Running your business is a full-time job. Whether it’s running your day-to-day operations, driving up sales, or scaling your business.
What is often overlooked is brand building. Many third-party businesses see themselves as simply product sellers and haven’t invested sufficient time or resources into building up their brand.
Adopting a “Brand Builder Mindset” results in effectively reaching your target consumers to keep them coming back for more. Forward-thinking businesses have shifted their focus from not only hitting sales numbers but also building brand loyalty. If you want your business to flourish, branding should be a key part of your strategy. A strong brand increases your company’s appeal and value to a potential buyer. Not only that, but it will also change the trajectory of your business for the better.
Branding is what gives your business a competitive edge and staying power in a highly competitive industry. When effectively implemented, branding can make the difference between a business fizzling out or flourishing.
Remember, branding is more than just a name or logo, it’s how you would like your company to be perceived and remembered.
You have the power to develop a unique personality and voice that will set you apart from others. Making an eCommerce branding strategy helps guide your customer’s expectations while creating a relationship with them. For instance, a steady stream of repeat, loyal customers, or a continuous increase in keyword conversion share demonstrates growth beyond the P&L to a prospective investor.
Conversely, strong brand management lets potential buyers know that you’re interested in more than a quick dollar. It demonstrates that you understand the experimentation and development required to set yourself apart from others. When you invest and strengthen your brand, you create a solid and scalable foundation for a potential buyer to build upon.
Building and selling a brand is no simple feat, especially if you are new to the entrepreneurial world. Thankfully, we are here to help guide you and give you actionable tips that you can utilize today.
Here are five practical tips on how to build a stronger brand:
1. Gain credibility: Develop a solid voice, tone, and brand image
Is your logo unique and memorable? What promise are you making to your customers? If you’re on Shopify or another eCommerce platform other than Amazon, what makes the user experience better or easier than if you were selling it on Amazon? These are all important things to ask yourself when building your brand.
Your brand needs to have a solid foundation. What this means practically is high-quality, relevant imagery, on-point copy that captures the business’s values, videos whenever possible, and a strong focus on your audience. It means evoking a personal, human, and emotional connection. It means having a strong, fast website with great SEO that showcases your products. A strategy and customer experience that addresses inquiries and resolves any issues before they result in negative reviews. A strong social media presence. Get where we’re going with this?
These are just a few examples of a strong brand foundation. Having a clear and memorable branding voice helps build brand recognition and promotes customer identification.
2. Know what you’re up against
After a customer searches up a keyword, how long does it take for your brand to pop up? You want to see your company’s brand at the top of any product search. This sends the message to customers that you care and that people trust what you have to offer.
It can get dicey on Amazon with the keywords, so you’ll want to be careful. Don’t become a keyword stuffer. But in terms of building your brand, especially if you’re selling a particularly niche product, you will want to have an idea of the keywords that may potentially sky-rocket your search optimization. Want to know how to get started with this? Go into your Amazon Search Terms report. This report is a valuable insight into your business and category.
You’ll find out things like:
- Which products customers are clicking on after searching for a particular product
- Search for a particular product and see which keywords drive customers to choose it
Boosting your conversion share may be as simple as carefully and strategically increasing additional keywords to your listing title. Your listing copy is especially significant: make sure it’s straightforward, keyword-optimized, and in compliance with Amazon’s guidelines.
A brand that invests in truly mastering search rankings and shows up on top of any search list increases its credibility tremendously. People are much more willing to buy from a brand that takes this seriously.
Sometimes it’s the small details that completely set you apart from the competition.
3. Know your target audience and bring value
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, specifically, in their browsing and buying experiences. Do I have to use my computer to buy that interesting book you saw online? Or can I just buy it from the convenience of my handheld device?
Having mobile-friendly listings will give you and your brand an edge when customers view them on mobile devices. They should be quick and efficient to view on mobile for that fast, convenient purchase.
Why is this so important?
Mobile eCommerce, or “m-commerce,” is the leading industry choice by customers making purchases online. According to statista.com, 58.9 percent of all retail e-commerce was generated via m-commerce in 2017. And it’s only going up from there. You definitely want to be part of that market.
Make it an easy, no-frills, enjoyable experience for any customer that comes across your brand. Show them that your brand caters to its customer’s desires and needs.
4. Ready, set, get the word out!
So, how does a business build it up? Start by surrounding yourself in that knight-in-shiny-armor review moat. Any Amazon brand worth its salt has a huge amount of positive reviews for its products. It is literally one of the leading reasons why people trust brands in the marketplace.
Reviews are the life source of an Amazon or DTC business. When faced with multiple options, customers Reviews are the life source of an Amazon or DTC business. When faced with multiple options, customers will often choose the product with the best reviews. (Having a high-quality product most certainly contributes to positive reviews).
But beyond that, you will have to put in some additional work to earn more stars. To increase your positive reviews, you’ll need to increase your sales. But how?
This may mean offering promotions, increasing advertisements to boost web traffic, or suffering a temporary price cut. You want to create a vast moat of positive reviews around your products’ brand.
Just know the money is well spent, and the work is worth it. In addition to the increase of positive reviews, your company will now have more freedom and a competitive edge to raise your prices.
So remember: Increased sales leads to more positive reviews, which leads to more brand recognition and trust.
5. Product quality + brand mission = brand quality
Every brand is made up of a mish-mosh, smorgasbord, and buffet of different moving parts and cogs. But what expressly, solely, identifies your brand? It will always be your products. Because without those products, there’d be no business, and without a business, there’d certainly be no brand. Right?
So, in a short one-two-punch, here’s the gist:
Build your eCommerce brand centered around quality with a narrow product focus.
Doing so will result in customers recognizing the value of your brand. Customers tend to be loyal to products and brands they know they can rely on. Having a top-notch product will gain more attention and a stronger following than selling a variety of low-quality items.
Some great examples of eCommerce brands that focus on high-quality items are WildBird Baby Sling, YETI Coolers, and S’well Reusable Water Bottles (as per sellbrite.com). These are just a few examples of startups that blew up their brand recognition and trust based on a single (or narrow) high-quality product focus.
Branding is crucial because not only does it give your company a visual identity, but when implemented effectively, it gives your company a name and a voice that brings customer awareness, credibility, trust, and most importantly the emotional connection that people need in order to stay hooked.
Building a thriving eCommerce brand isn’t a straight-line journey; it’s cyclical. Keep testing, improving, learning, and expanding. Then take a step back, observe and evaluate what’s working and what’s not working for you. Once you make it a habit of repeating this cycle, your brand will grow. That awareness and self-reflection will keep you updated on what’s happening within your brand and will give you the insight to address new issues that may arise.
Keep everything in sync and as consistent as possible. That goes for your brand positioning within the marketplace, to your target audience, to brand messaging and visual identity. If you can create a solid brand foundation with assets that speak to your audience, then you have everything you need to build off of.
Got specific questions on how to build and cultivate an authentic and healthy brand? We would be happy to help you sift through the clutter, clarify your messaging, and strategize a brand identity that represents who you are and your vision for the future.