If you’ve long been in marketing, you perhaps know that one of the primary considerations of customers when selecting products and services to purchase is the brand. In the tough, competitive industry that businesses are in today, staying afloat could be quite difficult and you just got to give out your best shot all the time. To stand out, marketing and branding are very important.
Whether you’re new in the e-commerce industry or you’ve been around for quite some time now, you’ve perhaps asked yourself, one way or another, what you could do to improve your branding. Where do you begin? How do you utilize branding so as to drive more sales?
Branding is important as it’s what sets your business apart from the others. It gives you an image, name, and identity. If your branding is strong, eventually your market share would increase. Customers, new and old alike, would begin patronizing your brand more than your competitors’.
If you need help along this line, it’s not yet too late to start. There are many things you could do to improve your business’ branding.
1. Build Your Brand Identity
To make your mark in the competitive e-commerce industry, you also have to build your identity, depending on the niche to which you belong. For example, you may be offering promotional items like Shop Strange and similar businesses, skincare products, pet items, eco-friendly toiletries, or many others. Your brand identity refers to how you want the whole world to perceive your brand. Who you are as a brand could include your business values, your brand personality and uniqueness, and how you communicate your brand to the world.
While this appears challenging to do, there are initial parts of your brand you have to develop to strengthen your identity:
- Logo: Your logo is what makes you easily identifiable among your competitors. If you feel you don’t have the right skills needed to get your logo right, you may leave this job to expert graphic artists. With the important purpose that a logo serves, there’s no room for creating mistakes that could otherwise weaken your brand identity.
- Branding guide: This refers to the color tone, typography, and style you want to employ for your brand. It’s important to make everything unique such that once users on the web see your colors and logo, they’d immediately be able to associate them with your brand.
- Unique selling point (USP): This refers to your strong points, which would give your brand an edge over your competitors. Your USP is what would convince your target audience that your products and services aim to solve some of their common problems and not a competitor’s products and services. USPs could include phrases like ‘everything you need,’ ‘new standard,’ ‘first ever’ ‘the best,’ ‘lowest cost,’ and such other phrases that could make your brand stand out.
With these three important elements in mind, here are additional tips on how you could work on developing a strong identity for your brand:
- Focus on your brand’s personality when making your logo and ensure your logo design and branding guide are coherent and flow together.
- Use templates that are representative of your brand or promote your brand.
- Choose your preferred language or tone when sending your brand’s message across to your customers. Conversational, casual, and slightly enthusiastic tones may work best.
2. Develop Your Brand Story
Aside from building your brand identity, you could allow your target audience to get to know more about your business by developing your brand story. This includes your business’s mission, vision, goals, and even culture.
The more you develop a positive brand story, the more you could make your target audience understand the philosophy behind your brand. This could strengthen your image as, in effect, your target customers would get to know more about your brand beyond your corporate image. Most importantly, it would allow your customers to connect to the very main purpose behind your products and services.
Developing your brand story for the purpose of strengthening your brand identity may not be that difficult. It could be as simple as remembering and going back to the very core reason why you started. Apart from the profits, if you’re serious about loving your brand’s niche and your entrepreneurial spirit is strong, the reason why you started your business becomes your full driving force to keep pressing on.
If you’re unsure how to go about developing your brand story, here are three key elements you may consider:
- Show, don’t tell. Try to focus on showing the narrative or story as to how your brand has positively shaped the life of a customer. This could encourage other customers or even new ones to understand that your brand has a purpose to serve and is worth patronizing.
- Consistency is key. Be consistent about your brand story narrative. For instance, you say you’re an environmentally friendly brand but your company practices non-eco-friendly ways of packaging or your products and services themselves show otherwise. If this is the case, you’re not creating a strong brand identity. On the contrary, your potential customers could only get confused as to what your brand identity really is.
- Strive to get your audience’s attention, and once you have it, keep it. A mistake you could make in the pursuit of strengthening your brand identity is failing to keep your audience’s attention once you’ve already obtained it. This is just as dangerous as not capturing the sensation of your audience at all. You know it’s hard and costly to aim to win the hearts of your target audience, especially in this competitive e-commerce arena. So once you’ve achieved this, it’s just but fitting to do everything you could possibly do to keep your customers interested and happy.
3. Involve Passion
To get the online community hyped up about your brand, try involving emotion and passion. This could be an effective way of having more online users talk about your brand and becoming famous online. The more talk about your brand, the more that online users are going to be interested in learning more about your company. All it takes is a few clicks and shares to get the hype up about your existence.
When you involve passion and emotion in your branding strategies, you’d also get passion and emotion back. This means the online community now feels for your brand and believes indeed that your brand has wonderful opportunities to perhaps change their lives or provide answers to their common woes.
With that said, here’s how you could use passion to strengthen your brand identity:
- Create an awe-inspiring sense of motivation for your target customers so they’d see your brand as a way to help them through some challenging seasons.
- Focus on the long-term results that using your products and services would bring.
- Offer customers real value and not just sell products.
4. Try Out Line Extension Brand Strategy
Brand line extension is when you offer more options to your customers by slightly changing your existing line of products. For example, you can introduce additional items with new designs, colors, shapes, packaging size, scents, flavors, ingredients, etc. to your existing products.
The good thing about line extension brand strategy is you could offer more choices for your products that have already been established. When you do this strategy, you’re targeting not only your established customers but a wider range of customers as well. Especially if you’re still new in e-commerce, you can keep more customers to yourself by doing this strategy.
5. Try Multi-Branding
Multi-branding is a strategy applied by businesses wherein they market two or more brands that belong to the same or related category. For example, you’re a brand that sells beauty products. Under your parent company, you have two sub-brands, one for beauty products for young adults and another for teenagers. Despite having different sub-brand names for each of the products, in all of their advertisements online and in other media, they all contain the name of your parent brand.
Especially for e-commerce businesses, multi-branding is a very good way to increase market share. This means making the most out of all the external opportunities a business has so it could create a profitable market segment.
Multi-branding could bring so many advantages in improving a business’s brand identity. These include the following:
- As you’re penetrating the online industry with different brands under your same parent brand, you’re also decreasing the space or room for other new brands to enter.
- You’d be able to associate multiple products and market segments with one, singular brand—your brand name.
- You’d be strategically increasing the competition between each of your sub-brands’s managers, which could also improve your performance.
After going through the strategies above, here’s to hoping you now have more insights and information on how you could improve your brand. If you want to know the appropriate strategies that would apply best for your business, you can’t go wrong with trying any or all of the above. Though they could be effective, it’s also important to note that success in branding doesn’t happen overnight. Now that you’ve got this list of strategies to do, try taking one strategy at a time, and eventually you’d start seeing the results of a stronger brand image.