Branding cannot be seen, heard, or touched—yet, it still plays a major role in your e-commerce business. Why so? Well, the thing is that branding is a business mixed with emotion and engagement and expectation that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. So, how can you create a brand and make it work? Let’s find out!
Branding is the key to more ecommerce sales
Why EXACTLY branding is so important
A brand is a very important part of marketing that, if done right, helps you break through the endless array of similar businesses, grab your ideal customer’s attention and show them why you are the perfect match for them. How does it work? Well… Take a look!
People trust brands more
Brands are businesses with a human face, which is their undeniable advantage over average “no-name” sellers. People like to see who’s in charge, thus why brands get more customers, a high level of loyalty, and a limit for making mistakes. On the other hand, brands have much more responsibility on their shoulders, and one wrong decision can lead to devastating consequences.
Read more: 10 Ways to Increase Website Conversion
Branding provides a truly unique experience
The most exciting thing about a brand is that you can’t create it once and forever. A brand is so much more than just a logo and corporate colors or even sales—actually, it’s a relationship between customer and company. Ideally, that kind of relationship is when your customers are not just satisfied with your product, but they’re satisfied with you. To achieve this, you’ll need to keep your eyes on the ball — meaning, communicating with your clients to define their needs, collecting feedback on what you’re offering now, and carefully studying it to understand how you can improve your business. It’s not an easy-peasy process, but it gives you a truly unique experience that you can use in any area of your life.
Branding shapes expectations
It’s no secret that today’s e-commerce space is hyper-competitive. Customers have A LOT of variants where they can spend their hard-earned money. To stand out, you need to meet their expectations and do more than your competitors. This, in addition to the obvious “offering quality products,” means:
- assuring your potential clients that you’re committed to providing a high level of service;
- keeping your promises;
- following the rules of social responsibility — nowadays reputation is everything.
4 Essential Brand Elements
Ever think about what makes a brand… Well, a brand? Time to find out.
The creation of any brand begins with its strategy—an ultimate plan of how a company will achieve its global goals. A good strategy needs to answer four questions:
- What do you offer?
- What do you stand for?
- How are you different from your competitors?
- How can you make your clients’ lives better?
For example, Nike. The company that sells sportswear isn’t talking about its product, progressive technologies, or how they are better than their competitors. Nike advertisements honor great athletes and make an average fitness-enthusiast feel like they can achieve no less than professionals. This point of view not only started meteoric growth of sales, but had an impact on other huge brands.
Thus, during his speech in 1997, Steve Jobs named Nike’s marketing strategy the best the world has ever seen. Inspired by this approach, Steve Jobs changed the strategy of its own brand — thus, Apple’s marketers stopped saying that they sell iron machines that help people work. Quite the opposite: they started to tie a buyer to the association that passionate people are changing the world and that this mission is so much easier to achieve if you are an Apple user.
To make a new strategy whole, Apple had a new slogan: “Think differently.” In the ad, the company used footage of Muhammad Ali, John Lennon, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi — the people who had already succeeded in making world a better place.
People want to do business with brands that share their personal values, so you need to figure out what your company stands for. To do that, try to honestly answer these questions:
- What do customers say about you? Check out reviews or poll your audience to see what you’re doing well and what needs improvement.
- What are your top three priorities? This question will help you determine exactly what is important to you.
- What brands or celebrities does your target audience admire? People like someone or something for a reason, and you need to know what it is.
Here are some examples of companies who successfully married purpose with profit and became a hero in the target audience’s eyes.
Google has focused on reducing its impact on the planet back in 2007 and became the first major company to reach carbon neutrality. Now the company set an even more ambitious goal— to operate solely on carbon-free energy by 2030.
The famous LEGO Group is also trying to keep up with socially responsible business conduct. In September 2020, the famous toy-maker announced their goal to be carbon neutral by 2022 and make all packaging sustainable by the end of 2025.
Want to know examples that do not focus on Mother Nature? Look no further! Netflix states employees are the main value for every company that aims to be successful. This is why the well-known entertainment provider offers huge benefits to support its people and their families. One of them is 52 weeks (that’s a whole year!) of paid parental leave to the parents that can be taken at any time they want. Compare it to an average 18 weeks that offers other major tech companies and feel the coolness.
Tone of voice
The tone of voice is a huge part of how you present your business to the world. It’s not just how you sound — it’s also a way to translate your message to the audience, so they can understand if your brand is right for them or not.
For example, Burger King that is famous for jokes on the verge of permissible. Sure, this marketing approach is not for everyone, but fans of black humor adore the brand for its bold tone of voice.
Burger King ads simply cannot be confused with others. Here is what we are talking about: in 2017, at the pre-premiere screening of the “IT” in Germany, Burger King hijacked the movie with two ironic spotlights about clowns right before the credits. Thus, turning the entire film into Burger King’s longest ad ever.
Visual elements are a part of a brand identity that helps your brand catch attention, evoke emotions, and be chosen from other brands with similar products. It includes:
- Color palette
For example, if you are launching an e-commerce shop focused on toys for children, you might want to consider pink, yellow, and blue which people associate with joy and childhood. But if you produce 100% natural cosmetics, the green color scheme, which is strongly associated with nature, will look more appropriate.
Top tips of how to build a strong e-commerce brand
Know your clients
It’s impossible to please all consumers in the world. Finding your audience is the foundation of a successful brand.
Focus on product quality
Even the smartest marketing can’t save your business if you’re going to sell frankly bad products.
Find unique but wholesome style
There’s nothing worse than a discordant design. All of your branding elements should be similar and complement each other.
Serve your customers better
Make due apologies if you mess up and provide mistakes solutions as fast as you can.
Be consistent and loyal
At this point, you should already be well aware of your clients’ wants. To deepen their connection to your brand, consider implementing loyalty programs—special propositions, presents for birthdays, holiday sales etc.
Create a variety of types of content
Podcasts, videos, GIFs, infographics, posts—there are so many ways to communicate with your audience! But nobody likes boring content, so the thing is to don’t take on more than you can do without losing quality.
Speak the same language as your audience
Choose your audience and behave accordingly. A brand that is trying to be liked by rappers and the British Queen at the same time looks a little… odd. Not sure what kind of language your TA uses? Take a look at how they talk in reviews or do additional consumer research.
Share your story
That’s certainly not a “Must-Do” thing, but many customers like to know the story behind the brand. For some types of clients, it’s even a dealbreaker.
Use e-commerce branding across platforms
Your website, social media platforms, ads, and partnerships with media, influencers, and other brands should be easily recognizable.
Creating Brand, prepare yourself to a long run
Building a brand isn’t a piece of cake—and, before you start, it should be considered. If your goal is to quickly selling digital products or services—it’s not your cup of tea. But if you want to build a long-term, sustainable business—then it’s just what you need.