Regardless of whether you are just getting started in the e-commerce world or you have already tested its waters with a few products, branding is a vital part of your strategy for success. It represents more than a logo or a name and it encompasses your products, web presence, customer expectation, your mission and more.
First impressions matter, even though they can be changed but if you have a shot to get it right from the beginning, then you should go for it. For those of you who set out to create a solid online branding strategy for their e-commerce business, here are a few things to consider.
Customer is the key
To find the right approach to branding, you will need to dig a bit deeper and to think about those for whom your products are made in the first place. Your past analytics data can be of vital importance when it comes to understanding your customers’ past experiences with your products and brand. Pieces of information such as the most popular products and abandoned cart data can be of great help to get some overall impression on their opinions.
However, to truly personalize their experience and to give them what they wish, you need to learn more about their behavior and wants. For instance, data on which customers remain the longest can provide you with information such as on when the largest purchases happen. Also, you can learn about your customers’ occupation, gender or age, which are integral elements of their purchase behavior. Once you look at all the details, it is time to look at the wider picture and see why the customers buy your products and who your ideal customer is.
Create an emotional bond
Although people like to know accurate information on something, it takes more than just stats to create a bond with your customers. Storytelling is a powerful medium in this regard because it joins emotions that your brand evokes with facts and by doing so, it gives a human dimension to your brand. This is something rare and valuable in this digital era we live in and customers know how to appreciate it.
Having in mind the current and future competition, your biggest strength lies in the opportunity to present your brand as unique and unforgettable since the story of your brand and how it came to be is yours alone. Some of the questions you need to ask yourself are what you wish to be remembered for as well as the type of emotions you wish to evoke which will help you find your brand voice and concoct messages which will be informative but most importantly, which will strike an emotional chord with people.
Leverage on your ideas
It is amazing to see how much the face of retail has changed and the plethora of things that can be found online which were much less available before. For example, businesses can now easily find different spare parts and tools online, such as quality oilfield equipment, which facilitates their growth and helps boost their income. If your offer and motivation are unique, and certain ideas revolve around your business core, why not let them be known?
For instance, if you promote some charity cause and you donate a part of your profit from each sold item to providing education to those who don’t have access to it, make sure that people know about it. Besides placing that clearly on the website, you can add information on how they can make donations to that cause independently of your business and in general, to prompt their generosity, you can place a goal tracker on your website so that they know that the noble goal they helped is growing.
Strive for honesty
People hate false promises and this is even more true for business promises. To be honest with your customers, you need to be honest with yourself first and to know exactly what your business can offer. You may not be able to deliver products as quickly as some big names in the business who have the means and experience to do so but it’s better to be realistic about such things because honesty is the best policy.
The quality of your products, your return and shipping policies are all elements you need to be straightforward with the most because if you start making promises you can’t keep, that could prove to be detrimental to your reputation. So, it is better to have those policies clearly stated on the website so that people would know exactly what to expect.
Be consistent across different channels
Although nothing is set in stone, your brand identity needs to be unified over different media. For example, if you are selling products for professionals, a complete change of tone via certain social channels can leave the customers confused and reluctant to purchase something from a business that is so unsure about its identity.
Once you have established your core values, you need to think about your messages, the style and tone you are trying to achieve. When you become clear about whether your goal is to be, for instance, thought-provoking or humoristic, then you need to be careful to reflect that goal through similar means via your website, blog posts, and every social media profile that you have. Consistency is an essential element for building trust with your customers.
Building your brand takes strategic thinking, time, and effort but if you do it right, you will create a loyal customer base which will only spread. To weave an emotional connection, you would need to tell your brand’s story, to get to know your customers better, and to do so transparently or otherwise you risk losing their trust or never winning it in the first place. Once you find your unique voice, all that is left is to let it be heard.
Guest-blogger at Syncee. Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmarkblog.com.