Consumers these days are savvy, knowledgeable and expect more meaningful experiences from brands. They choose one brand over the next because that brand connects with them on personal level.
Put simply, your brand is what customers perceive when they interact with your business. It is business mixed with emotion and engagement. Your brand tells your customers what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your business from your competitors. In fact, the stronger your store identity is, the more it may resonate with your target audience, and the more customers will choose you over competitors – a win for you!
So whether you are just starting out with a business idea or want to enhance your current store, learning how to build (or rebuild) your brand will bring success to your store.
How does one build a brand for an online store?
Differing from a brick and mortar store where customers can physically touch, feel or experience your products, an online store needs to focus on different ways to brand. This encompasses your web presence, communications and products. Through visuals, messaging, and more, you show customers what your business is about and how you can serve them.
Whether you’ve got nothing but a business idea or want to pivot your existing branding design, here’s what you need to know about building a strong brand identity for your business.
Share your story
There are thousands of businesses online. Why should someone give you their money over another? Here is where authenticity comes in. Tell your customers who you are and what you care about, share your origin story. You want to explain the greater reason why you started your brand. From there, talk about the benefits and features of your products or services. What do you stand for? Put all of these into an ‘About Us’ page. Your story should help you better position your business as well as emotionally connect with your customers.
Define your market and know your target audience
Before you make any decisions about how to create a business brand, you need to understand the current market, i.e., who your potential customers are. Always consider who your business is built for. Without knowing your audience, you can’t make any decisions about your branding. What do they look for in products or services? What are their most significant problems? All too often, many brands forget their audiences and focus on the product or the catalog, potentially missing out on valuable information that can increase sales. You can’t establish your brand to be everything to everyone, especially at the start. So find your target audience and let that inform all the other parts of your brand as you build it.
Choose your business name and style
As a business owner, your company’s name is probably one of the first big commitments you have to make. It’ll impact your brand logo, your domain, your marketing. Ideally, a store name that’s hard to imitate or confuse with existing players in the market works best. Your brand name should be either clear about the service you provide, or intriguing enough to make people want to find out more. Once this has been established, spend some time choosing a style that reflects the focus of your brand and name. For example, if you want to be associated with fun, choose bright and happy colours in your images, logo and fonts.
Focus on product quality
Consumers are loyal to a product that they know they can rely on. If your products aren’t well made, you risk losing out on customer loyalty and customer referrals. Pay attention to the overall quality and reputation of your product. If you haven’t launched your e-commerce store yet, consider focusing on just one of your products to start. Use the opportunity to hone in on product quality, reputation, and customer service. Once you have mastered and succeed with one product, you can safely start venturing into other types of products to serve the same audience and niche.
Be true to your brand
Building trust is essential for any brand, but it’s especially critical for e-commerce brands. Online shoppers can’t meet you and assess your business in-person, so you have to digitally nurture your relationship, and deliver consistently on your brand promise to gain their trust. Your brand should remain consistent wherever your customers interact with you, from the theme you choose for your website, the marketing materials you produce, all the way to how you package and ship your products.
Finally, if you really want to start building lasting relationships with your customers from the get go, then genuine engagement and interaction is key. Although it can be time consuming, social media has made it easier than ever to connect with customers, and is the perfect opportunity to give your brand a true voice. It’s also important to stay active online to make sure your brand remains visible, and to continue sharing content and improving your brand awareness.
Whilst building a brand online seems like a lot of work, it really does have the ability to take your business to the next level. It’s one of the most important things you can do in order to get new business. It’s very easy to focus all of your attention on the products and services you are offering, but as the consumer industry is changing, it’s now vital to ensure you’re putting energy and effort into your branding.
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