Ever wondered why some online stores in your sector are more popular than others – even if all of them sell the same sorts of products?
It’s quite simple.
In most cases, the shop that stands out is the one that’s implemented a branding strategy.
And this small difference can help them sell much more than the competition.
If you’re still not working on your online shop’s brand, you’d better get started right away. ;)
In that vein, we’ve decided to give you a hand with this post, in which we’ll tell you:
- What branding means for your e-commerce.
- The benefits of building your brand.
- 5 steps to develop your branding strategy.
Ready to make your brand stand out?
👉 Branding for e-commerce: What it is and what its benefits are
Let’s start with the definition:
Branding is a strategy aimed at building and boosting your company’s brand image.
That is, it’s about having an influence on what your clients think about you and your online store.
And this is something you can do regardless of the types of products in your catalog and or how many competitors are out there selling the same stuff. ;)
But what are the benefits that branding can bring to your e-commerce?
Let’s check them out!
NOTE: If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of “brand image”, you should check out this post before you continue reading.
✅ Why it’s so important to implement a branding strategy for your online store
You may not know, but your e-commerce already has a brand of its own.
And that’s because your customers talk about you.
They share your products on their social media, recommend you to their friends, and complain if they have a bad experience.
All this has an impact on your brand image.
If you don’t develop a branding strategy, you won’t have control over your own brand or over what your clients think about you.
Not only that, but you’ll also miss out on many of the opportunities of having a consolidated brand:
- Recognition: This means that every time users look for an online store in your sector, you’ll be first one that comes to mind.
- (Almost) guaranteed trust: If you own a renowned brand, your reputation speaks for you. This means customers will trust you more than the competition because if everyone talks about you, there must be something to it. ;)
- Loyalty: A client that relates to your brand and values will feel more at ease making purchases from your shop.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to implement your own strategy. ;)
👉 5 steps to develop a branding strategy for your online store (+1 extra)
Like people, every brand has its own personality.
And the aim of having a branding strategy for your e-commerce shop is to convey its personality to your audience as well as to build an image around your brand.
Here are the steps you must follow to effectively design it.
✅ 1. Define your brand identity
Having a consistent image is crucial to designing a branding campaign.
These slip-ups weaken your brand and make your strategy less effective.
To prevent this, write down (in a corporate identity manual, for example) some of your brand’s signature characteristics, including:
- Your goal and values: your company’s sense of purpose. For example, do you want to position yourself through your products’ quality instead of their price? Is your mentality environmentally oriented?
- Your value proposition: a message that defines who you are and what you have to offer. Here’s a post dedicated entirely to this concept.
- Your tone: the way you communicate (formal, informal, with a humorous touch, etc.).
- Your corporate colors: the ones in your logo and website.
Being clear on these aspects will help you keep a consistent brand image in all channels.
✅ 2. Do you know your buyer persona?
The profile of your ideal client affects your branding strategy in several different ways.
- Are you targeting teenagers? If so, Instagram and Snapchat are a must.
- Does your audience have a high level of knowledge? Then you can use some technical terms to come across as a specialized brand.
- Are your clients mostly 55 or older? Use soft colors and avoid loud tones.
If you still don’t know your buyer persona, we highly recommend reading this post – carefully.
✅ 3. Set goals
Branding helps you create and boost your brand image – so far, so good.
But more specifically, your strategy may have quite diverse goals, such as:
- To maximize brand awareness in a recently created shop.
- To break into a new market sector (if you’ve expanded your catalog).
- To undergo rebranding.
Depending on your objectives, you’ll have to set a series of KPIs or metrics to monitor if you are accomplishing them.
Here’s an example so you understand.
If you’re looking for brand awareness, you should pay attention to:
- The number of mentions your online store gets on social media.
- Searches on Google including your name.
- How many clients you’re getting thanks to other clients recommending you (sending your new clients a survey could help with this one).
Don’t even think about skipping this step because if your goals and metrics aren’t clearly defined, you’ll have no way of knowing if your strategy (and the investment) is working.
✅ 4. Design your strategy step by step
The next step is to begin formulating a strategy.
This section has two different parts:
- What channels you’re going to use.
- What you’re going to do (and when).
We’ll start with the first point.
➡️ A. What channels you’re going to use
In a nutshell, we’re talking about the tools you’re going to use to work on your branding.
Some of the most used channels include:
- Online advertising: It’s very common to use campaigns based on 1,000 impressions to get lots of people to become more familiar with your brand, either on Google Ads or Facebook Ads. We have another post where we talk in depth about this type of campaign and how to make the most of them.
- Social media: The content you share with your followers on your social media allows you to humanize your brand and establish a tighter bond with them.
- Email marketing: You may be launching a new product line, or changing your brand identity. Either way, first you should let your subscribers know through your email list.
- Your blog: Your blog content also helps strengthen your branding. An easy example is when you share success stories from your clients (which we discuss in this other post).
- Packaging: It may not be a channel in its own right, but packaging can also become part of your identity. For example, if respecting the environment is one of your values, you could include a card with instructions on how to recycle your product or the packaging it comes in.
The channels you use will depend quite a bit on who your buyer persona is.
➡️ B. What you’re going to do
There are many actions you can implement to work on your shop’s branding and to become known among wider audiences.
Here are a few ideas:
- Launch a contest on social media.
- Run an online advertising campaign.
- Write guest posts in relevant blogs.
- Collaborate with another brand.
- Offer discounts in exchange for mentions on social networking sites.
- Promote an event related to your sector.
- Promote a YouTube channel or podcast (something that’s getting more and more common).
- Work with influencers.
Once you’ve decided what actions you’re going to implement, it’s crucial to schedule them.
For example, you can set the publication date for each post (using an editorial calendar), establish the start and end dates of a promotion with an influencer of your choice, etc.
✅ 5. Measure and optimize to get better and better results
Remember those KPIs from earlier?
It’s time to put them to good use. ;)
When you’re done implementing your strategy, you must analyze the outcome both to check if you’ve met your objectives and to come up with ways in which it could be improved.
✅ 5+1. Mind the customer experience in your e-commerce
A mistake some brands make is to invest a lot in branding campaigns to consolidate their image, but then overlook the experience they’re offering their clients.
Which makes all your effort go to waste.
Here are a few tips to prevent that from happening:
- Pay close attention to your website’s user experience.
- Give your clients different ways to contact you (besides your email address, you can establish faster routes, like WhatsApp Business or Telegram. You could even add a chatbot to attend to your customers when you’re not connected).
- Pick a good logistics operator.
- Be transparent with your return policy.
- Make sure users find your payment gateway accessible.
Remember that a content client can turn out to be your brand’s most prominent ambassador. ;)
👉 Ready to see your e-commerce brand take off?
With everything we’ve gone over today, you’re more than ready to start working on your online store’s branding.
Now you just need to put these tip into practice to make your brand unforgettable.