Make Your Brand Speak For You
Your brand is much more than just a logo……It is a reflection of your customer’s expectations, the memories that led him to choose your product or service and the story that made him choose yours over others.
That’s why ‘branding’ is said to be business mixed with emotion, engagement and expectation. It is something to be felt. People often purchase a product because of an emotional connection they feel with the brand; haven’t you done that yourself?
Building a brand will allow you to tell a story about what makes your business remarkable. This works well for a small ecommerce store as people are essentially looking for something different when they visit/browse these independent shops. It is going to be hard for you to compete with the bigger stores in terms of price, so it’s smarter to compete by differentiating your product.
How to Build Your Brand
A good brand strategy is the starting point.
Obvious, you say? Perhaps; but not understood well enough.
For starters, spend some time in developing absolute clarity on the mission your store serves. That will set the tone for all your communication. Highlight the problems you could solve for your customers and the qualities you want your customers to associate your store with. That is the first thing to have a clear idea about.
Once you do have a clear idea, write this mission down; preferably in a sentence or two. It will help you use the right words when you speak of your store, when you send emails to your customers, and when you write any copy on your website.
Next, if you haven’t already, choose a name and logo that people can remember easily. Keep things simple, and intuitive for maximum recall.
Tell the story of your brand to uniquely position your products in the minds of your target customers. Spell out clearly why the customer should be choosing you over others and what makes you so special. Appeal to the visitor’s emotions and share your ideals. Everyone loves a good story so tell yours if you like; but keep it short and relevant. Begin to use social media to reach a wider audience.
It is important to understand and accept that you don’t need to please everyone! Identify and define the specific market or people you want to serve and focus exclusively on them. The trick is to make sure that your message resonates with your targeted customer.
Finally, branding is much more than just the product/service. The look and feel of your website, your customer communication and even shopping cart checkout page all matter and if all your pages are cohesive, your brand will develop an identity of its own
How to Market Your Brand
People need to know about your brand. So do things and tell people about them. Share the story of your brand and position your business as different to stand out in the crowd. Perhaps you have an interesting supplier story? Do you support ethical sourcing? Or do you have a story about why you chose a certain packaging that you can share?
Use social media to grow and positively affect your brand. A Facebook page, Instagram stories, Twitter account, Youtube channel, Pinterest can all be used to spread the word. However, you really don’t need to be everywhere! It is ok to be selective and pick the social channels that you are most comfortable updating regularly. And keep your style constant over all channels you choose. These are entry points to your store’s home-base.
To increase awareness about your product, you could also join various communities or forums to leave your digital footprint at the right places.
And finally, the good old word of mouth marketing prevails. It’s all about consistency and quality of your product or service and repeat orders.
Be honest about your brand and not over promise. People hate disappointments so only promise what you can deliver. Customers are quick to take to social media and express their dissatisfaction.
Being consistent with the style and quality of your product or service will help bring your brand to consumers’ mind easier. So extend that consistency to every aspect of your business.
Stay agile too; incorporate valuable feedback and be open to try new things or quickly adapt to changes that may help your business.
Strategies That Can Make a Difference
- Look out for trends in the analytics data and patterns that clearly point to why people are buying your products; and build on that
- Communicate your unique offering or style clearly throughout your site, packaging, messaging and product. That way you’ll have a consistent brand that will likely build solid over time.
- Offer an excellent customer experience to stay on top of your client’s minds and build more meaningful relationships with them.
- Show gratitude to your buyers. Loyalty programs, giving back rewards, or giveaways – all help bring a smile to their faces and ultimately to yours:)
- Sometimes, the offer of a unique or quirky product can make you stand apart from the crowd. Explore!
- Use personalization to score with your customers ; all the way to customized packaging if you can.
- Finally, to ensure brand engagement, take stock of some basics like the site being easily navigable, pictures appealing and smart copy. Ultimately it is all about how good the customer feels.
Building a branding is like telling a story. You make a nice start and add cohesive touches to arrive at one narrative. Ok – long winded words but you get the idea.
You develop your identity, attract the relevant audience and create lifelong relationships with your customers. Certainly a competitive advantage that allows you to both win customers and beat competition.
Ultimate success is when customers think of the products/service they want and immediately think of your brand/store as the resource they need. Isn’t’ that what you’re aiming for too? Aha! thought so!