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Branding pioneer Walter Landor said, “Products are made in factory, but brands are created in the mind.” The physical value of your products may be easy to calculate, but your targeted consumer’s perceptions are what really determine the value of your product in the market and brand. Without a proper branding strategy, you won’t be able to really run a successful eCommerce brand. We have already discussed what branding is and how important is that for eCommerce in some of our previous articles. Your ability to build value into your eCommerce brand and communicate that value through your marketing campaigns is essential to the long-term success of your eCommerce business.

According to a survey by Nielson survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them. As an eCommerce company, you may be competing with big brands with a loyal customer base and unlimited marketing budgets. That’s the reason you should find out the way to differentiate your company with a solid brand strategy and brand building process.

The benefits of building a good eCommerce brand

Building a good brand is always beneficial for you, whether you’re a local business, technology startup, or an eCommerce company. Moreover, creating value for that brand is more important for the long term, which we call Brand Equity. Let me explain in brief about brand equity, and Brand equity is the perception of what your customers have in their mind about your products, service or company, it is what they think about your brand. For example, H&M, ASOS, Apple, Google, and Nike are all considered to have high brand equity.

For building a better brand, you’ve to increase its value continuously. That’s being said; it’s difficult to assign a really great value to a brand in short period of time, no matter how intangible brand equity may seem but building a strong brand always have considerable business benefits such as:

  • Competitive edge in the market.
  • Customer recognition.
  • Enhanced credibility.
  • Customer loyalty.
  • Shared Value.

These benefits serve as tools to marketers to help them attract the ideal and mindful consumer who really wants to buy from a better brand. So for making a better brand, you’ve to take steps to make it a valuable brand to your ideal customer base. 

“A recognizable and loved brand is one of the most valuable assets a company owns

How to Build and Grow a Brand for eCommerce?

Identify And Target Your Ideal Audience

Finding and identifying the right audience and target them will support your overall branding strategy for crafting a growth driven marketing strategy. So it’s absolutely the crucial first step to build a brand. After all, you can’t be a brand for everything for everyone, right? To develop and grow a successful brand, you’ve to know, see, and appeal your key demographic. The best way to achieve this is to create the ideal customer avatar in crystal precise details. When you will successfully do that, you will able to tailor your mission and message to meet their exact needs. The more you specific, the better position you will have as a brand. The key is to be precise, to do this right way is figuring out detailed behaviors, the lifestyle of your target audience.

I’ll explain with a few brief examples:

  • The minimalist who work from home
  • tech-enthusiasts early adopters
  • college students studying abroad
  • executive recruiting professionals

Example client persona - branding strategy to build and grow an ecommerce brand

Imagine a robust avatar of your customers then learn how to create a brand identity that they can understand and relate to. You will appreciate the competitive advantages when branding your business to narrow your audience focus. This will help you to create a crystal clear and focus brand voice. Identifying the right audience for your business is an exercise which will affect and benefit all area of your brand building process and help you create a conversion driven marketing strategy. You might want the right person consuming your content, click on your ads, and optin into your email list, etc. Also, this is the way to target the right audience.

Build a brand message and elevator pitch.

When building a brand, you should tell your customers who you are and what is your vision. Before that, you’ve to choose a business voice; your message should be strictly associated with your brand, your vision, and mission which will be conveyed within one or two sentences. A brand is not only about your logo and tagline, and a brand always made with some sorts of key aspects as like:

  • Who you’re.
  • What you offer.
  • Why people should care about you.

A brand message is an important way to communicate on a human level, making a direct emotional connection with your target audience and consumers. People buy from people not from robots, and a well-crafted brand message can communicate on that level. The language and tone you will use for your brand message should be understandable immediately while that will strike an emotional chord. Make your brand message simple and clear.

I really like TOMS Shoes‘s approach and how they have integrated their brand message. They have built a massive social following and overwhelming positive brand perception, how do they do it? They clearly define their message very clearly and using that on their website.   

Branding strategy to build and grow an ecommerce brand

Form your brand voice

To build a brand message, you need to define a brand voice. Your brand voice is dependent on your company’s mission, vision, audience, and industry. It’s all about how you, as a brand, communicate with your customers and how they respond to you. You can define your brand voice and tone in various style such as:

  • Friendly
  • Professional
  • Promotional
  • Conversational
  • Informative
  • Technical
  • Authoritative 

Some endless possibilities and adjectives can craft a brand voice behind your brand messaging style. However, ultimately, you should choose a brand voice that makes sense and connect with your target audiences.

If you would able to do it right, you will see that your brand is strongly connecting with your consumers. This is particularly important when publishing any blog content or social media posts. Maintaining a consistent brand voice and tone will help your brand become recognized on multiple channels in the same way. 

Let your brand personality shine

As human likes to buy from human, customers are not looking at another cookie-cutter company who are offering the same thing as every other company. They are actively looking for an experience which is tailored to their needs and backed by a genuine personal interaction. If you want to brand your eCommerce or any other business in a unique way and stand out from the crowd, then “make your brand personality shine” is the way to achieve that. Make sure your brand personality is consistent across all points of contacts and channel.

The brand personality should be as simple as:

  • A conversational voice communication
  • Sharing behind the scenes content
  • Telling stories about real experiences
  • Describe and explain your products in a quirky manner.

Be Known For A Specific Niche

Being specific allows you to be memorable and be the best in your industry. When you try to sell everything to everyone, then it will be very hectic for you, being specific will make things easier to craft a great marketing message to market the product to a particular audience. So you should not muddy your message by telling prospects you’re an expert in multiple things and industry.

Create Emotive Appeal 

As I said earlier, most buying decisions are emotional in nature, so it’s a key way to create and use an emotional appeal to build a successful brand. You can do that by creating an association between the product and that emotion. When you understand the key desires and struggles of your target audience and market, you can build a brand persona that shows how your product can help your target audience achieve their desired state of feeling.

Outline the key qualities & benefits your brand offers.

Your products and the benefits of that solely belong to your brand. There will always be more prominent brands with a bigger budget in a specific industry. You’ve to figure out what you offer and how that can solve a particular problem of your target audience. Focus on qualities while you’re building your eCommerce or software as a service brand. Moreover, that’s another way to show the benefits of your brand. Assume, you already know that who is your target audience and what they want, now it’s time to give them a reason to choose your brand over any other.

Keep in mind that, this should not be as like as a laundry list with all of your product’s features to the consumer, think about how you provide value which will improve their bottom line.

Here are a few examples of that:

  • More authentic and transparent customer service
  • A better way to support productivity
  • Reducing costs with a more affordable option

Define Your Brand’s DNA 

DNA is defined as “fundamental characteristics or quality of something,” and that’s “unchangeable.” It’s very important to define your brand’s DNA if your team can’t quickly define your brand’s DNA by heart, put a pen and list down some benchmark brands from an aspirational perspective and try to find common themes between them. Identify critical qualities which you can relate with your eCommerce brand. Whether it’s the price of your products as an advantage in your niche, whatever it is you’ve to define that’s core and stay true to that.

Share Your Brand Assets In A Thought Leadership Campaign 

Focus on genuinely helpful content, experience, and wisdom, which will help your target audience will help you attract your ideal market. You used to need a company blog in order to market your brand successfully, but these days, the LinkedIn and Facebook group make that easy with their long-form post features. You can gently promote your brand assets without appearing to be marketing yourself at all by leveraging those features. Creating and sharing helpful and relatable content will make you a thought leader in your industry.

Integrate your brand into every aspect of your business.

Your brand should be visible and reflected in every aspect of your business, which your audience can see and can’t see. Let me explain, If a customer or client walks into your office or into your store, your brand image should be on display both in the environment and with the personal interactions. Everything that tangible from business cards to advertisements, from product to packaging, from eCommerce website to invoice – you should stamp your logo. On any digital platform and channel ensure that your brand looks the same everywhere, even on Instagram use a color scheme to give the same feelings to your potential customers. Use your brand style guide to build consistency with visuals such as color scheme, logo, fonts, etc. 

When you design and develop your website for the brand, whether it’s a corporate or an eCommerce website; incorporate your brand voice, brand message, and brand personality into the content.

For social media: Your social media pages and profile should be branded visually and with your chosen brand voice for engagement.

Be your brand’s biggest advocate

No one knows your brand better than you, so it’s your duty to spread the word to the world. Once you’ve built your brand that works for the consumer, you and your team are the best-advocated to market the brand. When hiring employees, ensure that they are a good fit with the culture you’ve created for your brand, and they align with the vision, mission, and values of your brand. I noticed that encouraging employees to establish a personal brand which aligns with the company they are working with further strengthening the race. Reward your loyal customers, give them a voice, encourage them to post reviews, and share your content, that way you will grow your brand while you’re acting the most prominent advocate of your own brand.

Building an eCommerce brand can be one of the most significant things you can do for your eCommerce business. A solid brand building process and branding strategy can transform your business from a small unknown player into a successful brand. After building the brand, you will discover that your customers will develop the trust for your brand on a deeper level. Moreover, they will be more likely to purchase what you’re selling. Develop a consistence visual identity, brand message, and integrate that in every aspect of your customer experience will add value into your brand. Once you’ve built the brand now, it’s the time scale with your marketing strategy.