You may also be interested in: ViewPoint for SharePoint
Editor's note: Contributor Himanshu Sharma works at Trigent Software Inc.
Importance of Branding
What gives a you a sense of belonging? What comes to your mind when you hear some famous brands? What is corporate identity? What makes us remain loyal to a brand? These are some of the questions that repeatedly surface in any branding discussions. Yes, it all revolves around factors like the trust, the perceived value of products or services, and the image organizations create over a period of time. These are some of the essentials of branding and this article will throw some lights on how SharePoint helps in internal as well as external branding.
Internal Branding - Why is it important?
Branding is an essential ingredient for building a rich working culture within an organization. In order to create a rich brand it is important that factors like trust, faith and promise resonate throughout the organization. Creating a strong brand aligns internal stakeholder to the brand and helps win their loyalty. A brand is not created outside an organization, it is created in the organization by adhering to a rich working culture, instilling faith among employees and creating a strong persona around the brand with world-class products or services. Creating a rich corporate identity that defines an organization goes a long way in branding.
Creating a rich functional brand identity inside the organization renders professional working culture and motivates employees to perform better in order to build a better brand. Especially when employees use a central platform to collaborate with each other in an organization. Organisations using a unified communication platform like SharePoint can brand it by giving rich visual and multimedia appeal that reflects their identity through rich displays of logos, images and corporate identity across the communication platform. Imagine how mundane it would look if there's nothing vivid across the platform we use to manage our day to day activities. Just like we brand our customer facing websites it is essential to brand our intranet portal built on a unified platform like SharePoint.
Branding Scope in SharePoint Portals
Before branding a SharePoint intranet portal it is important to have clear objectives in mind. SharePoint renders rich features that can help even a non-techie end user to brand a particular page through built-in web-parts and templates. There are 4 major and distinct areas where a branding strategy can be applied cohesively. Publishing Site, Team Site, My Site, and Search Site are the 4 major areas where branding finds its place within SharePoint. Leveraging SharePoint inbuilt features like web-parts one can create highly interactive web pages and customize them according to one's choice. Using master pages, jquery, CSS and various page layouts available in SharePoint, users can give a rich look and feel to their intranet portals. Since SharePoint works as a central platform for collaboration and is used by everyone in the organization almost every day in one way or the other, it is the best place for internal branding and creating rich corporate identity. Many companies develop their website on SharePoint framework to interact with customers, suppliers and external stakeholders. Hence, for a public facing website built on a SharePoint framework, it's a wonderful opportunity to create a strong brand identity. However, before giving your SharePoint site a face lift, it would be prudent to have clear branding objectives and ways to measure branding effectiveness.