ability to deliver what people want from you
        • This means close attention to content and usability…
          • Can people easily find what they want?
          • Can they easily interact with you after they find it?
          • How fast will you respond to a question by email or Instant Message?
    • 8 tips for brand safety on the web…
      • People are impatient
      • People are impatient
      • People are impatient
      • People are impatient
      • People are impatient
      • People are impatient
      • People are impatient
      • People are impatient
    • Eliminate frustration points…
      • No broken links
      • Links that take people to what they expect to find
      • No out-of-date information
      • Content people can scan
        • No long blocks of dense text
        • Subheads and bullet points
      • Brief inquiry forms
      • Search engines that work
    • Your brand promise on the web… Create your promise by defining elements of what makes you special…
    • First, find your distinctive points…
      • What elements makes you special?
        • The people who enroll?
        • The way your courses are taught?
        • The way you treat people?
        • Success rate after graduation?
        • A special mission that people can understand?
        • Something you really do better than others in your category?
        • The highest reputation?
        • The lowest price?
        • The best location?
    • Then create your brand promise…
      • The brand promise has to reflect reality
        • Reality is the experience people have with you
        • Reality is the word-of-mouth people hear about you
      • A clear statement of something special that can be both seen and felt by someone
        • On their first visit to your website
        • In their first contact with real people
        • And in their continuing contact with you… in any form
    • Stories to validate your brand promise…
      • Stories must have credibility…
        • Stories told by people enrolled in your programs build credibility better than anything else you can do
        • For ongoing engagement, blogs and social networks are the best way to tell those stories
      • Must build on the strength of what you are
      • Must be relevant to your customers
    • Social networks expand the brand experience… http://mysocialnetwork.umaryland.edu/
    • Ohio State and University of Phoenix… http://www.osu.edu/features/2008/socialmedia/
    • Video story telling expands the brand… http://realpeople.waldenu.edu/video-tim.cfm http://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/programs/emba/advance/balance.cfm
    • K.I.S.S. Creating a friendly website… Keep the first page as clean as possible… Visitors want to quickly get someplace else
    • Peterson’s… old style website
    • Peterson’s new style website… http://www.petersons.com/
    • What we’ve just seen is…
      • The power of a front page to connect from the first view
        • This is the most overlooked power of web branding
        • Not many higher education sites do it well
      • The faster you connect, the better you communicate
      • If you don’t communicate, you don’t create brand identity
    • Creating your branding tools… Website examples that create brand impact
    • Quick exit from the front page…
    • Brand statement + clear audience paths… http://www.pfeiffer.edu/
    • Brand statement continues… a story begins
    • Video expands the onsite experience…
    • Another strong experience… http://www.stedwards.edu/future.htm
    • Blogs aren’t just for teens…
    • Blogs… especially for adults http://blogs.targetx.com/umbssw/
    • Easy to find academic programs…
    • 10 high visibility program choices… http://admission.emerson.edu/graduate/
    • Clear academic program presentation…
    • Easy to scan for key points… http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/iMBA.shtml
    • Easy task completion…
    • Inquiry form…easy to find and complete http://www.mbaregis.com/
    • Another strong example…
    • Summing up points to boost the brand…
      • Find and eliminate things that don’t work on your website
      • Stay with simple design
      • Identify key things that shape your brand identity
      • Learn the content that’s important to people visiting your website…
        • Make sure you have it and people can find it
          • Program information is top rated
      • Use students to create brand impressions
        • Blogs
        • Videos
    • Thank You! Bob Johnson, Ph.D. President and Senior Consultant Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 226 Chauncey Court Marshall, MI 49068 248.766.6425 [email_address] Customer Carewords Research for Online Marketing Success: http://www.bobjohnsonconsulting.com/customercarewords.html