I’m going to show you a couple of logos—minus any words—or a slogan—minus any logos. Try to see if you can identify the brand (answers at bottom of the post).
The catch is, you only have 5 seconds to figure each one out.
- The best ecommerce platform for growing sales.
- Buy it. Sell it. Love it.
If you were asked, “how many marketing messages does the average consumer encounter daily?”, what would you say? Well if you said 3,000, you’re correct! Just think about your daily drive to work and all the endless billboards, radio advertisements, bumper stickers, and company signs you come into contact with. There’s no escaping it!
Here’s another shocking stat, research shows you only have 5 seconds for a consumer to connect with your brand. Like in the above brand game, either you were quick to identify the brand (5 seconds or less) or you didn’t know it at all.
As an online merchant, you might be asking yourself, “how do I compete with the other 3,000 marketing messages and connect with a consumer in 5 seconds?”. Have no fear, I’m going to share with you 5 tips to help you stand out from the crowd and make sure your brand is rising above the noise and connecting with your customers.
Tip #1: Continuously Conduct Marketing Research
There is a big misconception that marketing research is something you only do at the beginning of starting a new company. This isn’t a good strategy because how else would you know your indirect competitor has now become your direct competitor, a new technology could make your product/service obsolete, or your customer’s preferences have changed. Marketing research needs to be continuously included in your marketing strategy.
Another misconception of marketing research is that it’s very expensive and time consuming, which just isn’t true. You really need to evaluate the two types of marketing research and the pros and cons for each to decide which method will work best for you.
Secondary research = completed by a third party
Pros: free, readily available
Cons: not customizable for your specific needs
The US Census Bureau is a marketer’s dream come true and excellent source for secondary research. Trade publications are another great source. The two well-known associations for eCommerce is Internet Merchant Association and eCommerce Merchants Trade Association.
Primary research = new research intended to answer specific questions
Pros: you can customize it for your specific needs
Cons: not readily available, can have a cost
Survey Monkey is a great primary research tool for creating customer surveys for minimal to no cost. Facebook private groups are a great way to implement an online focus group.
Tip #2: Segment Your Target Market
A lot of online merchants make the mistake of selecting everyone as their target market. The old saying, “you can’t be everything to everyone” is very true. You most definitely wouldn’t want to market the same way to a male, baby boomer as you would a female, millennial.
The more you can segment your target market the better you can cater your marketing strategy to connect with your customer. Think about how you can categorize your customer with the following market segmentation.
- Geographic = rural vs. urban, terrain, international, regional
- Demographic = age, income level, occupation, education level
- Psychographic = lifestyle, attitudes, interests
- Behavioral = usage, experience, loyalty
Tip #3: Varied Channel Mix
When it comes to getting the word out about your brand, you want to make sure you’re not just using one method. A good rule of thumb is to communicate with your customer where they work, live, and play.
- Social media
- Paid advertising
- Personal selling
You want to make sure that you’re using a channel mix that your customer is currently engaging with. If you’re target market isn’t on Pinterest, it’s not a good idea to spend a lot of time and effort on that social platform.
Before paying for various channels, you should test it for free. For example, before spending money on paid Facebook ads, try engaging with your customers on Facebook to make sure they are willing to interact with your brand on this platform.
Tip #4: Consistent Message
At the beginning, while you were playing the brand game, you were thinking certain things about those brands. Maybe things like Walmart is the low-cost leader, UPS delivers packages with care, and eBay is a one stop shop for everything. These are called brand attributes, which are characteristics that help us identify with a brand. To connect with a customer, you want to create positive brand attributes.
Therefore, you should assure that you’re communicating one clear message to your customers. That means one logo, slogan, and value proposition.
Repetition is key and every encounter with your brand will help create those positive brand attributes. Never miss an opportunity to create brand awareness. For example, using branded tape, boxes, tissue paper, and shipping labels (eCom Labels). Another great opportunity for brand awareness is to add your messaging and branding to all customer communication – delivery emails, tracking emails, and branded tracking page.
Tip #5: Subliminal Messaging
Subliminal messaging goes below limits of perception and deep in the unconscious mind. Research shows you can motivate consumers’ purchase behaviors through subliminal messaging.
You encounter subliminal messaging every day and might not even know it. See if you can identify the subliminal messaging from these logos (answers at the bottom of the post).
With the five suggested tips, continuously conduct marketing research, segment your target market, varied channel mix, consistent message, and subliminal messaging, you’re well on your way from standing out from the crowd and connecting with you customer above all the noise.
ANSWERS: 1). Walmart, 2). UPS, 3). BigCommerce, 4). eBay, 5). Selling everything from a-z with a smile, 6). 31 flavors – on B and R, and 7). Mom’s cooking – mom on the collar