Congratulations! You’ve just launched your own eCommerce site!
How can you work toward increasing sales and revenue, improving customer satisfaction, and building buzz about your website?
The answer: branding.
Great branding is invaluable – and can help launch your eCommerce business into the stratosphere.
In this quick guide from 121eCommerce, we’ll discuss six simple steps you can take to build and improve your eCommerce brand.
Let’s get started!
The first thing you need to do is establish your brand style and voice. What does this mean? Basically, you need to think about how you want your brand to be perceived – and adjust the language, images, and other media collateral on your website accordingly.
For example, do you want your brand to be seen as fun and quirky? Socially-conscious and environmentally-friendly? Serious and professional? You need to choose the right brand style and voice based on the products you’re selling and your approach to eCommerce.
Need more help understanding? Let’s take a look at a website with great branding – Dollar Shave Club. The Dollar Shave Club launch video is worth a watch if you haven’t seen it, and it establishes their brand voice quickly – the company is irreverent, dedicated to disrupting other shaving brands, and not afraid to use humor as a way to sell its products.
And as you can see from the image above, Dollar Shave Club has maintained that brand tone and style throughout its existence – and continues to do so today. So think about how you’d like your brand to be perceived.
One way to do this is to think about your brand values. What’s important to you as an entrepreneur, and what’s important to your company? If you haven’t yet established your brand values, this is the perfect time to do so – this guide from Brandfolder can help!
Social media is a great way to interact with your customers, and further develop and refine your brand voice and style. You have the interaction to share content from customers, create unique posts, and share stories and information about your products with thousands of people at once.
So we highly recommend that you maintain an active social media presence. If you don’t have much experience with social media marketing, this guide from SproutSocial is a great place to start.
One of the most powerful ways to build your brand is to tell the story about what makes you unique, and what differentiates you from the competition.
Consumers value and appreciate authenticity in brands. 86% of surveyed consumers said that authenticity is “important” when choosing which brands to shop with – so it’s a great idea to share your brand values and your origin story with your customers using an “About Us” page.
What you’re trying to do is put together more than just a list of facts – like the location and date of founding your company – and go deeper.
Explain the greater reason why you started your eCommerce store. To improve people’s lives? To give back to charities? To invest in sustainable manufacturing? Whatever the reason may be, find it – and explain it to your customers throughout your website.
One of the best ways to share your brand voice with your customers is to use content marketing and create blog posts, social media posts, and other such media and brand collateral for your customers to read and enjoy.
Need an example of why this is a great idea? Let’s go back to Dollar Shave Club, and look at a couple of its latest blog posts.
The two visible posts – Actually, Tuesday is Worse Than Monday, and Your Midlife Crisis Doesn’t Have To Be An Embarrassing Disaster – are not directly related to shaving. But they do speak to interests that a shopper at Dollar Shave Club may have, so they’re relevant.
And, peppered throughout these articles and blog posts are plenty of articles about grooming and self-care – which are also relevant to Dollar Shave Club and its products.
As you can see, these blog posts match the brand voice of the company perfectly – most of the articles on the blog strike a balance between being irreverent and funny, but also being informative and very professionally-written.
Your content strategy may look different, but when it comes to developing a brand voice, it’s important to create plenty of content that reinforces and supports your brand – and Dollar Shave Club is a great example of this.
One place you may not think of when you think about building your brand is customer support. But professional customer support that offers a consistently great experience is one of the most powerful ways to build brand loyalty.
Want an example? eCommerce footwear giant Zappos has built its reputation on two things – fast shipping and incredible customer service. Its brand purpose is to “To Live and Deliver WOW” to customers – and thanks to this dedication to customer support, it did more than $537 million in sales in 2018 alone.
Let’s take Chick-Fil-A as an example. This fast-food chain is well-known for having employees respond “my pleasure” in response to “thank-yous” from customers. This may seem like a small thing – but it’s become a trademark of the chicken chain, and this unique catchphrase has even attracted press coverage.
Whether you are taking on customer support on your own or working with others, it can be useful to develop a set of brand guidelines to govern how you handle customer service – by providing a consistent experience that’s in line with your brand values, you can satisfy your customers and improve your eCommerce brand.
Feeling lost and confused? Not having an easy time developing your brand voice or values, or deciding what kind of messaging to use on your eCommerce website? Here’s a handy trick – take inspiration from the competition!
If you have competitors in your market niche who are successful, they’re probably using messaging that will resonate with your target customers, too. Take a look at the biggest industry leaders in your market segment, and take a look at their website, their social media pages, blog posts, and other such content to learn more about their branding – and think about how it can inspire your own branding.
The process of building a strong, reputable brand is a long one, and it’s not easy. But like any journey, it starts with a single step – or the 6 steps in this article. These tips can help you refine and find your brand voice, and help you connect with customers in your eCommerce niche. So start thinking about how you can incorporate these tips into your eCommerce brand, and get started right away.
Interested in more resources for eCommerce branding? Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller is an easy read, and can help you quickly identify what makes your brand unique – and how to get it across to customers. Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuck is a great guide to branding and social media, and What Great Brands Do by Denise Lee Yohn is a useful introduction to quite a few key branding principles.
Not ready to commit to reading an entire book? That’s cool, too – here are a few online guides that are a great jumping-off point if you’d like to learn more about branding.
Of course, we have to mention the 121eCommerce blog, too. We’ve written plenty of posts about eCommerce marketing, branding, and customer service – click here to read a few, and learn more about building your eCommerce brand.