Brand & Website

Branding and website wisdom from three digital experts

by Shachar Meron

branding and website wisdom

Countless companies build websites without a clear brand strategy. Are they wasting money or ahead of the curve? We asked three digital leaders about the intertwined roles and processes of branding and website development. Here’s what they had to say.

  • In our first interview Andy Crestodina, cofounder and CMO of Orbit Media, covered the risks of building your site on a shaky foundation. 
  • In our second feature John Geletka, founder and president of Geletka+, flipped the brand-before-web dynamic and went all-in on iteration.
  • Our third conversation with Ben Swartz, founder and CEO of Marcel Digital, had us exploring the tension between strategy and speed. 

Sometimes they agreed, and sometimes not. Some highlights:

Solid branding and website strategy are both built on audience insights

All three agreed the more you know about your target audience, the stronger your site (and brand) can be. And we’re not just talking basic demographics. 

Andy explained how knowing your visitors and what they’re looking for will help your site rank and convert. He noted this comes from deep research: “We don’t know how to make an effective webpage until we’ve interviewed your salespeople and talked to your clients.”

Ben talked about building a rich psychographic profile: “What stresses them out, keeps them up at night? What questions do they have on a daily basis? When you know what is truly on their mind, you can build a website that caters to your prospect’s needs.”

Establish a strong brand foundation
Andy Crestodina shares warning signs your brand foundation isn’t web-ready.

Your core brand strategy should be set before starting on your site

What do we mean by “core”? All three digital leaders agreed your positioning should be established and well articulated. But they have different ideas of what that looks like.

Andy spoke on the importance of positioning (and the ability to communicate it) in clear terms. “Our first question is ‘what is the six-word version of what you do?’ Companies that struggle on this should figure this out before investing in a website…or marketing of any sort.”

John also emphasized the value of a clear brand strategy, but suggested you could build the rest of the brand through an iterative web development process. “In startup land, you can get by with a Minimum Viable Brand and then level up later…You can A/B test dirt cheap today.”

Brand and web building

Brand building precedes web development—or so we thought. With John Geletka.

You want stakeholders aligned on goals, process and mindset

Your leadership (notably your president/CEO and heads of marketing and sales) needs to be on the same page in a few key ways. Especially on the purpose of the website and the direction of the brand. 

Ben was realistic about the relationship between sales and marketing with initiatives like web development, and how great CEOs build alignment around roles, goals, mission, and values. “The best leaders challenge their teams to be great and then trust them enough to get out of their way.”

John also noted the leadership dynamics that get tested in the process. “We sometimes see conflict between the CMO, who knows better positioning and brand work need to be done, and the CEO who doesn’t want to allocate budget to that but is OK spending on a new website.” The key: an iterative mindset.

branding and web launch

Brand strategy and your website: go fast or go far, explains Ben Swartz.

* * *

So the next time you’re about to develop a website, first make sure your audience is understood, your brand is ready, and your team is aligned. Or get ready to do it all over again in six months.

Bluegreen Branding provides brand strategy consulting with a focus on B2B tech and financial companies. From rapid deployments to long-range missions, we help ambitious brand and marketing leaders articulate their vision, craft communications, and launch impactful campaigns. We rarely write four-part insights, but our SEO guy said it was good for search. He was right.

Brand & Website

by Shachar Meron


Love your brand

©2024 Bluegreen Branding, Inc

Bluegreen provides brand strategy consulting for ambitious B2B brand marketing leaders, specializing in tech and finance. Together with our network of expert partners, we’re engaged for branding, rebranding, brand identity and naming, brand messaging and communications strategy, corporate narratives and writing, logo design, marketing plans and launch campaigns, sales tools and training, digital strategy and website design, creative ideation and thought leadership.

As serial entrepreneurs and senior execs, we love building excitement around worthy brands and teaching people new things.

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