You’re ready to launch your ecommerce brand, but in today’s competitive online market, how can you ensure that your business receives the attention it deserves? Building a coherent brand identity may seem like a daunting task at first, yet it can underpin the success of your entire enterprise.
Fortunately, the secret to successful branding is rooted in your enthusiasm for your business premise, and your ability to convey that feeling in a way that inspires others to engage with your brand. Whether this is your first foray into ecommerce, or you are looking for ways to improve your branding strategy, the following tips will help you take the first steps towards developing a brand to remember.
Define Your Brand
Of course, you know what your business does, but how can you translate that into a brand identity? The impression your brand gives needs to be rooted in more than just the products or services you sell.
- It must be memorable and distinctive.
- It must be relevant and appealing to your target audience.
- It must have the flexibility to grow and evolve with your business.
Start by setting out your own motivations, and the reasons your business was started in the first place. What are its ethics, and its objectives? What sets it apart from its competitors. All of these features define your brand, and should be taken into consideration when you develop its voice and aesthetic.
Know Your Audience
Your target audience should have a significant impact on the construction of your brand’s personality. After all, branding is all about engaging with potential customers, so you need to know who they are, and how best to appeal to them. Consider their age, interests, browsing habits, and any other common factors between them.
Don’t forget to think about more than just your primary audience. Not everyone who is interested in your business will fall into the same demographic. Identify the main subsets of your potential audience, and keep them in mind when deciding on the message your brand will deliver.
Give Your Brand a Voice and an Aesthetic
The voice of your brand needs to align with its identity, and be structured to appeal to your target audience. Scout out your competitors, and study their approaches to branding. This will give you a perspective on what is working for them, and what you may be able to do differently.
- Use language and phrasing appropriate to your chosen demographic, taking into consideration how you can adapt your approach to include a wider audience.
- Choose a colour palette and graphical style that is appropriate to the mood you want your brand to inspire.
- Identify keywords that are relevant to your brand, and research their prevalence on other sites within your industry. This will help you capitalise on competitive key phrases that vary from those of your competitors.
However you decide to convey your brand’s identity, the most important factor is to remain consistent. The power of good branding is that it helps people to recognise and identify with your business. The more coherent and cohesive your brand’s voice is, the stronger it will become.
Design a Great Logo
Successful branding is about far more than just your business logo, but that does not mean this powerful tool should be neglected. Having a memorable and easily recognisable logo means customers will know at a glance that they are dealing with your business.
On an ecommerce website, which may see visitors browsing through several pages within a short space of time, your logo serves as a constant reminder of your brand, and a reassurance to the user that they have not inadvertently been redirected to another site.
Of course, your logo also needs to be meaningful. Consider your brand’s personality, purpose, and audience, and build you design accordingly. Set out your key objectives, and think about how you can sum these up in a single line. This can be your business’ tagline, to be used in conjunction with your logo, giving customers an instant impression of what your brand represents.
Use Your Branding Everywhere
Once you’ve put all that hard work in, it would be a pity not to get the most out of it. Furthermore, having a consistent voice throughout your marketing initiatives, website, and product branding makes it easier for consumers to recognise when they are engaging with your business.
The value of this is that familiarity increases trust, making potential customers more comfortable with your brand, and more likely to visit your website, read your content, and purchase your products or services.
If you’re just starting out, you may benefit from using an online store builder such as Shopify or BigCommerce to help you create a uniform aesthetic throughout your website. These platforms also enable you to quickly customise your site, implement discounts, and scale up your operations, all without interfering with the sales process.
Be Your Own Biggest Fan
To engage effectively with your audience, they need to believe your message, and the best way to achieve this is to believe in it yourself. Enthusiasm is infectious, and by actively and positively promoting your brand, you are demonstrating your confidence in it.
Be prepared to answer questions on your business objectives, motivations, and the thinking behind your brand. Everything your audience can learn about the individual nature of your business makes it feel more relatable, and helps to build a positive reputation for your brand.
Branch Out With Multichannel Sales
You do not need to limit your sales to just one platform. In fact, a 2015 survey by Stitch Labs revealed that retailers who sold on two marketplaces received around 190 percent more revenue than those operating on just one marketplace.
Multichannel retailing can be as simple as listing your items on social media, and established marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay, Amazon and Flubit.com. Not only does this enable you to reach more people, it also means consumers are more likely to come across your products on multiple sites. This gives the impression that your brand is more established, and therefore more reliable.
The whole process can be automated by integrating your multichannel sales with your online store, allowing you to promote your products to a much wider audience, without increasing your workload. This method can also facilitate dynamic pricing, by helping you to determine optimal pricing structures, while retaining consistency across all channels.
Branding is a process that is easy to learn, but hard to truly master. To keep your brand relevant, you will need to continuously maintain and develop its identity. Carry out regular audits, and highlight areas where your branding has diminished in effectiveness. This will enable you to keep on top of changing trends, and allow your brand to evolve in line with shifting consumer expectations.
As with many aspects of running a business, successful branding requires long-term dedication, and careful planning.Even so, the more in tune with your brand’s voice you become, the easier it will be to optimise your branding strategy.
Over time, through continued engagement with your target audience, consumer familiarity with your brand will grow, increasing trust, driving sales, and enabling your business to reach its full potential. So while it may be a long road to branding mastery, the rewards are certainly worth the journey.
Victoria Greene is an ecommerce consultant and freelance writer. She has her own blog at VictoriaEcommerce where she likes to talk about all things business, ecommerce, and content.