Ecommerce can be a dogfight. So many different retailers are vying for supremacy in often crowded markets. Customers in 2016 now have more choices than they have ever had. With smartphone devices attached to them like an extra limb, they can pull up hundreds of your competitors in seconds. One of the most powerful things that you can do is leverage your brand so that these customers don’t run to the competition.
The power of a strong brand is often overlooked in favor of very low pricing strategies or other cheap tactics. Your brand, though, is what will get people coming back to your business.
The Power of Branding
Your brand is what separates you from your competition. It’s your image. It’s what customers see when they perceive your company. And it can be the difference between being an authoritative market leader, or having to compete on price with other competitors. While the average ecommerce store will have nothing unique, the store with the strong brand will stand out.
The power of a strong brand can persuade someone to purchase a product even when there are cheaper products in the market. And even though it’s something that mostly behemoth corporations take advantage of, your brand can help you tremendously in your market– regardless of the size of your business.
What Are Your Company’s Ultimate Values?
What drives your company? Is it providing a particular product or service and being the absolute best at it? Is it helping solve significant problems that your customers have? What’s your company’s philosophy? How are you, in any way, different than your competition?
These are all important questions that need to be answered if you want to build a strong brand. Within the nucleus of any strong brand is the “why”. It’s the answer to why your business exists, and why your product is even on the market.
Build a Brand off of the Quality of Your Product
It’s hard to build a great brand without first having a great product. A great product is what keeps people coming back after their first purchase. If you can guarantee customer satisfaction based solely off the fact that you have a fantastic product, then you can center your brand around complete customer satisfaction. Strong brands that are centered around their product usually have some (or all) of these qualities:
- The product was constructed from high quality materials
- The product doesn’t deteriorate after the first use
- The product was made with care
- The product is better than the competition in one or more ways
- The product offer an effective solution to a major problem
When you have a stellar product, you can make extravagant promises to your customers because you know that you can back it up. The companies, for example, that offer 100 day or lifetime guarantees usually do it because they know that their product is nearly flawless (that’s not to say that you should offer the same guarantees, however).
The actual quality of your product isn’t the only thing that you should think about. The presentation of your product is almost as important. While you could send your product in average packaging, customers want to see a product that is beautifully presented.
Know Your Customers
Knowing exactly what your customers want will allow you to construct a better brand. If customers want X, then your brand shouldn’t communicate that you can give them Y; your brand should indicate that you’ll give them X. People make purchases because they feel connected, in some way, to that brand. If that brand isn’t relevant to them, they’ll quickly find another one that is.
How to really know your customers? Look at past purchase trends. Survey your customers for feedback. If you’re a new ecommerce store, and you don’t have much data to work with, start accumulating your first sales, and quickly begin amassing data.
Running an ecommerce is a juggling act. You have to worry about sourcing and creating products, inventory management, getting customers, and servicing those customers. There are so many things to do that it’s too easy to place building a strong brand on the bottom of your to-do list. Don’t let that be the case. Your brand is what separates you from the other players in your market, and if you don’t build that brand, then you are simply just one of the many vanilla choices that your customers will have available to them.
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