The online marketplace has become saturated with thousands of retailers selling nearly identical merchandise. This means standing out from the crowd is becoming more and more challenging. But a simple way to differentiate yourself is investing in building a strong brand.
When you first think about your ecommerce brand, you’ll likely focus on your logo. But your brand is your whole identity. It consists of all the elements of your business — your overall image, personality, and equity.
Consumers don’t buy products — they buy brands. The quality of your brand impacts the loyalty and trust of your audience. It has the power to inspire consumers to create communities around your business.
With a strong brand, you’ll get more recognition and respect — even the ability to price your products higher, simply because of who you are.
Jump on the Brand Wagon
The process of building your brand is a journey. Branding takes businesses to newer heights, further than where they would go otherwise.
To help guide you through your branding adventure, we interviewed several industry leaders and asked for their insight on how to create an exceptional ecommerce brand. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Be transparent with your brand’s story and define what you stand for.
“People don’t just buy products; they buy the brand behind them. Having a powerful story and image is not only a marketable asset; it may also be the reason why people choose to purchase from you in the first place.
“Keeping this in mind, it’s imperative that you define your ‘why’ and use it as reflection for everything you do. Design, new products, marketing materials — they should all emphasize ‘why’ your company exists.”
— Kevin Wild, Partner Manager, Bold Commerce
2. Conduct thorough research on your brand and domain name.
“Before you settle on a brand name, do your research. You’ll want to research domain names for your business as well as look into the differences between popular social media platforms and their target audiences. Ideally, you’re able to have the same handle on every platform.
“Lastly, research different email service providers available for businesses. Look for an email client that offers streamlined organization tools and has the email address you want. Once your business launches, you’ll want to have scaffolding in place to handle a variety of customer queries.”
— Ashley Conway, VP Customer Experience, Cratejoy
3. Don’t pass up any opportunity to brand.
“Brand everything. Be more strict on [branding] from the get-go and make sure any branding opportunities are not being passed up.”
“Take every opportunity you can to showcase your brand — on social media, your website, and if you sell physical products, in your packages too. The little things go a long way, so make sure your brand is present and consistent on all touch points!”
— Nora Inveiss, Content Marketer, Printful
“The packaging that you use to ship your items can have a huge impact on your customer’s perception of your brand and their receiving experience. Incorporating a simple branded element into your packaging – such as colorful tissues or a handwritten note – can surprise and delight your customers, making that online purchase from your store that much more memorable.
“While this addition may take more steps in your fulfillment process, it can be an important differentiator in your business that keeps your brand top of mind with shoppers and set you apart from larger retailers.”
— Lindley Graham, Manager, Parcels and e-Commerce Marketing, Canada Post
Did You Know?
4. Brands should offer something unique.
“The reality is in a world of Amazon… your brand is the differentiator. If people are not connected to your brand, then it’s very likely that they’ll go and just get whatever’s cheaper or they’ll buy from someone else. Those are our efforts to build a brand on the risk of your product or your company and commoditize. And you have to compete on price or speed or some other faction that is a lot easier for people to duplicate or do better than you.”
— Eric Bandholz, CEO, Beardbrand
“Branding is more than your logo…it’s who your business is. It’s your company’s personality and values communicated through consistent use of certain colors, fonts, imagery and tone of voice, not to mention your logo. A well-crafted brand connects with your target audience and appears in every communication your company has with the world.”
— Alison Garrison, Senior Director, Services, Volusion
5. A strong brand builds customer loyalty and repeat purchases.
“There are a million ways to grow an ecommerce brand… But one of the most reliable ways is to increase customer lifetime value.
“Give your customers a reason to come back and buy more. Give them an on-site experience, a reason to tell their friends about you. The bigger your customer lifetime value is, the bigger your brand equity and your word of mouth marketing. That’s an investment for the long-term.”
— Tracey Wallace, Editor in Chief, BigCommerce Blog
Which was your favorite quote about building
an ecommerce brand? Let us know in the comments!