What is your priority? Brand or Conversion Optimisation

conversion rate optimisation

When there is conflict do you prioritise conversion optimisation?

With one of our retail clients we deliver usability testing research and expert reviews alongside another agency working on MVT (multi-variate testing). The client coordinates everything and it is a really effective and comprehensive programme that is designed to deliver conversion optimisation. However at a recent meeting the question of brand vs conversion optimisation came up (as it always does eventually) and I am really interested to learn how other organisations deal with it.

Multi-variate testing is used to test different versions of content, copy or colour to see which combination have the biggest effect on conversion optimisation (or another test outcome such as engagement). One of the most frequently performed tests is using different colours for buttons and calls to action. Conflict arises when the most successful colour is not part of the brand palette.

In this case the client is going through a mini-rebrand although that is not always necessary for the question to arise. Many organisations struggle to translate the offline brand into an acceptable online brand and that is before they consider accessibility and colour contrast. That is one of the most difficult discussions that takes place but probably best saved for another blog item.


When selecting colours from the online brand palette for the call to actions (CTA’s) it is quite often that the brand colours available aren’t really very well suited to this task. This is particularly true when the digital team is given the brand colours rather than involved in the selection. Even when they are OK if a non-brand colour – say bright orange, performs better in MVT, how much better would it need to be for you to sacrifice the brand?

Conversion Optimisation

Sometimes, non-brand colours can significantly outperform brand colours when used for CTA’s. By significant I mean double digit percentages and in some cases I have seen them vastly outperform the brand. Clearly organisations are not selecting the non-brand colours or else all CTA’s would start to look the same (which admittedly might impact the performance) but with aggressive targets and in some cases the City watching it must be an extremely difficult decision. Conversion optimisation throughout the sales journey is pretty much the number one talking point for my ecommerce clients so I’m sure the conversation about brand must be taking place.

I’d be really interested to hear stories about this dilemma and which side you came down on. Please comment below the blog or us an email directly at hello@ux247.com.

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