5 Creative Ways To Build Your Business’ Brand

When we think about branding for business, we tend to consider only the most obvious examples such as our logos, names, perhaps the basic design and layout of our website. In doing so, however, we are neglecting all of the different customer interaction points through which we can establish our brand.

Consider the following five examples of branding at its best, all of which you can replicate in your own business fairly easily.

Interactive Login & Sign Up Buttons (Wufoo)

Wufoo is a company that helps you create forms and store data. Let’s face it, forms have never been interesting. People hate forms; myself included. So how do you make a brand around forms interesting?

Wufoo made their website dinosaur themed and took it to the extreme.

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 2.31.11 PMOne of the customizations I love about Wufoo is how the top right of their website, where a user logs in, turns into a RAWRR! on hover. Trivial? Perhaps.But consider that the login button is likely to be one of their most clicked areas on the website – in fact, all users wanting to log in by definition have to click it.

So a little experience like that reaches a lot of people and has probably put a smile on the faces of many.

Personalized Cards And Gifts (FreshBooks)

Another topic that isn’t particularly high on everyone’s favorites list is bookkeeping and accounting. But someone has to do it, and one of those companies that does it well is FreshBooks. They are well-known for sending their customers cakes on their birthdays.

How is this branding, you ask? In and of itself it might just be seen as cakes to customers, but combined with universal phone support, an extensive FAQ section, and a help guide, it conveys the message that they care about their customers and back it up with excellent support.

Direct Customer Service Hotline (Zappos/NinjaOutreach)

Speaking of customer service, another company that I associate with top-notch customer service is none other than Zappos. They allow customers to wear a pair of shoes for up to one year and still return it if they decide they don’t like it for a full money back guarantee with shipping!

Additionally, they proudly display their customer service number at the top of the website.  This is something we at NinjaOutrach have adopted. I post my personal cell phone number at the top of the website, and yes, sometimes people do call.

Owning Social Media (Taco Bell)

Most businesses understand the basic principles of Twitter for promotion. But few truly know how to utilize it like @TacoBell.

Taco Bell is famous for the amount of wittiness they can cram into 140 characters on a daily basis. They are so good at it that BuzzFeed wrote an entire article featuring Taco Bell Tweets. Eating at Taco Bell isn’t like going into surgery (though surgery might result if you eat there too often). It’s meant to be light and fun, and that’s how they run their Twitter account.

Leading With Transparency (Pat Flynn – SPI)

Let’s take a step back from the more traditional businesses, to look at one of the leaders in the online branding space, Pat Flynn. His homepage is ripe with several examples from which we can all benefit.

Here it is:

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 2.32.43 PM

Perhaps the most noticeable features of Pat’s site can be classified as transparency and personalization. Here he leads with a picture of himself instead of hiding behind his brand or relegating himself to a small picture in the sidebar. It is accompanied by a friendly greeting (“Hi! I’m Pat”) with font that makes it appear handwritten.


This is just a small portion of other ways that you can extend your brand into your website and messaging. When done correctly, branding isn’t just about building visual appeal, but ingratiating particular concepts like excellent customer service or ease of use into the minds of the customers you are trying to win over.

daveDavid Schneider is 1/3rd of an exciting new marketing software company called NinjaOutreach.  He blogs about entrepreneurship at SelfMadeBusinessman and tweets @ninjaoutreach.

3 Advantages to an Experiential Web Presence

webpresenceI spend a lot of time online. Whether it’s at work researching and managing my clients, at home browsing my favorite blogs and shopping, or on the go using Uber and Google Maps, I usually always have a way to access the Internet. Throughout all of my Internet time, and in the last few years especially, I have noticed a shift in how businesses portray themselves online. Gone are the days when there was a specific formula for mapping out website navigation, organizing content and images, and displaying a prominent call to action. Now with greater accessibility to the Internet through various devices, coupled with the advancements of modern technology, browsing the Internet has truly become an experience for the user, with tremendous advantages for businesses.

Just as a brand’s physicality is an experience in itself, the digital presence of a brand should reflect that experience in a similar light. The evolved user experience is no longer the traditional model of providing information. It’s using technological enhancements, like responsive design, better navigation, higher resolution visuals, storytelling capabilities, and many more techniques in order to attract your visitors, keep your visitors, and finally, convert your visitors. Below we elaborate on these advantages of an experiential website.Advantage: Attract your visitors.

1. Advantage: Attract your visitors.

There are many ways to create an experiential website. When you find your creative team to design and develop it, part of their market research entails researching your competition and your customers. They will be able to tell you what your competitors are doing correctly and where they are failing, so that you can take the opportunity to surpass them. More and more companies are investing in the user experience, because their customers are expecting it, especially those of the millennial generation. The importance of responsive design and mobile marketing, for instance, is more important now than ever, as studies have shown that businesses that incorporate this into their experiential website, are thriving. Take advantage of the opportunity to stay ahead of the competition and attract visitors to your website!

2. Advantage: Keep your visitors.

When users have a positive experience on your website, they are more likely to return. This in turn provides you with loyal customers who then become brand advocates, in other words, your greatest referral database. The research that is used to attract your visitors is additionally applicable to the ways in which the website will retain them and keep them coming back for more. Bounce rates have exceedingly increased, due to the lack of an experience. Once you have this research that demonstrates what your users are looking for, it will be far easier for you to tweak your user experience to their tastes. Give your customers a seamless digital experience so that they can find all of the information they are looking for, when they want it, all while enjoying it. The best way to retain your visitors is to constantly and continuously give them what they want!

3. Advantage: Convert your visitors.

We often hear from business owners that the user experience of their website comes secondary to their bottom line, which is to simply have a digital presence so that they can increase online sales. They don’t know how to justify the ROI of an experience. However, now that we know that your visitors are looking for these experiences and transforming into brand advocates because of these experiences, we can expect to see results in the sales cycle and in revenue flow. Guesswork and experimentation are no longer necessary when your users are entertained, moved and understood via your website.

In an increasingly data-driven world, businesses are finding ways to understand the motivations behind consumer behaviors and then applying that knowledge to a website that gives their potential and current customers a unique and memorable experience specifically catered to them. As a company experienced with the user experience, we at ParadigmNEXT hope that you take these 3 advantages to your advantage and launch a beautiful digital presence, with the focus being an experiential website.


YANA_PIC (1)Yana Nirshberg is the Co-Founder, Managing Partner and Creative Director at ParadigmNEXT, Inc. ParadigmNEXT is a digital marketing consulting agency headquartered in Chicagoland. We service brands both directly and via their nominated agencies, ParadigmNEXT delivers a seamlessly integrated Brand Experience and a greater measurable return on marketing investment (ROMI). Services we provide include brand identity, integrated marketing, inbound marketing strategy, art direction, web-design & development, startup incubation and product development services to a wide array of clients ranging from bootstrapped startups to successful longstanding companies. We’re deeply rooted in the tech startup community in Chicago and abroad, and have great relationships with emerging seed funds, VC’s, startup founders, and collegiate entrepreneurs.