Concept, analysis and implementation
The value of Trust
My understanding of brand identity, is based around trust. Trust is something unique - people are drawn to entities that they feel they can trust. Trust is comprised of familiarity, recommendation, affiliation, and appeal. So how do we apply trust to a website?
Awareness is one of many keys to establishing trust. There is so much information that we come across daily; we live such fast paced lives; consistent exposure to a brand not only reminds us of it's existence, but also handles some of the effort we would otherwise need to attribute to sourcing reasons to use the product or service. "I have heard of them", therefore they must be doing something right, provided the initial impression was a good one.
A first impression is often re-enforced by a recommendation from a trusted friend, colleague or family member, even a celebrity. "I've heard of them, and it's been confirmed that they do good work by someone I trust."
Good affiliations provide a preconceived impression of trust, which the affiliated entities have already earned.
Think of a dark alley; one way out, low visibility, and a ragged looking stranger sitting in a corner. Establishing trust of any kind here, would mean more effort required. It's less challenging to simply turn around and walk away. More than likely, when faced with two websites - one which appears far more professional; our user is likely to attribute more attention to the website which has the highest appeal.
Here is an article relating to brand identity:www.whitespace.on.ca/Blog/bid/100878/The-Importance-of-Website-Aesthetics-and-Visual-Appeal