A company that wants to develop a customer-centric Website should use a four-step plan for its development – your brand, customers, objectives and strategy.

The most successful brand strategies take advantage of the Web, using a well-designed and carefully planned identity that exhibits clear messages that provide fulfilling user experiences.

You need to know and understand your brand; i.e., what is your definable differential, your compelling, attractive and unique offering as compared to your competitors. This requires a real sense of honesty about what your brand value is to your customers or other audiences. How strong is your brand or product line’s franchise?

You’ve identified your customers’ needs, but what is your company’s image and reputation among important stakeholders? How may these strengths be leveraged?

What goals do you want to accomplish? And, how do you want your customer relationships to change?

What do you want your site to do? Informational? Sales-based? Lead-generating? Or, perhaps a combination of the three. You need to know your site’s purpose in order to structure it.

If you have answered all of the above questions, your strategy will be on target and you’ll be well on the road to having the Website that you envision, one that is an effective branding tool for building awareness.