Is your ecommerce business struggling to compete with others and you can’t get consistent sales? You don’t have a loyal customer audience? If so, you should invest in your branding.
SO what is this exceptional thing called branding?
A brand is a name given to a Business such that it takes on an identity by itself. Description: In today’s marketplace teeming with thousands of products and services, all of which are being rapidly commoditized, a brand stands out from the clutter and attracts attention.
In other words, branding is building a personality for your company or business. They are easily remembered and recognised.
Brands build emotional connection with their audience.
A powerful branding increases the chances of customers choosing your products or services over your competitors. It attracts more customers, at a lower cost per acquisition, who are happy to pay a little more and will buy a little more often.
Sounds too good to be true, right ?
These are the most fundamental elements for your ecommerce business. This brand compass mage up of five simple directions which are – vision, values, mission, objectives and purpose.
Here are some brand examples that almost everybody knows-
Apple is a brand that has a strong reputation, and company personality. People have certain expectations of them and they always come up with products that fulfill the audience’s expectations.
That is why every new iPhone looks exactly like the old models. Bingo!
They also have brand values.
That is the one of the biggest reasons why Apple is a trillion dollar brand.
Nike slogan is so iconic and it just lets everybody know what they are all about. But it is not all about a fancy slogan.
Nike newer spends any word to tell “our shoes are better than Adidas”.This is probably the worst marketing mistake a brand can do.
Instead, they honor great athletes, athletics and especially women.
And mainly they know how to leverage social media to send this message to everybody.
They use hashtags purposefully so they can attract people who might be interested.
If we sum up what branding really is it is just shaping and tailoring how company, organization is precise.
In other words, how an individual perceives a brand consciously or unconsciously wholly determines how they will engage with that brand.
Before we jump right into how to brand your ecommerce business, let’s check out the main benefits that branding will give you.
- Customer recognition
Having a powerful ecommerce brand works to build customer recognition. This means when a customer is shopping for a particular product or considering a company to perform a service, they recognize your company in the running and you are one of the best. Consumers are far more likely to choose a brand they recognize over something unfamiliar, even if they don’t know a great deal about your company.
- Competitive advantage in marketing
Your brand differentiates you in the marketplace. When customers recognize and back your brand, it helps lend a competitive edge to your company. The more recognition you receive and the more you build your brand, the more you find that your brand elevates and competes with other well-known brands.
- Easy introduction of new products
When you already have a powerful brand and loyal customers, it is often easier and less expensive to introduce new products or test them out before you further invest in them. If you have a loyal brand following, your customers will often be interested in your new products and even expect them being released.
- High customer loyalty
The recognition and elevation that a powerful brand builds upon all lend to greater customer loyalty. They attract customers to brands that they share values with. When you build a strong brand, you need to convey these values to build an emotional connection with customers. Brand loyalty often lasts a lifetime and even transfers to future generations.
- Enhanced credibility and ease of purchase
Having a strong, well-known brand enhances your credibility with customers, your industry, and the marketplace. As you build your credibility, you also build recognition, loyalty, and competitiveness. Everything goes hand-in-hand, and you’ll find that your credibility has a direct connection to customers’ ease of purchase. We want to buy from companies we like, know, and trust. If your brand is credible, you’re far more likely to get the sale.
- No competition over price
Do you always try to sell for a cheaper price compared to your competitors? If so, you should not be doing this Why?
Since we are online retailers, it is really hard for us to compete over price. Especially if you are buying from Aliexpress or Alibaba.
But branding could allow you to sell products for a higher price. If we look at Apple, they sell their smartphones at a lot higher price than their competitors and people still prefer the iPhone over others. Why is hidden under branding?
And another thing is that people don’t always want to buy the cheapest thing. Because it kind of makes us feel better about ourselves. Here is the explanation.
Now we know the benefits, let’s jump into the action.
Position yourself uniquely
Perhaps you are excited about building an ecommerce brand, but let me be honest:
It is a lot of hard work to get your marketing strategy right, and if you can’t take an unique position in front of your audience, they won’t even care about you.
In their analysis of 18,000 eCommerce sites, Yotpo found that an average eCommerce store site fails to go past 500 fans on the social network site Facebook.
I know you might think a ‘like’ on social networks is a vanity metric (doesn’t really matter). But it is an indicator you’ve worked hard your way to gaining those true 1000 fans that love you like crazy and buy all of your products and share their love on the social networks.
Your unique selling point is the most important part of getting true fanbase
If your target audience can associate with the problems you’re trying to solve, then your marketing communications have more likelihood to go viral.
Dollar shave club is the best example for this. Their first video told a great story comically and tied it back to their brand.
Their product isn’t fancy, with a boatload of unnecessary features, but it does the job.
They presented their benefits succinctly and memorably through these narratives in the video:
- “Each razor has stainless steel blades, an Aloe Vera lubrication strip and a pivot head.”
- “Do you like spending 20 dollars a month on brand named razors? 19 go to Roger Federer.”
- “Do you think your razor needs a vibrating handle, a flashlight, a backscratcher and 10 blades?
And we all know how the video launch went….
Mission and vision statement
Here is the real deal
If you want your business to strive in the long run and really become a great brand You got to have a vision and mission statement. In fact, this should be the The main reason why you are doing what you do. Simon Sinek has a great quote-
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it
But, it’s pretty easy to lose sight of value creation and get sidetracked or distracted by other things like profit margins, expanding your product catalogs, or competitors. Guess what? Your customers don’t care about your profit margins.
That is why you have to have a mission and vision statement.
So, what is the mission statement?
A mission statement summarizes an organization’s core purpose, focus, and aims. This usually briefly describes what the organization does and its key objectives.
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement is a brief description of an organization’s aspirations and the wider impact it aims to create. It should be a guiding beacon to everyone within the organization and something which underpins internal decision-making and determines the intended direction of the organization.
What is the difference?
In short: The mission is the “what” and the “how,” and the vision is the “why.”
The mission statement defines what an organization does and includes tangible goals which the organization strives to accomplish. The vision statement, meanwhile, should clarify the aspirations of the organization and define the direction it’s head in.
Many organizations combine the two statements to form one defined reason for existing that unites the efforts of everyone involved.
Do you really need mission and vision statements?
If you really want to create legitimate money making business, yes, you got to have mission and vision statements and it is too important. Best brands in the world have mission statements and it is an essential part of their branding strategy.
Examples from best brands
- Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
- Nike: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.
- MVMT: Style shouldn’t break the bank.
- Warby Parker: To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
- Shopify: Make commerce better for everyone, so businesses can focus on what they do best: building and selling their products.
- Patagonia: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
- IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
- TED: Spread ideas.
- Amazon: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
- Southwest Airlines: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
- Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
- Asos: Become the world’s number-one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.
- Loreal: To provide the best in cosmetics innovation to women and men around the world with respect for their diversity.
- Bulletproof: Help people perform better, think faster, and live better.
- Honest Tea: Create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
If you want to learn how to write mission statement for your ecommerce business, check out this resource
Develop brand identity
Your brand identity is how you present yourself to the world, and includes pieces of brand like your logo, branding guide or the unique selling proposition (USP) for your product or service. Here are a few tips to develop these initial parts of your brand.
Logo is like the face of your brand and the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the name of the brand. Developing a simple and effective logo can be a surprisingly daunting process. Consider working with a freelance graphic designer to create a logo, as well as other initial brand collateral.
- Branding guide
This defines the color palette of your ecommerce brand, typography, and overall theme and style that you’ll use in your marketing materials, on your website and on social media. If you already have a logo you like, you develop these other elements based on that.
A designer can help you create a guide, but if you want to go the DIY route, many online tools make it easy for you to play with colors and styles with no professional experience.
Your brand identity should aim to integrate your USP. This dictates how you talk to your audience on social media and your website, along with how you present products, and how you differentiate your brand from others on the market. You can think of it as your brand personality.
Develop brand story
Your brand story is a narrative that describes the essence of your ecommerce business: your mission or goals, core values, and vision. It allows a customer to connect to the purpose behind your product or service.
Believe it or not, storytelling is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can use. “The most successful companies in the world have profound stories behind them”. As example : Tesla, Apple, Google are a lot more than a company These are Legacy brands created by visionaries who aspire to change the world.
In order to develop your brand story, you need to remember and articulate why you started your business and what it means. You have to have why. If you’re not sure where to start, consider the six key elements to telling an interesting brand story.
Establish a social media presence
Social media is a crucial part of the ecommerce branding strategy. Social media platforms give you free access to millions of people your target audience is probably there. When it comes to establishing your presence on social media, consistency is the key. Not only do you have to share content on a consistent basis, you also need consistency between platforms.
Which really means using the same logo, language, and color across social media channels.
But before all that you need to decide which social media channels you will use.There are a lot of social media channels out there and knowing which will suit your business the best is an important task. You might think that being on every social media platform is a better idea, but it is definitely better to rock few social media channels.
But how do you choose the best platforms for your business?
Here is the deal, recent research has shown demographic shifts on Facebook: the number of baby boomers using the platform doubled, while the number of teens dropped by twenty percent. On Instagram, 80% of all Instagram users follow brand accounts. That is why you have to know about your target audience and which social media platform is their favorite.
Personalized customer experience
This might not come into mind when you think of branding, but this definitely should not be underestimated. But Offering unique personalized experience can go a long way in establishing your brand.
As a matter of fact, recent research proved that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that provides personalized experiences.
Shopify recommends using branded packaging experiences to create a memorable unboxing, which not only offers a positive first impression but potentially shareable via social media.
Check out the success story of an NYC bakery getting viral social buzz from their specialized packaging. While these costs more to produce, it provides a unique opportunity with your customer, not to mention the free marketing of the potential social share.
Consistency while content creation
Your brand should create all sorts of content to stay relevant and in mind of the customers including blog posts or videos and social media content. Once you’ve created the content, however, it’s critical that you promote it among all your channels, allowing you to build a brand known for providing value, not just selling.
According to ecommerce experts at Selz, in their guide, about how to start an online clothing store, that strong, value-add content also helps you to build connections with your audience. They give the example:
“You can help shape the brand identity and narrative of your online clothing business by sharing outfits, sourcing information, or even showcasing what your day looks like. Consider including an Ebook of fashion tips, how-to videos, advice on working with certain materials, and anything else you think your customers will find valuable and engaging.”
While content, specifically your blog is a place to share your story and connect with your audience, it’s also an amazing tool to drive leads. Check out 5 Effective Customer Acquisition Strategies for Your Blog to get some ideas for how you can make the most of your content.
When it comes to creating an ecommerce brand you should get to understand that it takes time, effort and resources to build a successful ecommerce brand. But once you scceed you will see the rewards coming.