To be successful in a crowded marketplace and create a lucrative business there is one thing you absolutely need – a strong brand. It’s even more important when you need to stand out in a multi-brand environment like on online marketplaces.
Creating and nurturing a brand that separates from the crowd, plus the competition, is vital to ensure your business’s longevity and credibility – as well as bringing in sales.
8 seconds. That’s all you have to capture and retain a potential customer’s attention before you’ve lost them – and their money. That’s the same amount of time it takes to fold a t-shirt or butter a bagel. You’ve only got that snapshot of time to engage and retain your customer, so make your first impression count. In that short window you must communicate what your company is, what products you offer, and that you’re fulfilling a need for your buyer – succinctly and persuasively.
This is where strong and direct branding comes to the forefront – a good company name, a clear and communicative logo, and key branding messages will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. These elements will persuade your customer that you are credible and just the thing they’ve been looking for.
Read on to discover BRANDED’s quick guide to how to start building your smash-hit brand.
The Branding Basics
So, where to start? Firstly you should think about your brand identity. Your brand identity encapsulates what you want your customers to feel and think when they see your brand. It should cover your visual look and feel, your tone of voice, how you operate online on social media, and on your selling pages.
Mission & Value Proposition
Before you begin with the fun parts of branding – choosing a logo, colors and so on – you might find it helpful to create a clear and direct mission statement that covers what your business offers. After all – you know what your business is all about, but will your customers? Describe your vision and your goals and use your mission statement as a launchpad for the rest of your brand-building work. What does your brand stand for?
Ask yourself: “What purpose does this brand have in the world today,” for example: Nike may make athletic wear but their purpose is help everybody who has a body become an athlete”
Create a brand value proposition. Portraying your brand effectively and communicating your values to the consumers has become increasingly important to the newer generations of shoppers. Millennials and, even more so, Gen Z buyers only want to buy from authentic brands whose mission they can align with.
Learn From Competitors
Next, look at your competitors and see what they’re doing – then do it better! Consider what you like about their branding – and also what you don’t like. Think about what you could do to make your look and feel stand out from others in your genre, while still communicating clearly to your customers what your business is about.
For example, when you’re selling your products on Amazon you can assume that consumers are trying to decide between you and another key ASIN. Are you targeting a different age, gender, or socio-economic status group than your competitor? Make sure that is reflected in every image and message of your brand to stand out! Use Perfect Product Detail (or “PDP”) elements to persuade the consumer that this product is superior to competitors & increase your conversions.
What’s The Potential for Your Brand?
Don’t forget to plan ahead for how you will grow your brand in the short and long term. Think about how future ranges would tie into what you’re creating today. Is your business scalable under one brand umbrella or would you need to factor in sub-brands to cover new ventures?
Creating a Strong Visual Brand
There are many elements that go into creating a successful brand. All work hard for your business to attract your customer’s attention and evoke confidence in your products. A brand is a whole lot more than just a cool logo and a catchy strapline, but getting these right is also absolutely key. After all, you only get one first impression. So where to begin?
What’s in a Name?
Don’t underestimate the power of a good brand name. This is what your business will be referred to as and remembered by, so it’s worth spending time to get it right. Your brand name can be brilliantly descriptive (think Burger King, Whole Foods, Paypal) so that your customer knows pretty much straight off the bat what products you’re selling. Alternatively you could choose a brand name that is more playful but becomes endowed with meaning as your business grows and develops (think McDonalds, Nike, Amazon).
A good brand name is a great way to add value to your business so it’s worth taking your time over this one. Make it memorable, impactful and make sure it ties in with the rest of your branding – and that it speaks to your brand values.
Go Loco for Your Logo
Any successful business will attest to the fact that logos matter an awful lot. We’ve talked about first impressions, and at BRANDED, we know that a logo is a vitally impactful way of communicating everything about your business in a very short amount of time. It’s definitely worth investing in some professional help here. Your logo will be on most things you produce – from your packaging to your website – and creating the right perception for your customers is so important.
Make sure your logo is well thought out – take some time to consider what you want your customers to think and feel when they see your logo and what impression do you want them to take away from your business? What can you include that shows what your business is, what you offer and why you are different from your competitors?
Bringing it Together
As part of your overall branding exercise you also need to figure out how your colors and fonts will work to strengthen your brand visually.
Everything should work together harmoniously to form a cohesive brand DNA and convey your message about your business to your customers. For example, you wouldn’t use a font like Comic Sans on a luxury homewares brand as much as you wouldn’t use a dark, harsh colorway on a children’s brand.
Building Your Brand Presence
When creating a new brand, you need to conduct some market research, as you would do with any other part of building a business. This can inform your go-to market strategy across the platforms you reach your consumers through.
Who is Your Customer & Where Do You Reach Them?
Find out who your target audience is and figure out how you can effectively appeal to them with your products. A one-size-fits-all approach is not going to produce results; you must hone in on who your products and services are going to appeal to and why. You may even consider segmentation, dividing your customer base into groups of people who are similar and provide a more personal message to these folks.
Then, consider how your brand look and feel will fit into this, from your name to your logo to the colors you use. Target everything you do to this customer base and tailor your approach accordingly.
Plaster your new brand over everything you do, online and offline. Seed it through your social media presence – and we don’t just mean your pretty new logo. If your customer base is a younger demographic then make sure your tone of voice fits that and you’re creating cool, engaging content; equally, if your brand is trying to be authoritative, then make sure you match that voice through everything you produce.
How Do You Create Strong Branding on Amazon?
As you build your brand on Amazon, make sure your main message is simple & clear and that it’s targeting your core audience group. Try to keep your listings’ bullet points short and use your target keywords throughout. If it’s possible, include your unique selling proposition (or “USP’) in the main image as well. For example, if your products are made in the US, include a flag in your images.
Investing in quality creative content goes a long way on Amazon. Having high resolution images of your products signifies quality & trustworthiness to the buyers which you most definitely want to be part of your brand. Moreover, think of how you can include your brand story in your A+ content, add videos of how to use your products, and ensure your packaging is unique.
Consistency is Key
BRANDED’s portfolio brand Un Air d’Antan Instagram page. Follow at @unairdantan
Having worked so hard on building all these elements of your brand, don’t forget to translate it into your products! Consistency and brand integrity is key here. Showing focused and uniform branding across everything you do will help you grow loyalty with your target audience.
From your social media pages to your packaging, everything should sing about your brand and be instantly recognizable as coming from YOUR business. Your logo should be on all your products, your fonts should be consistent and your colorway recognisable across all aspects of your brand.
As you work towards unifying your brand image across platforms, think about carefully crafting your Amazon storefront and product listings. Take advantage of A+ content to tell your story and reinforce your brand attributes. A+ content is one of the best ways you can introduce your branding and, consequently, increase traffic & conversions.
Un Air d’Antan A+ content on Amazon.com
All these factors combined will help your brand achieve a sense of togetherness and foster customer recognition and trust in your brand. Once you’ve figured out what you’re about, you can communicate that to your customers. Once your customers know what they can expect from you, and you are consistently delivering it to them, you’ll reap the rewards.
Bringing it all together
What makes a good brand into a great brand is the ability to fill a gap in its market, and fulfill a need which exists with its target customers. A great brand has a coherent and clear identity with credibility and authority in the marketplace. Your look and feel will not only make you more memorable, but will develop a strong position among your competitors and trust among your customers.
Don’t forget that branding isn’t a once in a lifetime event. You will also want to consider protecting that brand that you’ve worked so hard to build – look into trademarks to safeguard your logo, straplines and brand name(s).
Also, remember that other elements of operating your business fall into your brand as well. For instance, how your customer experience team treats the buyers, what sort of decisions you make in terms of sustainability, and more. A holistic brand identity is built through your company’s actions, not just the words on your packaging.
Finally, don’t be afraid to test and learn. Even the biggest companies have had branding failures in the past (Coca Cola’s C2 is a great example of where a brand has simply got their branding completely wrong – and learned from their mistakes). If something isn’t working for your brand, even after launch, go back to the drawing board and see if you can figure out where your issues lie.
Thanks for reading this guest post by the BRANDED Team!