The Complete Guide to Branding Your Online Store
In order to succeed in the competitive space of today’s e-commerce industry, you must be able to grab the attention of your customers, create a lasting impression on their minds, and make your business stand out from the rest of your competitors. In other words, you’ll need to shape a successful brand for your e-commerce business.
But what exactly is e-commerce branding? And how do you go about building a brand identity for your online business? Here’s a complete guide on how to build a successful brand for your e-commerce business, so you can gain a competitive edge.
What is E-Commerce Branding?
Before you get started with the process of branding your e-commerce business, you’ll first need to understand what branding, brand, brand identity, and brand personality all mean. Understanding these terms will help you make better branding decisions for your online store.
Branding basically refers to the process of creating and shaping your own unique brand, with the intention of evoking feelings within your customers, and making your business and its products more memorable, distinguishable, and identifiable from the rest of the competitors in the market.
Branding is absolutely critical to your e-commerce business because of the overall impact it can make. It can change how people see your products, it can get your business more recognized, it can increase its value, attract and generate more customers, and create trust within the marketplace.
Moreover, branding plays a significant role in the success of an ecommerce business, not only because it makes an abiding impression on the mind of your customers, but it also helps set meaningful expectations for them. In other words, it is a way of making your business, its products or services, stand out and have an edge over your competitors.
As for a brand, it refers to the image or perception that you create for your e-commerce business which is reflected on the minds of your customers. A brand can also refer to a name, symbol, design, or any feature that makes your product distinct from those of other businesses.
● Brand Identity
Brand identity refers to a collection of elements you’ll need to make use of to create a successful e-commerce brand, and thereby bringing your business to life. These key components include your brand name, your brand message, your brand voice, your brand symbol or design, your business logo and tagline, your packaging, your business cards, and your website.
● Brand Personality
Brand personality, on the other hand, refers to the feelings and emotions that your customers attribute to your online brand.
How to Build A Successful E-Commerce Brand?
Here are the steps and tips on how to build a successful brand for your e-commerce business from scratch.
Define Your Online Business
If you’re seriously seeking to stand out from your competitors, you’ll need to take the time to consider some important aspects of who you really are as an e-commerce business. The same way you would look at yourself in the mirror to reflect on who you are as a person, and to identify your appearance and characteristics, you should also closely reflect on the characteristics of your business, its identity and personality, how you would prefer to present it to the eyes of your customers, and what emotions do you want them to associate it with.
In addition to defining your business, you might also want to consider defining its internal aspects, which is the philosophy that you might want your business to strive for, including your business objectives, vision statement, brand story, and core values. This is just another one way of setting yourself apart from other business competitors, and aligning yourself with your target audience.
Describe Your E-Commerce Brand In A Few Words
Describing your e-commerce brand in a few adjectives and writing them down can help make your brand building process much smoother. All you have to do is reflect on your online business as an embodiment of a real person or fictional character, or a mere external reflection of yourself.
You might want to try choosing three to five words that perfectly describe the characteristics of your brand identity or personality. For example, let’s say you’re in the online business of selling furniture with a minimalistic style and design, the three adjectives that might be able to describe the concept of minimalism are simple, professional, and maybe sophisticated. Not only will this help your brand take shape, but also help discover your target audience.
Research Your Target Audience And Your Competitors
After reflecting on the different aspects of your e-commerce business, the next thing you want to do is take the time and effort to make a comprehensive research on your target audience, as well as your competitors. This way helps you to gain a better perspective and understanding of your ideal customer, and discover your strengths and weaknesses, including that of your competitors. You can even look up the IP location of your target audience to get a better idea of what would best suit them.
Knowing your audience can help you target the right group of people, and with this valuable knowledge, you’ll also be able to promote your products with content that can resonate, and also attract new customers. Knowing your competitors, on the other hand, allows you to stand out in the minds of your customers, whether it’s in terms of quality, service or price.
Stand Out From Your Competitors
Once you’ve managed to establish who your target audience is and who your competitors are, the next thing you want to do is differentiate your online business from your competitors, so as to increase your competitive advantage in the market.
Finding a way to stand out in today’s e-commerce industry can be very challenging. But what better way to do this than to establish your points-of-difference.
Points-of-difference, also known as PODs, basically refers to the unique characteristics or benefits that your customers strongly attribute to your brand. It’s what distinguishes your business from other businesses, and convinces your customers to buy from you rather than from competing brands.
For example, let’s say you’re in the online business of selling natural skincare products for women. Your POD might be that you only sell skincare products that are %100 natural and organic. You might want to include this brand message in each and every aspect of your e-commerce branding, so as to give your brand story more unity.
Defining who you are as an e-commerce business and how you’re different can help you identify the right points-of-difference for your business.
Shape Your Brand Identity
Once you’re done establishing differentiation for your e-commerce business, you can move on to thinking of the typography, color, appearance and shape of your brand identity.
When it comes to brand identity, you’ll have to make sure all of the collection of elements, including your business logo design, your business card design, your website design, your packaging, your brand voice, your brand message, your official brand fonts and colors all come together in harmony to convey the story of your brand.
Keep in mind that brand identity is the face of your online business and it is something your customers will always know you for. It’s what creates brand awareness, and establishes a connection in the minds of your customers. If it’s strong, it creates brand recall, which in turn, leads to trust and credibility.
When building your brand identity for your e-commerce business, it’s very important to make sure you maintain a consistent delivery of your brand voice and image across multiple platforms, including your website, social media, online ads, and email marketing. If you currently have a website for your e-commerce business, then you might want to improve your conversion rate.
Customer Service In E-Commerce Branding
In addition to cross-platform branding, you might also want to consider providing top-notch customer service for your e-commerce business. Not only can customer service help your business build trust among your customers, but also turn first-time buyers into long-term customers as well.
Vincent Sevilla is a professional web designer and inbound strategist for HostingFacts. His goal? To innovate ideas, create good art, and to travel all the best places in the Philippines. You can follow him on Twitter @easyvince